These days Manchester City are one of Europe’s biggest clubs, attracting some of the world’s most wanted stars. A season without a trophy was an unacceptable return in 2016-17 so much more is expected this time round and the pressure is definitely on Pep Guardiola to deliver silverware in 2018. So how will they fare?
For most clubs, a top three Premier League finish would represent a solid return, but expectations are a little higher at the Etihad Stadium. Pep Guardiola’s side won their first six games but lost their way after a 2-0 defeat to Tottenham in October, and eventually had to fight hard to hold onto a top three spot ahead of Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United. An exit from the Champions League at the last sixteen stage and an FA Cup semi-final defeat to Arsenal completed the picture of a thoroughly disappointing season.
Despite last season’s disappointments, bookmakers have taken a strong view about Manchester City’s Premier League credentials and have unanimously made them favourites to secure the title. They are currently best-priced 19/10 with BWin in the Premier League winners market and 2/9 with TenBet to finish in the top four.
While domestic success is hugely important for Manchester City, European glory is even more keenly sought after. According to bookmakers, City are the most likely English winners of the Champions League in 2017-18 at 14/1 with 888 Sport and the fifth favourites overall.
Alternatively, if you think things could go disastrously wrong for City you might be tempted by the 66/1 available with BetVictor for Pep Guardiola to be the first Premier League manager to leave his post during the 2017-18 season.
What do the punters think?
Punters appear to be in agreement with the bookmakers on Manchester City’s Premier League chances. Just over a fifth of all bets in the Premier League Winners market have been placed on Manchester City, a figure that is more than twice that of any other club. Punters seem less optimistic about their European chances, with City accounting for only 7% of bets taken in the Champions League Winners market.
With so much talent in their squad, Manchester City have live contenders in all of the main Players markets. Up front, the tussle to be first choice striker between Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus looks to be a fascinating contest. Aguero has the edge in the Premier League Top Scorer market and can be backed at 6/1 with SkyBet, compared to the 9/1 BetVictor are offering about Jesus. The Argentine is also the shortest priced City player in the Player of the Year Award market, available at 20/1 with Paddy Power, along with Kevin De Bruyne, who can be backed at the same price with William Hill.
Jesus also appears in the Young Player of the Year Award, where he is best priced 11/2 with Paddy Power, while fellow City youngster Leroy Sane is available at 10/1 with BetVictor and England star Raheem Sterling can be backed at 14/1 with Paddy Power.
Manchester City have already been making waves in the transfer market having acquired Bernardo Silva, Ederson, Kyle Walker and Danilo, but it seems unlikely that they will end their summer dealings there. Southampton full back is one of a number of players to be linked with a move to the Etihad, and he can be backed to make the switch at 4/6 with Bet Victor. The same bookmaker rate Napoli winger Dries Mertens and Tottenham’s Danny Rose as 4/1 and 10/1 chances respectively to move to Manchester City, while Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez is also on City’s radar and is rated as a 7/2 shot to join the club by Sky Bet.