Suffering an extremely surprising 3-2 loss away at Norwich on Saturday evening, a result that sent shockwaves across Europe, Manchester City must now turn their attention to Champions League duty on Wednesday.
Now watching Liverpool extend their buffer to five points over Pep Guardiola’s side, the Sky Blues will make an unenviable trip to Russia in midweek in what could be a lively contest in Kharkiv.
With Shakhtar Donetsk recording seven consecutive victories since opening the new Russian Premier League campaign and the only side to record a 100% start, they too have enjoyed a free-scoring start to the New Year.
You will be interested to know that the last eight combined matches between Shakhtar and the defending English champions have seen over 3.5 goals in their respective leagues so far. With City picking up a 6-0 win the last time they met, another high-scoring encounter can be found at 13/10 with Bet365.
Shakhtar’s stellar start continues
While Shakhtar may have left it late against Zorya over the weekend, Luís Castro’s men have returned from the international break still enjoying a real purple patch.
Already holding a commanding seven-point buffer at the top of the Russian Premier League and laying down an early marker, Hirnyky are already in pole position to clinch their fourth straight domestic crown.
Now priced at 6/5 with Ladbrokes to secure a route out of Group E, a group that they share with City, Atalanta, and Dinamo Zagreb, Wednesday’s hosts should also be boosted by their recent European performances on home soil.
Including clinching a famous 2-1 win over Guardiola’s side back in 2017, the Russian giants have lost just a single Champions League match at the Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist since November 2015.
Bagging 13 goals in just their last three domestic appearances and really showing a string of attacking flare since Castro’s arrival, one man to watch on Wednesday will be the red-hot Júnior Moraes.
Once again bagging a brace over the weekend, the 32-year-old already has six goals to his name and you will be interested to know that Shakhtar’s leading man can be found at 16/5 with Betfair to extend that run in midweek.
City in need of a response
While Pep Guardiola’s defending champions may have rightfully made the trip to Carrow Road as an overwhelming favourite on Saturday evening, the former Barcelona boss is calling on an immediate response from his side.
Now watching Liverpool hold a five-point buffer and move into pole position to snatch away City’s domestic crown, their defeat on the road last weekend was their first loss since crashing out of the Champions League against Spurs back in April.
Despite watching their unbeaten run come to an end over the weekend, the Sky Blues find themselves as a huge favourite to top land top spot in Group C.
Wednesday’s hosts are already pencilled in at 1/6 to secure top spot come December and can also be found at 10/3 to win their first European title outright, ahead of both Barcelona and Liverpool.
Although the news that defensive talisman Aymeric Laporte is sidelined until February may have hit Guardiola’s defence in a major way, the citizens do have one striker enjoying a continued eye-catching run.
Scoring a consolation goal in East Anglia over the weekend, City’s Sergio Aguero has now found the net in each of his opening five Premier League appearances and can be found at 10/11 to extend his run at SkyBet.