Up for the Cups


Pep Guardiola

No one – and I mean no one – could believe Pep Guardiola would start against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu with arguably the world’s best striker Sergio Aguero on the bench

But City of course won, making club history by beating the most successful club side in Europe if not the planet, for the very first time.

I’m not wanting to be a party-pooper but this was no vintage Real team. They looked tired without Ronaldo and in need of a total rebuild – a bit like my lot United.

So since the famous headline-grabbing win in Spain it was a case of all hail Pep, who again demonstrated his tactical genius to play Gabriel Jesus in a deeper position – and bring on the eager-to-impress Raheem Sterling who won a penalty as the sluggish home team wilted.

Now attention switches to tomorrow and City taking on Aston Villa at Wembley in the Carabao Cup final.

The big question is – how will Guardiola motivate his troops against Premier League strugglers, having just outplayed Europe’s elite?

Don’t worry – this fella, who I’d love to have succeeded Sir Alex at my club United, will find a way!

He’s the best coach money can hire and that includes one Jurgen Klopp.

The bottom line is that when the money is spent the players will still have their medals so believe me they will ALL want to play in the final.

It will be interesting to see how he juggles his superstar squad but I’m hoping for starts for Aguero, Sterling and of course David Silva, in his last season at the club.

Betfred are 3/1 that Aguero scores the opener tomorrow, with Sterling 22/1 to notch a hat-trick. If those odds don’t take your fancy then we’re 10/1 that City hit Villa for six, just like they did in the Premier League.

I will be watching out to see how Villa’s Jack Grealish performs against some of the best midfielders we’ve ever seen, particularly Kevin De Bruyne, who is simply superb and capable of walking into ANY side.

Grealish is incidentally 20/1 at Betfred to join City this summer – a deal that could cost City £100m-plus.

This lad is a class act who would fit in nicely at Old Trafford! Maybe we could afford him after finally selling Paul Pogba … now that would make my day.

I am a huge Guardiola fan but he made a big mistake not strengthening the City defence with the departure of Vincent Kompany. Even before the  2-1 win in Madrid I always feared there is a mistake in Nicolas Otamendi .

His inclusion tomorrow won’t make any difference in what will be a stroll for City but in the Champions League weakness at the back could be a factor now we’re well into the business end of the elite European competition that the club’s Abu Dhabi owners cherish so much.

And just for you Blues, who enjoyed such a REAL confidence booster, Betfred are today 7/1 that Guardiola wins a Cup treble – Carabao Cup, Champions League, and FA Cup.


Whenever you bet, Betfred