Manchester City will once again look to regain the Premier League top spot when they welcome relegation-battlers Cardiff to the Etihad on Wednesday night.
Pep Guardiola’s men picked up a 2-0 win against another relegation-battler Fulham at Craven Cottage over the weekend with goals from Sergio Aguero and Bernardo Silva. The Citizens currently possess 77 points, two behind Liverpool and have a game in hand.
Thus, a win will see City reclaim the top spot ahead of their FA Cup semi-final against Brighton and Hove Albion at the Wembley on Saturday. Pep’s side are on course for winning the quadruple this season, having picked up the League Cup against Chelsea back in February.
They are in control of the PL title race, into the semi-finals of the FA Cup as well as the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League, making the quadruple dream a real possibility. If not for Liverpool’s splendid performances this season, the Premier League would have been another walk in the park for City after picking up a record 100 points last season.
Their opponents, Cardiff City, are in a battle of their own with Neil Warnock’s side currently occupying the 18th spot in the PL table. The Bluebirds currently have 28 points and have a game in hand over Burnley in 17th place, who possess 33 points.
Southampton (16th) and Brighton (15th) have the exact same number of points, however, the former have played the same number of games as Cardiff while the latter have a game in hand. Below them, Huddersfield are already relegated while Fulham are 11 points behind the Welsh club, implying they are going down as well.
In terms of team news, Benjamin Mendy is back on the training pitches but Pep insists he needs time to build match fitness. Vincent Kompany is a doubt for the tie while Fabian Delph looks likely to miss out.
The big worry for City would be Aguero’s availability for the match. The Argentine was subbed off as a precaution over the weekend against Fulham. The league’s leading goalscorer could potentially be not risked considering the importance of upcoming games and the presence of another reliable striker in Gabriel Jesus.
Neil Warnock will be without Sol Bamba, Callum Paterson, and Matthew Connolly while Jazz Richards is still not ready to play. Apart from that, the Cardiff boss has no fresh injury concerns.
In terms of a match-up, it looks nothing short of a mismatch. Cardiff’s squad pales in comparison to that of City’s and the latter’s incredible home form should see them plunder goals with ease.
However, teams fighting for survival at this stage of the season are tricky opponents and Aguero’s absence could give the Bluebirds a slim chance with Jesus not in the best of form.
Talking about team form, the home team have won each of their last five games while the travelling side have lost four of their last five, thereby placing the odds firmly in City’s favor.
Thus, City are firm favorites for this tie as they look to continue their winning streak in search for consecutive Premier League titles. We expect the goals scored will be Over 4.
Manchester City to win AH -3 @ 1.83 at Pinnacle Sports
Total Goals: Over 4 @ 1.91 at Pinnacle Sports