Pep expects United reaction

Pep Guardiola says he expects an inspired performance from Manchester United in Wednesday's derby at Old Trafford.

The Manchester City boss takes his troops across town to face their bitter rivals and knows a win will go a long way to sealing the Premier League title.

City currently sit second in the table, two points behind Liverpool, albeit with this game in hand.

Guardiola's side have won their last 10 in the Premier League and take on a team who lost 4-0 at Everton on Sunday, a result that marked their sixth defeat in eight games in all competitions.

After a couple of days of deliberation, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will now be looking at ways in which his side can bounce back and beating City to boost their hopes of a top four finish would help win the Red Devils' faithful back round.

United have not won a home derby in the league since 2015 and having recorded 2-1 victories in each of the last two seasons at Old Trafford, Guardiola seems to have found a formula.

However, the Spaniard is taking nothing for granted, insisting that the Red Devils have more than enough to rediscover their form.

Guardiola said: "I expect the best United tomorrow, I am sure.

"They are bright. Football players try to do their best and tomorrow is going to happen. We prepare for their strong points and weak points."

City are 4/9 to win at Old Trafford, with the draw 4/1 and the Red Devils 13/2.

The Citizens can be backed at 7/4 to finish first in the Premier League title race.

View all Soccer betting

Pep only looking forward

Pep Guardiola admits that the pain of Wednesday's Champions League exit will linger for some time but he's urging Manchester City to look straight ahead.

Tottenham dumped City out at the Etihad Stadium on away goals after a remarkable second leg ended with a 4-3 victory for Guardiola's team, who had a last-gasp Raheem Sterling goal chalked off after a VAR review.

As fate would have it, the two teams meet inside the same arena on Saturday, this time with three precious Premier League points at stake. Anything other than victory will see champions Man City surrendering the title-race initiative to Liverpool.

Guardiola admits that putting such a monumental loss behind them isn't easy and he says it will 'hurt' for some time, but he says his squad have got to live with it and move on.

He said: "You believe it doesn't hurt or I've forgotten it? I would say no. I don't want the players to forget what they live. It will take time but they have to live with that. They have to play and want to compete with that feeling.

"It was incredible how well we played. But it's football, it's life. What's important is how you behave.

"You have to fight and it was incredible the way we reacted after going 2-1 down. We had to score three goals and we did that.

"We scored another but it was offside by inches. We have to live with these kinds of situations and accept it. Inside it hurts and it'll be in our minds but looking back is not going to help us to move forward."

Man City are 1/4 to beat Spurs on Saturday, with Mauricio Pochettino's team 11/1 and the draw 6/1.

City to win the game 4-3 is priced at 66/1.

View all Soccer betting

City told to stand up and react

Manchester City will have to react quickly to their Champions League exit according to head coach Pep Guardiola, with the Premier League title still in their hands.

The Citizens crashed out of the Champions League despite a 4-3 win at home to Spurs in the second leg of their quarter-final tie, with the Londoners progressing on away goals – having won the first leg 1-0.

And, with a crunch Premier League clash against the same Tottenham side next on the agenda at lunchtime on Saturday, Guardiola accepts that he and his players simply have to move on quickly.

The Spaniard told reporters: "It's tough, it's cruel, but we have to accept it. We have to stand up and react. It is a close (short amount of) time and the same team. We can't think too much now.

"We have fought for nine or 10 months in the Premier League and still we are there. It is in our hands. Today is tough and tomorrow will be tough too, but the day after we will be ready."

The Citizens are currently in second place in the Premier League standings, two points behind Liverpool, but with a game in hand.

That extra match comes up next Tuesday, when City head to Old Trafford for a derby showdown with United, who were also eliminated from the Champions League this week – being knocked out by Barcelona.

The Citizens are 1/4 to defeat Tottenham on Saturday and are 14/1 to win the game 2-1, with City 8/11 to eventually retain their Premier League title come the end of the season.

View all Soccer betting

Champions League: Simply Stunning! Simply Stratospheric!

Manchester City 4-3 (4-4 on agg.) Tottenham Hotspur

Since it became Manchester City’s home in 2003, the Etihad Stadium has played host to some unforgettable occasions.

But it’s barely credible, with a nod to a last-gasp title triumph in 2012 that it has witnessed anything quite like this — a Champions League clash which quite literally had everything, ended with VAR making the final call.Drama, suspense, controversy – where does one begin.

Few reports can cram in the amount of Champions League 2019 highlights this produced.

Yet, if you us fans need time to recover, spare a thought for these two sides and their supporters.

Fittingly, both sets of fans stayed to the end to applaud their heroes for this was a night where both teams provided them aplenty after an amazing contest.

As City fans sang their club tune ‘Blue Moon’, knowing their players had given everything, Spurs players and fans were delirious – bouncing up and down in front of each other.

Highlights of the Game

City, with 11 straight home wins behind them (now 12), made a dream start as Raheem Sterling cut inside Kieran Trippier inside four minutes and found the net.

Three minutes later and the unsung Son Heung-Min got Spurs the away goal they craved (they would need two more) as the South Korean rifled the ball beyond Ederson.

Forward Son Heung-min scores vital early goals for Tottenham against Manchester City for Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg

Son Heung-min celebrates as he scores for Tottenham into semi-finals

Son struck again within three minutes as Aymeric Laporte overran the ball and was robbed by Lucas Moura before a quick interchange with Christian Eriksen, who then moved it to Son whose finish was unstoppable.

Yet again, within 60 seconds, City were back on level terms. This time it was Bernardo Silva who equalised as the hosts went straight back down the other end and saw his shot take a cruel deflection off Danny Rose.

When it took a further 12 minutes before another goal, it felt like a drought!

This time it was Sterling as he grabbed his second of the night from a stunning Kevin de Bruyne ball.

Spurs were hanging on by the end of the first half and then behind just before the hour as De Bruyne showed his class again and Sergio Aguero – who had a hand in the first two goals – rifled the ball past Hugo Lloris at the back post.

Yet, somehow, via a hip, substitute Fernando Llorente – only on the pitch because of an injury to Mousa Sissoko –then helped the ball into the net and Spurs were ahead on away goals.

When, in the third minute of stoppage time, Sterling fired home, City were on cloud nine, Spurs crestfallen.

Then VAR intervened and ruled it offside.

An astonishing end to a stratospheric night.

It’s easy to forget Spurs were 12 minutes away from being eliminated by PSV Eindhoven after four group games.

Now they are in the semi-finals of Europe’s premier club competition for the first time since 1962, under the late great Bill Nicholson, after an emotional rollercoaster.

Words can barely do occasions like this justice.

Key Statistics

Son is now the highest scoring Asian player in Champions League history with 12 goals, overtaking Maksim Shatskikh of Uzbekistan.

England has now provided seven different Champions League semi-finalists in the competition’s history – more than any other nation (Arsenal, Chelsea, Leeds, Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd).

Sterling has been involved in 43 goals (29 goals and 14 assists) in 50 games in all competitions this season (club and country), more than any other English player from the top five major leagues.

Four goals in the opening 11 minutes of Manchester City vs Tottenham is the fastest four goals have ever been scored in a single Champions League match.

City are still the top scorers in this season’s Champions League with 30 goals.

Tottenham have won 18 of the 20 ties in UEFA competition in which they won the home first leg. Their last aggregate defeat when winning in the home first leg came against Kaiserslautern in the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup second round.

Pep Guardiola has only lost three times in his 16 managerial contests with Mauricio Pochettino (won nine, drawn four) – the pair also crossed paths as coaches in Spain with Barcelona and Espanyol respectively.

City have scored 20 goals in their five home games in this season’s competition.

1X2 Borussia Dortmund @ 1.53 Over 3.00 @ 2.00 Total Goal 2-3 @ 2.06 Third Line text CLICK HEREDisclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.Bundesliga

What’s Next?

A third meeting in the space of 11 days, that’s what is next.

It’s City v Spurs again at the Etihad Stadium in under 72 hours in a crucial Premier League match.

City then have a Manchester derby at Old Trafford and a visit to Burnley to negotiate.

Spurs host Brighton next Tuesday and West Ham on April 27 after the completion of the trilogy.

The Champions League 2019 betting odds were not expecting a Spurs v Ajax semi-final but that is exactly what we have.

 

●●●

CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE FOOTBALL STORIES & ODDS

Stay updated with everything sports and betting.

Follow us on social Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Bet NOW!

League remains priority for Pep

Pep Guardiola says the Premier League title remains the biggest prize on offer this season despite their Champions League campaign.

Manchester City, having already won the League Cup, are still in the hunt for an unprecedented quadruple this season.

Second in the Premier League, they are in the FA Cup final next month and, this week, attempt to reach the last four of the Champions League.

They play Tottenham in the quarter-finals, trailing 1-0 after the first-leg in London.

Having already won the Premier League title with City last season, Guardiola says retaining the trophy remains the priority this campaign.

At a press conference ahead of Wednesday night's game with Spurs, the City boss said: "A lot of big clubs are not here now in these stages, so what is important is how you handle things for 11 months.

"That is why I have said many times the Premier League, for me, is the most important title, showing every three days that you are there. Being there every time sends out a good message.

"What we need to do tomorrow is put our hurt on the pitch, our desire and after we will see."

City are 3/10 to win Wednesday's game with Spurs 10/1 and the draw 5/1. City are 7/1 to win the game 2-0.

City and Spurs meet again in the Premier League on Saturday and Guardiola's side then travel to face local rivals United at Old Trafford in games which will have a big say in whether they will be in a position to retain the league title.

They are two points behind Liverpool in the table but have a game in hand. City are 8/11 to win the title while Liverpool are priced at 11/10.

View all Soccer betting

Guardiola: It’s in our hands

Pep Guardiola accepts that Manchester City will probably have to win their last five Premier League games if they are going to lift the title again.

Last season's champions beat Crystal Palace 3-1 at Selhurst Park on Sunday but Liverpool returned to the top of the table later in the day by securing a 2-0 victory over Chelsea.

City are two points behind Liverpool but have a game in hand on Jurgen Klopp's team.

Liverpool are currently available at 11/10 to win the Premier League title while Manchester City can be backed at 8/11.

City appear to have a harder run-in as they still have to play Tottenham and Manchester United while they also face Spurs on Wednesday in the Champions League when a place in the semi-finals will be up for grabs. Guardiola's team are 4/6 to qualify for the last four after losing last week's first leg 1-0.

Former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss Guardiola said: "We think Liverpool are going to win all their games but the Premier League position is in our hands.

"We have to win every game if we want to make back-to-back titles. We know that and the players have shown they want to do it and I didn't have any doubts about that."

Raheem Sterling scored twice against Palace before Gabriel Jesus added a late third goal to leave Guardiola purring.

He said after the victory at Selhurst Park: "I'm so pleased. The amount of games we have had – Brighton (in the semi-finals of the FA Cup), and three days later the Champions League, and now here, and the way we played for 75 or 80 minutes was really good.

"In two seasons we've got 83 points with five games left. Incredible numbers and it shows how consistent we are."

City pile pressure on Reds

Manchester City ensured Liverpool were playing catch-up as the Premier League title race took another twist.

With both teams playing on Sunday, City were in action first, away at Crystal Palace and came away with a 3-1 victory, taking them back to the top of the table.

Raheem Sterling scored twice for the champions, Palace pulled one back with about 10 minutes remaining but a third just before the close ensured another three points for Pep Guardiola's side.

They took the lead after quarter of an hour at Selhurst Park, Sterling latching onto a perfect pass from Kevin de Bruyne and finishing well past Vicente Guaita in the Palace goal.

That was the only goal of the first half but Sterling scored his and City's second after an hour, from a pass by Leroy Sane.

Roy Hodgson's side gave themselves hope with a late Luka Milivojevic free-kick but substitute Gabriel Jesus scored City's third to return them to the top of the Premier League table.

With five games remaining they are a point ahead of Liverpool and have a vastly superior goal difference.

Liverpool are in action later on Sunday, taking on Chelsea at Anfield and needing a win to return to the top.

Match-winner Sterling said afterwards that he believes the title race will go down to the last game of the season.

He told the BBC: "100 percent the way Liverpool have been playing. It will go down to the wire. I don't see us slowing down now. Liverpool have a great squad, great self-belief, but so do we."

City, fresh from this victory have a crucial three matches ahead in the next 10 days. They play Tottenham twice at home, in the Champions League in midweek and then the league next weekend before a trip across Manchester to play rivals United at Old Trafford on 24th April.

City, 1-0 down from the first-leg of their Champions League quarter-final, are 2/7 to win the return leg on Wednesday night while Spurs are 9/1 with the draw 19/4.

Vity are 10/3 to win the Champions League this season while Spurs are priced at 16/1.

View all Soccer betting

Bernardo could miss Palace trip

Pep Guardiola is unsure whether Bernardo Silva will be fit enough to feature for quadruple-chasing Manchester City on Sunday at Crystal Palace.

The 24-year-old Portugal international faces a late fitness test after missing City's Champions League quarter-final first leg defeat at Tottenham on Tuesday with a muscle injury.

When asked whether Bernardo would be able to feature at Selhurst Park, Guardiola replied. "We will see on Saturday.

"He is an incredible player. Playing wide he is a fighter. He's so intelligent and clever defensively. He knows when to cut back inside and with the ball, he can do anything."

Guardiola also gave an update on Oleksandr Zinchenko, who missed the 1-0 defeat to Spurs as well.

"I don't know if he will be fit for Sunday," the City boss added.

"In a few positions, we have enough players. In others, we have problems but we are not in the process to think about anything other than the next game.

"From now until the end of the season, every game is a Final. We will play with the team that is the best to face Palace based on physicality and the personality of our players.

"Selhurst Park is always a difficult place to go, not just for the stadium but for the quality of the players they have in all departments. They are really well-organised and they have the quality to do well in one-on-one situations.

"They have done so well – 11 points clear of relegation. They have had incredible results. We have six games left of the Premier League. We know what we are playing for and we are going to prepare well."

Manchester City are 3/10 to win at Selhurst Park and 6/1 to emerge victorious 2-0.

Pep unflustered after loss

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is refusing to panic even though his side lost 1-0 to Tottenham in their Champions League quarter-final first leg tie.

City, who have already won the EFL Cup this season and are also aiming to land the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup, are 13/2 to win next week's second leg 2-0 and 7/10 to qualify for the semi-finals.

Sergio Aguero missed a first-half penalty for City after Danny Rose was adjudged to have handled the ball before Son Heung-min grabbed the only goal of Tuesday's match.

Guardiola was pleased with his side's overall performance in the capital though and was unflustered after the game, particularly as City had lost 3-0 at Liverpool in the first leg of last season's quarter-final.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager said: "Last season was much worse. Except for a few chances we conceded in set-pieces and some counter-attacks, we controlled the game and played quite well.

"I would have liked us to score a goal but the situation is what it is. Spurs are a team that press a lot but they couldn't do that – especially in the second half, when we arrived many times in the final third.

"We played so well on the second ball. Next week, hopefully our fans can support us every single minute."

Meanwhile, City are 15/2 to beat Crystal Palace1-0 at Selhurst Park on Sunday.

Aguero poised to boost City

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is upbeat about the prospect of Sergio Aguero being fit to feature in the Champions League clash with Tottenham on Tuesday evening.

The Argentinian frontman has missed the last two Citizens games due to a slight niggle, but appears to have trained okay in the last couple of days and is likely to be in contention for the quarter-final first leg tie in the capital.

Guardiola told reporters: "He feels better, he trained with the team for the first time (on Monday) and feels better."

Aguero has scored 29 goals so far this season in all competitions and is 21/20 to find the net at any time on Tuesday evening, with City 14/5 to secure a draw at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Meanwhile, Guardiola also spoke about the star Spurs centre-forward, Harry Kane, while talking up the strength of the whole Lilywhites side.

He added: "They are good in their movements, runs in behind, how strong they are physically in all departments. It's an incredible team.

"I have said a thousand times since I came here in England about them, but of course Harry Kane – who can deny (his importance).

"He is the No.9 for the international team, he is an incredible striker and he has everything – right foot, left, movement, he keeps the ball and sets up the ball. He is intelligent and when he is in the box he does everything."

Kane is 9/2 to score the opening goal of the game against the Citizens, with Spurs 12/1 to claim a 1-0 victory on home turf.

View all Soccer betting