Sunday, May 28, 2017

Prediction: Celtic vs Manchester City


Verdict: Man City/Man City

Best Odds: 5/6

Bookmaker: bet365

Having suffered an embarrassing 7-0 loss to Barcelona in their opening fixture, Celtic will be hoping to avoid another heavy defeat when they take on red-hot Manchester City. The Citizens have yet to suffer the first setback of the season and they hope to make it 11 wins on the bounce at Parkhead.

Celtic

Celtic have had an eventful start to the season under former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers and there have already been plenty of ups and downs. The Bhoys did well to qualify for the Champions League group stages before hammering both Aberdeen and Rangers to prove who’s the boss in Scotland, but they were soon grounded as Barcelona scored 7 past Dorus de Vries in their opening Champions League fixture. While the Catalans are obviously at another level, the heavy defeat went to show that Celtic are not exactly ready to match the best sides in Europe and we definitely expect them to struggle against high-flying Manchester City as well. The Bhoys even experienced problems against minnows Lincoln Red Imps, Astana and Hapoel Be’er Sheva on the European stage, so we cannot honestly expect them to show miraculous improvement when facing the Premier League leaders. Back to back wins over Alloa Athletic and Kilmarnock won’t matter much for the Man City game, and we don’t think that even the vociferous support at Parkhead will change anything this time out as Celtic will be up against a team in great form.

Team News

Craig Gordon is expected to be preferred to Dorus de Vries, seeing that the Dutch goalkeeper is not fully fit and has also struggled for form.

The good news is that Josip Simunovic has recovered from a knee problem, but Gary Mackay-Steven is out through an ankle problem.

Manchester City

It is fair to say that most pundits expected Pep Guardiola to improve the Manchester City squad, but not too many people could imagine the Spaniard would make such a remarkable impact so early into his career at Etihad Stadium. Manchester City impressed to win first ten competitive fixtures in the new season, playing great football in the process, and it is important to note that only four of those wins were achieved by a single-goal margin. The Citizens were unfortunate to have key playmaker Kevin De Bruyne pick up an injury that will see him miss around a month of action, but his absence may not prove such a big issue now that Ilkay Gundogan not only returned into action, but proved he is already in a very good shape. With Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Kelechi Iheanacho bagging goals for fun, and most other players in very good form, we seriously doubt Celtic will become the first side to stop Man City in their tracks this season. And while the Citizens do not exactly boast an impressive away record in the Champions League, this is a whole different team that hammered Steaua 5-0 in their opening CL match this term.

Team News

Belgium internationals Vincent Kompany and Kevin De Bruyne miss out through injury, but Nolito returns from a domestic suspension.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Man City won all 10 games this season
  • The Citizens scored 30 goals in the process
  • Celtic failed to score in last two CL games, conceding 9 goals in total (L2)
  • The Bhoys won six straight home games in CL qualifiers
  • Sergio Aguero notched 11 goals in last 7 appearances

Conclusion

Even if they have been quite convincing on domestic stage, Celtic are no match for relentless Manchester City, who are playing their best football in years. We fully expect the Citizens to take an early lead and ease off to what will be their 11th consecutive victory on all fronts.

Verdict: Man City/Man City

Best Odds: 5/6

Bookmaker: bet365

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