Weblog: The football punter

Man City striker Gabriel Jesus could sink Swans

Premier League
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Premier League champions Manchester City have earned the right to have a massive party in front of their home supporters but expectations of a big win against struggling Swansea may be wide of the mark.

While some City fans have been getting drunk on their team's success the sobering reality for Swansea is an unfinished relegation battle which may well hinge on how hard they battle in Manchester.

Goal difference could have a bearing on the fight to stay up and Swansea's (-19) is just one better than third-bottom Southampton (-20), who they face in south Wales on the penultimate weekend of the season.

Swansea hold a precious four-point lead over Southampton but that could be eaten into if they struggle over the next three games -  away to City, at home to Chelsea and away to Bournemouth.

Getting any points against City will be a tall order but Swansea manager Carlos Carvalhal will be keen to avoid a mauling to keep the goal difference competitive and confidence intact.

The Portuguese has done a fantastic job since his December appointment, steering the Swans to five league wins, five draws and just two defeats.

Defensively, they have been vastly improved and Carvalhal will have them set up to frustrate City as much as possible.

Swansea have pulled off a few memorable rearguard actions this year - winning at home to Liverpool (1-0) and Arsenal (3-1) and digging out a 0-0 draw at Huddersfield despite Jordan Ayew's 11th-minute red card.

But City have not been shut out in a Premier League home game since the 0-0 draw with Manchester United last April and should eventually find the breakthrough, even if their usual focus and intensity are not on display.

There is no such thing as a dead rubber for perfectionist Pep Guardiola, who will already be putting his plans in place for next season.

And City's players will be aware that any slacking off could jeopardise their chances of being part of the club's seemingly stunning future.

Sergio Aguero's absence leaves City without their leading marksman but Gabriel Jesus rose to the challenge in fine style with a superb goal in the 3-1 victory over Tottenham and he looks like being the main danger to Swansea.

Jesus has a run of games to catch the eye of Guardiola and Brazil head coach Tite in the build-up to the World Cup and could be among the sharper City players on the pitch.

The 21-year-old appeals as a first-scorer bet but anyone expecting a glut of goals could be disappointed.

G Jesus first scorer

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Match in Focus

19:45 Sa 26May BT2

Real Madrid v Liverpool

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Real have won just one of their last four Champions League meetings against English opposition
Expert verdict
Real Madrid have lifted the Champions League in three of the past four seasons but they could struggle to retain their crown against a lively Liverpool. Real have been the dominant force in Europe, with last year’s 4-1 thumping of Juventus in the final in Cardiff showcasing their superiority. However, Zinedine Zidane’s men have not bumped into a front three like the Reds’ often - Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have netted 29 of their 40 Champions League goals this season - and they are vulnerable to the counter-attack.