On Saturday, Manchester City will travel to Swansea City for a FA Cup quarter-final match and Bonusbets.com looks at the two teams and the betting preview for the game.
If past history is anything to go by then the Citizens must surely be the favourites, their last Saturday evening match in Wales saw them rack up an impressive 4-1 win over a brave League Two Newport County in the fifth round.
This time the multi-million pound squad will travel some 50 miles further west to face former Premier League outfit Swansea City, whom only last season were playing host to teams like Manchester City.
Citeh’s record at the Liberty Stadium also makes pleasant reading if you’re a fan of the Citizens, with only a solitary defeat against the Swans in eight visits.
Although that 1-0 reverse seven years ago this month still holds painful memories for the blue half of Manchester.
The meeting with the Swans means that City’s game against their closest rivals Manchester United will be rearranged, and progression in the FA Cup will surely boost their confidence for when the crucial derby match does take place.
One player who will be watched closely in this game is former Man City academy graduate and Kosovo international midfielder Bersant Celina, who moved to the Swans on 31 July 2018 for an undisclosed fee.
He was questioned about any potential clashes with his former team long before this match was drawn and at the time he said:
It would mean a lot as I was there for six years and I went all the way through the academy to playing first-team games. I want to go and prove to them that I’m very good and that they had made a mistake (in letting him go). I would want to do well against them. I would want to go and beat them. I’m a Manchester City supporter, and I want them to do well, but if they play against us, I’d want to throw them out of the FA Cup.”
In any clash between a Premier League team and a Championship team, the odds are going to naturally stack in favour of the higher placing side, which is of course Manchester City in this case.
They are not just a Premier League outfit, but current title holders and sitting at the top of the table, although they have been facing off with Liverpool and just one point separates them at the time of writing.
Guardiola’s side are through to the Champions League Quarter Finals, after hammering German side Schalke 7-0 on Tuesday night, and look in ominous form ahead of Saturday’s game.
Swansea, who currently sit 15th in the Championship table after a thoroughly miserable 3-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion, will not look forward to the visit of City, whom have already scored 79 goals in the Premier League this season.
Complacency can be a dangerous thing though and no doubt Potter’s team will be up a game that few, if anyone, gives them a chance of winning.
They will undoubtedly be a tough act to knock out, especially at a packed Liberty Stadium, and Guardiola will be making sure his side are there to win and will most certainly not underestimate Graham Potter’s young side, just as they didn’t with fellow Welsh side Newport County.
Currently, Kevin De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Aymeric Laporte and John Stones were all absent due to injury and did not play in last weekend’s Premier League triumph over Watford, but there are hopes that they will be fit ahead of this match in a few days time, with Laporte having played against Schalke 04 in midweek and Stones on the bench.
As it stands the Swansea squad will be missing captain Leroy Fer, as well as key defenders Joe Rodon and Martin Olsson, all of which are a big blow and will certainly not help the Swans chances of beating one, if not the, best team in the UK.
Swansea will also be hoping that leading scorer and Scottish International striker Oli McBurnie will have recovered from his recent illness to lead the Swans attack.
It will be important that Manchester City do not get complacent; however, it is not just about turning up; other big clubs have bottled their games because they got overconfident.
As Kevin De Bruyne said recently – “The goal is not to win the four competitions, the goal is to win every game,” he explained. “The further you progress you win the competition, but you can’t set the standards at the beginning of the year to win all four competitions. That’s nearly impossible.”
Whatever happens come Saturday evening, it will be an almighty shock should Manchester City fail to overcome their mid-table Championship opponents at the Liberty Stadium in front of the BT Sport cameras.