Pep Guardiola has a reputation as a coach who puts out a team full of attacking flair that’s drilled to never give the ball away – and if they do they get it back again ASAP!

As you would expect, the newly-crowned Premier League champions are this season’s top scorers so far with 72 goals.

That’s four more than my team, likely runners-up United, who ended up being the reluctant “king makers” with our weakened team predictably going down to Leicester on Tuesday at Old Trafford.

Emphasising City’s attacking prowess – even though Guardiola often starts without a recognised centre forward – they have notched SEVENTEEN more league goals in 35 matches than fellow Champions League finalists Chelsea.

But for me the biggest difference has been Guardiola’s master stroke ending City’s reputation of having a soft centre following the departure of defensive kingpin and club talisman Vincent Kompany.

Step forward world class defender Ruben Dias, who was brought in for what has turned out to be a bargain £64million from his boyhood club Benfica.

The Portuguese international’s determination, consistency and attitude has been key to this highly successful season that could end up with fans celebrating a historic treble.

You only need to check out the goals conceded column – City have let in just 26, compared with United’s 38 and Leicester’s 44.

No wonder Betfred have Dias as 6/4 second favourite to be PFA Player of the Year behind United’s Bruno Fernandes at 11/8 – while current leading goalscorer AND assist maker Harry Kane is a 5/1 shot.

I paid out back in March on City being champions – and Betfred have the Blues 8/11 to win the Premier League again next season ahead of Chelsea who have shortened to 5/1 – while United and Liverpool are 6/1 shots and Spurs and Leicester are available at 40/1.

On Thursday, the big question is whether United will field another weakened team, as they did against Leicester, in the re-arranged Old Trafford fixture against Liverpool.

I’m praying they don’t because there is no better feeling than beating Liverpool, especially this season as they chase a top-four finish.

Liverpool, who have so much more to play for, are 5/4 favourites with United 7/4 for the three points.

Mo Salah is 10/3 favourite to score the opener, but I’m reckoning it will be Edinson Cavani who will be celebrating his new United contract with the first goal at a tempting 5/1.

Whenever you bet, Betfred

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