Feyenoord vs Manchester City preview, betting tips and predictions: City to get off to great start in Europe
Draw HT/Manchester City FT @ 3/1 with SkyBet
Manchester City to win and BTTS @ 7/4 with SkyBet
Manchester City to win by exactly two goals @ 10/3 with SkyBet
Among a plethora of reasons, Manchester City hired Pep Guardiola to improve both their standing and performance in Europe. Since reaching the Champions League in 2011, their progress in the competition has been slow, only reaching the semi finals on one occasion. Last term, they were knocked out at the last 16 stage in what was Guardiola’s worst Champions League performance to an impressive Monaco side.
But this, on paper, could be a big year for City. They have avoided some of the world’s biggest clubs thanks to the new seeding system, which sees the European champions and each domestic league winner put in pot one. Feyenoord will be the main competitors for Guardiola’s side after an impressive season under former Arsenal man Giovani van Bronkhorst, who led them to the Eredivisie title. But after spending more than £200million on a lot of new players, City will be expected to perform, starting at De Kuip on Matchday 1.
Although they have not yet hit their stride yet, City’s is a side packed with creative and attacking quality. Guardiola may look to tinker with his selection given Feyenoord are also incredibly adept going forward, scoring 86 goals en route to their success last season; playing Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero together has often looked forced and left them open at the back, especially when playing such a high line and having only one holding midfielder in Fernandinho. Jean-Paul Boetus and Jens Toornstra were particularly impressive, and going into this game without much regard defensively could be disastrous for City. 7/4 on BTTS is a decent price, but the hosts should not be ruled out, especially at 11/2 to win with SkyBet.
As the game goes on, though, City’s superior quality should shine through. It has been a bit of a pattern so far this season for them that they struggle to break teams down early on, before putting pressure on and making the breakthrough in the second half, for example against both Everton and Bournemouth. The flip side of Feyenoord’s attackinf outlook is they themselves will leave themselves open. If City score first, they will gain control and it is unlikely they will lose that, making 10/3 a decent price for backing them to win comfortably.
Key battle: Tonny Vilhena vs Fernandinho
City will not win this game up front, because as mentioned they are likely to score anyway. Instead, keeping Feyenoord quiet is key and that could mean marking Tonny Vilhena. Built very much in the traditional mould of a Dutch footballer, Vilhena is a technical player who has endured ups and downs with Feyenoord but has grown into a crucial player recently. Because City have always left space in behind, he will be able to impact the game. If he can get one on one with Fernandinho and have the strikers making runs, City could be in deep trouble because the defence still has the same issues as it has done for a long time, especially without captain Vincent Kompany. Feyenoord were one of the most expansive teams in Europe last season, and Vilhena had a huge tole to play in that.