Manchester City will be competing in the Carabao Cup Final; that and much more regarding this match is clear.
Burton Albion will be fighting for pride, and in absence of that they’ll be fighting to avoid another humiliation.
City most recently managed to swerve what could have been a searching test. A home match against a newly promoted side wouldn’t typically represent a tough game but Wolves, as has been well documented, aren’t a typical promoted side.
Ultimately, Wolves let themselves down in an opening 20 minute spell that saw them have a man sent off nine minutes after Gabriel Jesus ghosted in at the back post untroubled. From then on it was a matter of keeping the score down. Which they did admirably.
Prior to that 3-0 win, City secured their place in the Carabao Cup Final with a club record equaling 9-0 victory over Nigel Clough’s Albion.
Five straight wins, three clean sheets and Jesus back in the goals in a major way suggest the Manchester machine is back in gear.
Clough was magnanimous in defeat in their first leg nightmare loss. A learning experience for their relatively young team. Far more concerning for Burton Albion and their manager was last weekend’s costly last minute concession to Gillingham in League One.
What that may do to their already rattled confidence could be realised in rather scary fashion at the ‘Pirelli Stadium’.
Their home form in the league outside of that defeat to Gillingham has been patchy – P14 W7 D2 L5. There’s little in terms of consolation for Burton Albion ahead of this game.
Albion conceded 74 per cent possession to City in that first leg. With that came 28 shots on their goal.
A similar set of stats will likely lead to another thrashing. Whether it’s Sergio Aguero or Jesus (seven goals in his last three starts) that get the nod, Riyad Mahrez or Raheem Sterling. the reality is Guardiola’s side will have the drive to keep coming at their opposition regardless of the context.
Albion’s full backs John Brayford and 18-year-old Reece Hutchinson in particular can expect yet another long evening if they are to start again.
This is City’s dogma. They move the ball side to side, and forward and back between lines of attack and defence until they can run in behind in wide positions. How many goals have they scored from by-line cut-backs?
The Whole Nine Goals.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 10, 2019
Burton – Scott Fraser came off injured against Doncaster on Saturday and looks likely to miss out.
Man City – Benjamin Mendy and Claudio Bravo are long-term absentees. Kevin de Bruyne and Sergio Agüero are now back to full fitness and, with head coach Pep Guardiola suggesting that he will again field a strong side, City will be keen to add to the 102 goals they have already scored this season, more than any team in the top-five leagues in Europe.
City beat the recommended handicap of -3 in 34 minutes last time out.
While there are tempting prices at bigger gaps, I think the 21/10 about -3 is the bet again here
Man City -3 to win