Manchester City won the Premier League title from Liverpool at a canter last season. Pep Guardiola’s men crossed the line so far in front of a chasing pack headed by Manchester United that they could afford to take their foot off the gas on the approach to the finish line. It was another impressive campaign for the Cityzens, and fans hoped that was a sign of things to come. They wanted to see an extended period of dominance.
The most famous online sports betting apps made Man City the red hot favourites to make it two in a row this term. The champions were odds-on with every respected sportsbook, and that stance taken by bookmakers was difficult to oppose. The odds-makers also priced City as the team to beat in the UEFA Champions League. It was thought the best team in England would improve on last season’s efforts, going a step further than the team that suffered a narrow loss to Chelsea in the final.
Having recently slapped down their noisy neighbours from across the city in the second Manchester Derby of the season, how are things shaping up for Man City. Is the team living up to expectations in England and on the continent? Are the bookies sticking with their original predictions and prices, or have they been forced to ease their odds on the favourites? We take a look at the updated season betting.
City blew United away
After 28 games played, including a pair of wins over the Red Devils with a different manager at the helm each time, Man City are in pole position. They sit top of the league, having won 22 games, drawn three and losing the other three. The pace-setters have already found the net 68 times, which is exactly 50 more than they have conceded. But things aren’t quite as comfortable as supporters would have hoped at this stage, with Liverpool hanging on to the coattails of the champions.
Jurgen Klopp’s Reds looked out of the running during the festive period, but a hugely impressive run of victories, coupled with a sketchy spell of form from Man City, has shunted Liverpool back into the running. They sit in second place, just six points behind City but with a game in hand. If they are able to pick up all three points in the spare, things would get even more interesting, and football fans will be treated to a grandstand finish. From being out in front and looking comfortable, Man City suddenly have a game on their hands.
The hugely successful club from the Etihad Stadium made light work of their age-old rivals in March’s Manchester Derby, easing to a 4-1 victory thanks to a double from De Bruyne and Mahrez. The game was tied at 1-1 briefly in the first half, but the goal scored by Sancho on 22 minutes proved to be nothing more than a consolation. Not only was that a great result for the fans, but it also served as a statement of intent from the club to their rivals. They mean business and have the experience and the fight needed to hold their current position.
Despite the attention of Liverpool, bookmakers keep Man City at the head of their Premier League betting list. However, the market is slightly more competitive than it was back in the summer before the opening match of the campaign.
Lisbon taken out
In the Champions League, we also see Man City going well, and they are into the quarter-finals thanks to a stunning win over Sporting Lisbon in the Round of 16. That tie was decided at the earliest opportunity with City winning 5-0 in Portugal. This allowed them to take their foot off the gas for the second leg, showing they had a defence strong enough to protect their lead, and that could come in handy when the level of opposition improves.
The Champions League betting odds have changed a lot since September, although Man City remain top of the tree. They are favourites with Liverpool rated as the main danger, ahead of Bayern Munich, who have dropped from joint-favourites in the summer to third in line heading to spring.