1.50 Newbury - Friday
Horse Racing analyst Will Smith has had a good look at all this weekend's ante-post markets, and provides a 7/1 EW selection in the Grade 2 novices' chase at Newbury on Friday.
Man City have a realistic chance of winning the FA Cup, Premier League, and Champions League this season and the prospect of a historic Treble is exciting interest in the betting markets, with bookie Skybet offering odds of 8/1 that City will win all three titles.
After a 2-0 win over Championship side Peterborough this week with magnificent goals from Riyad Mahrez and Jack Grealish, Manchester City now progress to the FA Cup quarter-finals. The draw is taking place later today with live coverage from 7.30pm on ITV. Holders Leicester City are no longer in the competition after their 4-1 defeat at the hands of Nottingham Forest last month, but Liverpool and Chelsea remain in contention and we expect Man City will need to stay on top form to reach the final on 14 May.
Man City, who have a huge selection of world-class players at their disposal including World Cup Top Scorer hopeful Phil Foden, are favourites to win the Premier League title this season and currently top the table, despite a recent loss to Tottenham at the Etihad. Rivals Liverpool are still very much in the running and, only six points behind with a game in hand, the Reds are in formidable form just now. But Pep Guardiola’s team remain confident they can hold off Liverpool’s charge and retain the Premier League trophy that they won last season. The tussle between the two clubs will be decided by 22 May, the final day of the season when City play Aston Villa at home and Liverpool host Wolves at Anfield.
So far, Champions League success has eluded Manchester City. Last year they were runners-up to Chelsea in Porto after Kai Havertz scored in the first half and City were unable to retaliate, perhaps due to tactical reshuffles and the loss of Kevin De Bruyne during the second half due to injury. Winning the Champions League has been Pep Guardiola’s number one objective since his appointment in 2016 and the Catalan will hope that his talented team will go one better this year and lift the European Cup at the Final on 28 May at the Stade de France in Paris. City will play the second leg in the Round of 16 next week and hold a commanding 5-0 lead on aggregate against Sporting Lisbon. Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea will also be playing next week and there remains a realistic possibility of an all England final once again this year.
Winning the Treble would be a fantastic achievement for the dominant club in the Premier League just now but it remains an enormous challenge given the uncertainties of the draws, the vagaries of each game, the possibility of injuries to key players and the sheer grind of the relentless workload remaining in the three competitions would present. The odds of 8/1 from Skybet are favourable given these factors and the sheer depth of talent of opposition teams, particularly in the Champions League.
More likely scenarios are winning the domestic double of the FA Cup and the Premier League, with odds of 15/8 from Irish bookmaker Paddy Power. The odds of winning the Premier League and the Champions League are 3/1 from the same bookie, with the odds for the FA Cup and Champions League 7/1. Manchester City have won the Premier League title three times in the past four seasons (being runners-up to Liverpool in 2019/20), and City are favourites to win the Premier League once again this season. It is difficult to envisage that City will fail to win at least one of the three competitions and, with Liverpool still trying to win the quadruple, football fans are sure to be excited about the prospect of some great footballing rivalry over the crucial remaining weeks of the season.