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.

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Euro 2020: Super Sterling as five-star England crush Czechs

England 5-0 Czech Republic

The start of the latest adventure for England and, if this is a sign of things to come, what an adventure it could be.

Euro 2020 qualifying began with a comprehensive showing even us fans with an ardent England leaning may not have foreseen.

Much of the Euro 2020 qualifying news before kick-off surrounded injuries in the England camp – Marcus Rashford the latest to join a line of players withdrawing from the squad including Luke Shaw, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fabian Delph, Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Yet it wasn’t a problem as players in white shirts stepped up to the mark to make England’s Euro 2020 qualifying betting odds extremely attractive.

Highlights of the game

One man led from the front – Man City frontman Raheem Sterling.

It took 24 minutes from him to break the deadlock at Wembley but once he did and captain Harry Kane netted from the penalty spot just before the break, the floodgates were open.

Kane had fed exciting young talent Jadon Sancho and he played an inviting ball into the path of Sterling who could not miss.

A minute before half-time Sterling went down in the box surrounded by two defenders.

In truth, it was a soft penalty but Kane didn’t need asking twice, clinically converting (despite the efforts of the unfortunate Czech goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka) to give England the lead their play merited.

England actually began the second half complacently but, against limited opposition, they made the game safe just beyond the hour mark.

A Kyle Walker pass took a deflection right into the path of Sterling who still had plenty to do but held off his marker and turned before confidently despatching number three.

It was number three for him soon afterwards with a shot which deflected in to complete his hat-trick – his final touch before being substituted to much acclaim.

A fine night for England and a miserable one for the visitors was complete six minutes from time when substitute debutant Callum Hudson-Odoi’s shot was palmed away by Pavlenka only to hit luckless defender Tomas Kalas and rebound into the net.

A performance littered with style and swagger, the only downside for the home side was an early injury to midfielder Eric Dier.

With a hectic month approaching, Spurs will hope it is not serious.

Arsenal 1X2 1.38 Newcastle Asian Handicap +0.50 @ 1.98 Over 3.00 @ 2.16CLICK HEREDisclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.Premier League

 

Key statistics

This was the first England hat-trick at Wembley since 2010 when Jermain Defoe netted a treble against Bulgaria.

Despite being yet to start a Premier League match for his club, Hudson-Odoi is the youngest player in the history of the England national team to win his first cap in a competitive match (18 years 135 days), breaking the record set by the great Duncan Edwards in April 1955.

England last hit five at home in a success against San Marino in October 2014.

Kane has scored 15 goals in his last 17 starts for the Three Lions, despite enduring a six-game drought in this run. He has also scored six penalties in a row.

Borussia Dortmund winger Sancho was the first Englishman to reach 10 assists in Europe’s top five leagues this season.

Sancho is the third youngest England player to start a competitive international at Wembley, behind Edwards (18 years 183 days) in 1955 and Michael Owen (18 years 300 days) in 1998.

This was the fourth match between England and Czech Republic and the Three Lions remain unbeaten with two victories and two draws.

England are unbeaten in their last 19 Euro qualifying matches (won 16, drawn three), winning the last 11 in a row. Their last such defeat came in November 2007 versus Croatia.

England have lost only one of their 16 home games under coach Gareth Southgate (won 11, drawn four), losing 2-1 against Spain in the Nations League.

Only Roy Hodgson (79.2%), Fabio Capello (76.2%) and Walter Winterbottom (69%) have better home win percentages for England than Southgate (66.7%).

England have lost just two of their last 24 home games in all competitions played in the month of March (won 16, drawn six, lost two), losing v Holland in 2016 (2-1) and Italy in 2002 (2-1).

Top of Form

Top of Form

What’s next?

The Three Lions aim to create momentum as they face Montenegro in Euro 2020 matchday 2

England team celebrates after beating Czech Republic

England now travel to Montenegro for their second qualifier on Monday (March 25).

Then it’s the excitement of a Nations League semi-final against Holland in June and, possibly, a place in the final against reigning European champions Portugal or Switzerland.

Qualifying continues in September with home matches against Bulgaria and Kosovo.

The Czechs have a high-profile friendly coming up next week against the Samba boys of Brazil (March 26).

Qualifying resumes in June for them, also with home games against Bulgaria (June 7) and Montenegro (June 10).

 

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All Eyes on Manchester: City, United Favourites in FA Cup Last Eight

FA Cup 2019 Quarter-Finals

The northwestern region of England is home to some of the most exciting football clubs not only in the country but also in Europe. Some of the world’s best players call the region home as they play for teams such as Everton and Liverpool.

One city, in particular, is blessed to have two great football clubs. The city of Manchester has two sides, United and City, that have won trophies at home and abroad. Not only do they have the best players and staff under their employ, but they also have large followings around the world.

Both the Red Devils and Sky Blues are still in the running and are considered favourites to win the FA Cup. They should be able to take down their opponents in the quarter-finals without so much of a problem with the quality of players they have.

However, the tournament has seen some of the biggest upsets in high-level football since its inception in 1871. Ninety minutes of football promise a lot of exciting action, and we could well see a giant-killing happen right before our eyes.

Join the us football team as we take a look at the last eight clubs still in contention for the country’s premier knockout football competition.

Watford FC vs Crystal Palace

Watford FC should have plenty of confidence that they can make the semi-finals after a battling performance at the Etihad.

The final score is more than flattering for the Sky Blues as Raheem Sterling’s hat-trick gave them a 3-1 result in front of their home fans. However, it’s important to note that one of Sterling’s goals should have been called offside. They also played well for much of the game and deserved a better final score than that.

They will be welcoming an inconsistent Crystal Palace side to Vicarage Road with the intent to avenge their tough loss at the Etihad and put on a fantastic show for the fans who will come out to support. Javi Gracia’s men will look to continue their win streak against the Eagles.

Manchester City are aiming to satisfy us fans and win in Liberty stadium

Raheem Sterling in action playing for Manchester City

Swansea City vs Manchester City

Swansea haven’t had the best of times since being relegated from the top flight last season. They are currently on the wrong end of the Championship table at 15th, and their last five games have alternated between victories and defeat. Assuming that they keep this trend up, they will win their upcoming match against West Bromwich Albion but lose their FA Cup match against the Sky Blues.

However, it’s preposterous to even think that the Swans even have a shot at breaking Man City down. A lot of FA Cup 2019 odds point to City winning the entire dance, and their most recent performances against clubs like Watford and Bournemouth have shown that they can also grind out a victory as they fight to make their dreams of a quadruple a reality.

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Manchester United

A lot of Manchester United fans are delighted with the quality performances the Red Devils have shown under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The former United player has taken the team out of the gutter that was Jose Mourinho’s managerial style and inspire the team to a couple of incredible performances at home and abroad.

The Norwegian boss has made his introduction when he led the team to an incredible comeback win against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League. His approach to the game has also helped the Red Devils climb up the league table and produce incredible FA Cup 2019 highlights after taking down Arsenal and Chelsea in convincing fashion.

I will definitely be surprised if Wolverhampton Wanderers manage to even score themselves a replay at the Theatre of Dreams. While they are seventh in the league table, it’s difficult to believe that they have the players to help them fend off an extremely confident United team at the Molineux.

opacity 0 CLICK HERE TO SEE UPDATED ODDS UEFA – Champions League

Millwall vs Brighton & Hove Albion

There isn’t much reason to cheer for at The Den as Millwall are dangerously close to relegation to League One football. However, their superb FA Cup run so far in the season is one of the few things that have given the suffering supporters joy.

A win here could see them play at Wembley, and that is something Neil Harris’ Lions will want to happen. While they have suffered four successive league losses, the prospect of playing at the fabled grounds of Wembley could spur the team to play harder.

However, Brighton will be quite a tough cookie for the Lions to maul. Brighton have won two of their last three games, and their victory at Selhurst Park has given Chris Hughton additional fuel to make his team play better.

 

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Premier League: Super Sterling Stars as Champions Overcome Controversy

Manchester City 3-1 Watford

Raheem Sterling will rightly take the plaudits after this fixture.

His hat-trick won the Premier League encounter at the Etihad Stadium to ensure Manchester City maintained their advantage at the top of the table.

There was no doubt they deserved their advantage, either – a quick watch of the Premier League 2019 highlights will show that.

However, us followers will know this match changed on a decision which proved highly controversial.

Less than a minute of the second half had elapsed when a ball was knocked onto Sterling who was in an offside position as he finished with aplomb.

After much discussion between the linesman (who had flagged) and referee, the goal was given after Paul Tierney ruled Watford full-back Daryl Janmaat had knocked the ball onto Sterling before he shot.

Yet, surely Janmaat only made the challenge because Sterling was offside in the first place?

It’s only hoped that the introduction of VAR next season will ensure there can be no doubt about these decisions (not that I’m overly confident).

Highlights of the game

From the outset, Watford’s game plan was probably obvious and made total sense.

Expect to defend in numbers and, on the rare occasions they had the ball, counter-attack.

Boss Javi Garcia, managing his 50th game for the Hornets, kept the in-form skipper Troy Deeney (with five Premier League goals and three assists in nine games this calendar year) and Gerald Deulofeu on the bench as if to confirm those tactics.

For 45 minutes, it worked.

David Silva went close with an early header, while Sergio Aguero (with 10 goals in seven appearances against Watford) should have opened the scoring with a free header on the half-hour, but the plan did its job as the reigning champions came up against a sea of green.

Four minutes into the second half, and it was game over.

First, Sterling converted after Aguero had chested Ilkay Gundogan’s lofted ball into his path, and the goal was given after initially being disallowed for offside.

Watford players are left disappointed with their 3-1 defeat against Manchester City in recent Premier League clash

Watford players complain after Raheem Sterling’s offside has been overruled during their Premier League clash against Manchester City

Then, with Watford seemingly stunned by the decision, City took full advantage.

This time, Silva and Riyad Mahrez combined for Sterling to have the most straightforward of finishes.

Just before the hour, Silva showed his class again with a pinpoint pass, and Sterling’s feet were too quick for his markers as he completed his hat-trick.

As shell-shocked and as hard done to as Watford must have felt, they deserved credit for keeping going and, with their first touches, subs Deeney and Deulofeu made an instant impact.

A long kick from Ben Foster was flicked on by Deeney, and the young Spaniard coolly reduced the arrears.

They never went close again, however, as City saw the game out to extend their lead to four points at the summit.

Job done – with a little bit of help from the referee.

Key statistics

Deulofeu’s goal, 17 seconds after coming on, was the quickest by a substitute in the Premier League since October 2014, when Sammy Ameobi scored after eight seconds for Newcastle versus Spurs.

City have never lost a Premier League game against Watford (won eight, drawn two), winning the last eight in a row by an aggregate score of 25-4.

In all competitions, Watford have lost their last 10 meetings with Manchester City and are winless in 14 since a 1-0 home victory in the second tier in March 1989.

The last Hornets boss to beat City away from home was the late Graham Taylor, who masterminded a 2-1 success in April 1987.

City have won 10 of their last 11 league games, including the past six in a row.

City have earned 45 of the 48 points available to them in home games this season, losing only against Crystal Palace in December.

Aguero has ended on the winning side in each of the last 25 league fixtures he has started at the Etihad Stadium, scoring 30 goals.

The Hornets have suffered 13 successive league defeats away to the established top-six teams since a 2-1 win at Arsenal in January 2017.

They have now also lost all 10 of their Premier League matches against sides starting the day top, conceding 29 goals.Top of Form

What’s next?

The Premier League 2019 betting odds may change a few times between now and when City are next in league action.

It’s three weeks until they meet Fulham.

This week, they entertain Schalke with a 3-2 first-leg advantage in the Champions League. Next weekend, they travel to Swansea City in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

Watford also have a FA Cup last-eight tie to contend with.

They host Crystal Palace a week today (March 16) before travelling to Manchester United on March 30 in the Premier League.

 

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Sterling’s treble moves City clear

Raheem Sterling scored a 13-minute second-half hat-trick as Manchester City overcame Watford 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

The win moved the champions four points clear of title rivals Liverpool, who host Burney at Anfield on Sunday.

It was not without drama however, with Sterling's opener controversially awarded just 30 seconds after half-time.

Sergio Aguero diverted a flick towards Sterling inside the 18-yard box – though his teammate was in an offside position – but before he could get there Daryl Janmaat's outstretched leg diverted the ball off Sterling and it looped into the Watford net.

After a long consultation between referee Paul Tierney and his assistant, the goal was given, despite the offside flag having been raised originally.

Watford were less than pleased and Sterling added two further quick goals to leave them stranded.

Substitute Gerard Deulofeu did pull one back on 66 minutes, running onto a Troy Deeney flick to score moments after entering the fray, but Man City held on without any concerns for the win.

The hat-trick hero admitted he was unsure if the opening goal would be allowed to stand.

"The first half was difficult even for myself, it was hard to break them down but in the second half things opened up and we got the luck in the first goal and then took our chances really well," Sterling told BT Sport.

"We had 45 mins left and we knew we had to go for it and be more aggressive. I don't know what it was (the linesman's decision) but I was praying they gave it to us and we got that bit of fortune."

Man City are now 3/10 to win the title, with Liverpool 5/2 as they prepare to host Burnley on Sunday.

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Shootout success for City

Manchester City defeated Chelsea 4-3 on penalties to win the Carabao Cup on a highly controversial afternoon at Wembley.

The game was inching towards a shootout, with no goals in 90 minutes and few chances in extra-time, when a scarcely believable turn of events saw Kepa Arrizabalaga refuse to be substituted by Maurizio Sarri.

The Chelsea goalkeeper twice went down injured during extra-time, requiring treatment, and his manager summoned Willy Caballero to don the gloves with just moments remaining before the penalty shootout.

Arrizabalaga signalled to the bench that he was fit to continue, but the board went up and Caballero stood waiting on halfway to make his entrance, only for the drama to be ramped up.

Arrizabalaga continued to signal his determination to continue, as Sarri and Gianfranco Zola beckoned him to come ashore. In the end, referee Jon Moss consulted the Chelsea boss at the sideline and he appeared to give in.

It was a dramatic turn of events, and one that surely undermined the manager's position. Sarri appeared at one stage as if he was going to depart for the dressing room before extra-time ended.

Chelsea had been hugely spirited until that point, stopping Manchester City from creating chances and banishing the memory of a 6-0 defeat to the same opponents just a fortnight ago.

Jorginho was denied with Chelsea's opening spot-kick, and while Arrizabalaga threatened to become the hero with a fine save from Leroy Sane, he also allowed Sergio Aguero's weak strike to slide under his body.

After David Luiz saw his kick cannon off the upright with Ederson beaten, Bernardo Silva restored the advantage for Pep Guardiola's men.

Eden Hazard kept Chelsea in the contest with a sublime dinked effort but Raheem Sterling crashed his effort in off the underside of the crossbar to seal the win for Manchester City, who keep alive their hopes of an unprecedented quadruple.

The fallout for Arrizabalaga, Sarri and Chelsea will likely rumble on for some time.

Man City are 8/15 to win the Premier League this season, having been knocked off top spot earlier on Sunday when Liverpool took a point from their visit to Manchester United after a cagey stalemate. The Reds are 13/8 to be champions.

Man City meanwhile are 10/1 to win all four trophies they are contesting.

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City hit Chelsea for six

Manchester City moved back to the top of the Premier League table in emphatic fashion, beating Chelsea 6-0 at the Etihad Stadium.

City were 4-0 up before half an hour, exposing the visitors defensive frailties to move back above Liverpool on goal difference.

Chelsea began the game by attempting to press high up the pitch but their tactics were undermined within the first five minutes, City taking the lead.

It was the recalled Kevin De Bruyne who began the move with a quick free kick which found Bernardo Silva and, with the Chelsea defence failing to react, crossed for Raheem Sterling to pounce and turn the ball past Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Sergio Aguero should have scored shortly afterwards but, after being set up by Silva, shot wide with the goal gaping.

However, Aguero and City weren't denied for long and he doubled City's lead on 13 minutes, Oleksandr Zinchenko losing possession but the ball fell to the Argentine who shot into the top corner from about 25 yards out.

All Chelsea's plans were in tatters and City continued to pour forward to test a stretched defence and were rewarded on 19 minutes, Aguero getting a rather more scruffy goal but again Chelsea failed to clear the ball from their own area.

With less than half an hour of the game gone it was 4-0 when Ilkay Gundogan took advantage of a poor clearance from Antonio Rudiger and shot home.

City made it five about 10 minutes into the second half, Aguero completing his hat-trick from the penalty spot. Cesar Azpilicueta was ruled to have brought Sterling down in the area and the striker made no mistake from the spot to compound Chelsea's misery.

City have a heavy fixture list in coming weeks, taking on Newport in the FA Cup, Schalke in the Champions League and Chelsea again in the EFL Cup final and Pep Guardiola made changes with those games in mind.

The game already won he took off Aguero and De Bruyne, replaced by Gabriel Jesus and Riyad Mahrez.

It looked as if City were winding down but Guardiola recently suggested the Premier League title race could come down to goal difference and City scored another before the end to be nine goals ahead of Liverpool, Sterling getting on the end of another excellent moving involving David Silva and Zinchenko.

That completed the scoring and City, having played a game more than Liverpool, are back above them at the top of the Premier League.

City are 8/11 to win the Premier League with Liverpool 6/5.

City are 13/8 to reach the final of the Champions League this season with Liverpool 4/1 and Manchester United 14/1.

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Aguero treble hands City win

Sergio Aguero fired a hat-trick of poachers finishes as Manchester City closed in on leaders Liverpool with a 3-1 win over Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium.

The Premier League champions have cut the gap on Liverpool to two points with their win, though the Reds can respond when they face West Ham on Monday evening at the London Stadium.

Just as he was in midweek at Newcastle, Aguero was on the scoresheet in the opening minute – taking 50 seconds before he headed home from six-yards after Arsenal had failed to clear their lines and allowed Aymeric Laporte pick out the Argentine with his cross from the left.

It was almost deeper trouble minutes later when Shkodran Mustafi appeared to drag Aguero to the floor in the penalty box but Martin Atkinson waved play on.

Arsenal grabbed that reprieve with both hands when Laurent Koscielny powered a header home from Nacho Monreal's set-piece delivery after 11 minutes.

The Gunners were on course for parity at the interval but City carved them open on 43 minutes.

Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling were the architects, leaving Aguero with the easiest of far-post tap-ins to make it 2-1 at the break.

Sterling was the provider once again just beyond the hour, his low cross connecting with the sliding Aguero and just creeping over the line despite the efforts of Bernd Leno. Arsenal may feel that it was Aguero's arm which made the difference in steering the ball goalwards.

The match-winner suggested it was a crucial win having lost 2-1 despite that quick start at Newcastle while Aguero admitted after seeing replays that it looked like hand ball for his hat-trick moment.

"It was important to win. The other day I scored early and we lost, today I am very happy," he told Sky Sports.

"I think it came off my chest, but now I see on TV it was a handball."

Manchester City are now 11/8 to retain the Premier League title, with Liverpoo 8/13 to end their famine. The Reds meanwhile are 11/1 to beat West Ham 3-1 on Monday night.

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Premier League: This is Do or Die for Chelsea

Chelsea vs Manchester City

What a difference two weeks make. Not long ago, Chelsea were in an unbeaten group of three at the top of the Premier League, along with Manchester City and Liverpool.

That group of three has become two, and Chelsea have fallen quickly off the pace. There were whispered tones in West London daring to suggest this could be Chelsea’s year to wrestle the title from Manchester City. But defeats to Spurs and now Wolves have left Maurizio Sarri’s team ten points behind their Saturday opponents.

It might be early to rule the Blues out of the title race, but you only need to look at the Premier League betting odds to see that Pep Guardiola’s team is a strong favourite with only Liverpool currently seen as the serious threat.

It’s starting to look like a two-horse race, and a defeat for Chelsea in this game will all but confirm that.

Talking Points

What’s happened to Chelsea?

Two defeats in three games, conceding five goals between them, have changed the mood around Stamford Bridge from cautious optimism to one of frustration. Sarri’s new regime was going so well, unbeaten in 12 league games and with Eden Hazard playing the best football in the league and scoring for fun. It seemed like Sarri had helped Hazard to move up a notch to join the world’s elite. The addition of goals to his game took him to the top of the Premier League hit men, but the lack of goals in four league games has left the Belgian trailing behind Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as well as two Manchester City players, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero.

Eden Hazard’s offensive skills will play a vital point for Chelsea to beat Manchester City in their Premier League clash

Eden Hazard looking disappointed after their defeat to Wolves

Hazard isn’t just about goals, of course; he has made six assists already. But there is a feeling with Chelsea’s best midfielders, Jorginho and N’Golo Kante, playing quite deep, and the other strikers misfiring, Alvaro Morata the best with five goals. He needs to do too much on his own.

Chelsea’s setbacks were punctuated by a victory over Fulham, but that wasn’t exactly a breeze against the bottom club. The Blues will need a sharp upturn in performance level to seriously trouble Guardiola’s star-studded side.

Sky Blues are struggling to shake Liverpool off

It started to look like a perfect night for Manchester City as the Wednesday night Premier League updates rolled in: Chelsea and Liverpool were both losing. But Jurgen Klopp’s Reds launched a superb comeback to snatch all three points at Burnley to keep themselves within two points of the Blues.

The league leaders had a small scare at Vicarage Road on Tuesday after seemingly cruising to another comfortable win, but eventually triumphing by a narrow 1-2 scoreline. And at one point, that looked enough to pull the Sky Blues further clear.

But before Pep’s boys take the field at the Bridge, they could easily be in second place as Liverpool have a very winnable fixture away to Bournemouth in the lunchtime kick-off.

History

Chelsea’s Russian investment came in quite a few years earlier than City’s Middle Eastern cash, and that’s reflected in the Premier League head-to-heads. The Blues are on top with 24 wins to City’s 16, and there have been just seven draws.

Recent history is not so kind to Sarri’s team, though, as they haven’t won in the last three meetings. In fact, they have been defeated in all three without scoring a single goal.

Just two wins in the last five, in all competitions, is not the type of form to come into a game like this. Manchester City haven’t lost in 16 games, winning five and drawing two away from home. In addition to Sterling and Aguero, they have goals flying in from the boots of Leroy Sane (six), David Silva (five), and Riyad Mahrez (five). With a +38 goal difference, this team is a frightening prospect, particularly when you see it has only conceded seven goals.

So let’s take a look at the us odds to see where the value is.

Betting tip

??
Chelsea vs Manchester City Draw, First Half 1×2 @ 2.11
December 9, 1:30 (GMT+8)

The Sky Blues are just about odds-on at 1.96 to win, while Chelsea are quite long at 3.70 for a home side with such a talented team; the draw is 3.45. It looks like City could well come out on top, considering very recent form. But Chelsea are still unbeaten at home in the league, and Sarri will demand a disciplined performance from his side.

If Jorginho and Kante can get a grip of the midfield, then the Blues might get a solid foothold in the game. Moreover, I doubt there will be more than a single goal in the contest.

It could well be a draw, and it could well be 1-1 at odds of 6.80. But I’m going for a first-half stalemate and a fascinating second, which will show whether the Blues can stem the Champions’ irresistible tide.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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Premier League Review: City Dominate the Poor Cherries

Manchester City 3-1 AFC Bournemouth

I don’t think any Premier League fan worth his salt expected anything else out of this Manchester City-Bournemouth match.

While the Cherries have overperformed this season, the fact of the matter is that City have the better team than their south coast guests. Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane were especially outstanding in a game that didn’t see club hero Sergio Aguero take to the pitch.

Highlights of the game

The Sky Blues were the obvious favourites coming into this game, and only a few expected the possible Premier League 2018 results of this game going against the league leaders. City’s starting XI is still incredibly strong even though Sergio Aguero, the hero behind City’s Champions League draw with Lyon, was listed in the team.

Eddie Howe understood just how talented of a squad Pep Guardiola has and decided to start with five at the back. Lanky defender Tyrone Mings joined Steve Cook, Nathan Ake, Steve Francis and Charlie Daniels in their attempt to keep the hosts from scoring as much as possible.

The Cherries tried their hand in scoring early in order to put Manchester City in unfamiliar territory. Both Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser tried to score in the first minutes of the game, but the superb City defence prevented anything from happening in favour of the Cherries.

However, Manchester City soon showcased their dominance over their guests in the 16th minute. A long pass saw Sadio Mane with the ball inside the box. He tried to fire a shot, but Asmir Begovic managed to block the shot. However, Bernardo Silva got to the rebound first and scored the opener towards a relatively open goal.

The game began to swing in City’s favour as the Sky Blues began to pound the Cherries’ goal again and again. Ilkay Gundogan, Danilo and Raheem Sterling were especially dangerous during the half as they tried to double their lead.

However, it wasn’t like the south coast visitors were simply taking things without trying their own brand of attacking football. Fraser and Josh King tried their best to push the ball down the wings whenever they had the ball, but the Man City backline was just too strong.

Callum Wilson gave Manchester City after scoring the equaliser in their Premier League clash at Etihad Stadium

Callum Wilson rises for the header and scores the equaliser before the end of first half

The Cherries would soon get their equaliser right as the first half was winding down. Simon Francis was with the ball on the right wing, and he launched a nice lob towards the box. Callum Wilson leapt high and headed the ball past Ederson’s reach. The England international, who should have gotten his call-up years ago,  showed just why the Cherries have been successful this season.

The first half ended in a tie, but City played with renewed purpose in the second half. The Cherries almost weren’t able to hold the football as City upped the ante in the reset. Sterling and Danilo almost scoring during the 54th and 57th minute, respectively. Sterling, Bournemouth’s bogeyman, was soon able to retake the lead in the 57th minute after getting the rebound and firing towards the right corner.

 The match continued and City showed off the quality of their squad by bringing in quality players. Fabian Delph, David Silva, and Riyad Mahrez were all superb substitutes that seemingly only improved City’s XI with their entrance.

Silva, in particular, was instrumental in securing Manchester City’s third and final goal. From a corner, Silva passed the ball deep inside the Bournemouth box to Sane, and the young German made a quick pass to Gundogan. The former Borussia Dortmund man then slotted the ball past the Bournemouth defence for the winner.

The Cherries tried to salvage another late consolation goal, but City cannot be stopped when they play such dominant football. The game lived up to the script set by the Premier League 2018 odds, and Bournemouth leave the Etihad Stadium with a bitter taste in their mouths.

Key statistics

Manchester City played outstanding football to the point that they didn’t allow Bournemouth to touch the football at all. They held the Cherries to 27% possession through the game. They were especially brutal in the second frame as their guests only had 22% of the football. Begovic was quite busy with his three saves, but the final score showcased that the five-man backline didn’t do much in stopping Man City.

However, it’s not all gloomy for Bournemouth fans. Callum Wilson has been involved in 12 Bournemouth goals in his last 15 Premier League appearances. He was also the first forward to score against Manchester City in open play in the PL this season. He is definitely the pick among the Cherries this season.

What’s next?

Pep Guardiola and Manchester are now 5 points ahead in the Premier League table after defeating Bournemouth

Pep Guardiola and Eddie Howe talking after the match

Manchester City’s continued dominance in the league isn’t likely to stop any time soon. Pep’s team will face Watford up next in a game that they should dominate with ease. Chelsea on December 9th will be quite a challenge for them, but I think the Sky Blues have the quality to triumph over Maurizio Sarri’s Blues.

Meanwhile, Bournemouth will be hoping to snap their four-game losing skid against Huddersfield Town. After all, their opponents after the Terriers are Liverpool, and I don’t think Eddie Howe’s team has what it takes to stop them.

For more Premier League news and updates, always check with the reliable writers and punters at us.

 

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