England vs Hungary – Nations League Betting Tips
Can England grab a victory against Hungary to get at least one win this summer? …Read More
Speaking after Manchester City secured yet another League Cup triumph on Sunday, City coach Brian Kidd hailed the dedication and hard work of Pep Guardiola. “No matter who we are playing, the weakest team in the four leagues, he treats everyone with the same respect,” Kidd said of Guardiola at Wembley Stadium. While nobody can be in any doubt about Guardiola’s level of planning and attention to detail, some have questioned whether that moves into the territory of overthinking things in the very biggest matches.
Guardiola has himself admitted to making tactical mistakes in the latter stages of the Champions League and the lack of success on a European front since he left Barcelona clearly rankles. This season was always likely to provide Man City with a great chance of finally tasting glory on the biggest stage but it all depends on how well Guardiola sets his plans out for the semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain and how well his players can execute them.
PSG made a huge Champions League breakthrough themselves last season by making it to the final. As heartbreaking as defeat to Bayern Munich was, it showed the PSG players that they belong among the elite of European football and gives them an extra level of motivation. The Parisians’ manager, Mauricio Pochettino, is also gunning for redemption after his Tottenham team lost in the 2019 Champions League final so you can be sure that everybody involved in this mouthwatering semi-final will give everything they have to reaching the final in Istanbul.
Man City 23/20 (bet365)
Paris Saint-Germain 11/5 (Betfred)
Draw 27/10 (888sport)
(Please note that all odds are correct at time of article publishing and are subject to change)
Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp are the only managers who Pep Guardiola has faced more often in his career than Mauricio Pochettino. Unsurprisingly, it’s Guardiola who comes out on top in the head to head with 10 wins from their 18 meetings compared to just three for Pochettino.
Pochettino did have slightly more success against Guardiola when he was Tottenham manager (two wins) compared to when the two were city rivals in Barcelona (one win as Espanyol manager). The players available to the Argentine in Paris are of a higher quality than in either London or Barcelona though and he got the better of Guardiola the last time they met in a two-legged Champions League tie in that pulsating quarter-final in April 2019.
Man City may be the bookies’ favourites for this first leg at 23/20 (and they are much shorter at 4/9 to qualify for the final) but Guardiola’s men will have to be at their very best to win in Paris. This is a Paris Saint-Germain side with incredible attacking talent who put three past Bayern Munich in the first leg of their quarter-final so you cannot write them off.
This has the potential to be an all time classic Champions League double-header so a draw in the first leg appears well priced at 27/10 with 888sport.
Draw 1-1 @ 11/2 (Ladbrokes)
Man City 2-1 @ 15/2 (Coral)
Man City 1-0 @ 9/1 (Paddy Power)
PSG 2-1 @ 10/1 (888sport)
Man City 2-0 @ 11/1 (Betfred)
Draw 2-2 @ 12/1 (bet365)
Such is the vast array of attacking talent that will take to the pitch on Wednesday night that it’s difficult to imagine the game passing without a fair amount of incident in both penalty boxes. Four of the six most popular selections in the Correct Score market reflect both teams scoring and that is a bet which does look to be a fairly safe one at 8/13 with bet365.
Those who are confident enough to support a match in which both teams score and ends in a draw will be weighing up whether to support 1-1 at 11/2 or 2-2 at 12/1. There is every chance that the goals will flow because of the number of players capable of scoring in the blink of an eye but will Pochettino and Guardiola try to temper those attacking instincts with an eye on the bigger picture?
Kylian Mbappe 9/2 (Ladbrokes)
Sergio Aguero 9/2 (bet365)
Neymar 11/2 (Coral)
Mauro Icardi 6/1 (Betfred)
Gabriel Jesus 6/1 (888sport)
Moise Keane 13/2 (Betfred)
Raheem Sterling 7/1 (888sport)
Riyad Mahrez 15/2 (Paddy Power)
Even among the world class players in the Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City squads, Kylian Mbappe stands out just above the rest as the genuine superstar who transcends not just his team but the sport. International sport fans with only a passing interest in football know Mbappe as the coming force and anybody who has watched just a little bit of him knows that he has gone from a promising up and comer to one of the finest footballers on the planet.
Mbappe tops the First Goalscorer market at 9/2 and for all that Guardiola will tell his defence to keep a close eye on the World Cup winner, it’s tough to argue against his billing as the man most likely to open the scoring. For a bit more value though, Riyad Mahrez is tempting at 15/2 with Paddy Power as he has become an important player for Guardiola in the big matches and will cause problems cutting in from the right.
The Draw at 27/10 with 888sport
Both Teams to Score at 8/13 with bet365
Riyad Mahrez to Score First at 15/2 with Paddy Power