They might be reigning Premier League champions, but Manchester City’s pre-season preparations got off to a disappointing start on Friday when they lost 1-0 to Saudi side Al Hilal in Austria.
Next up for the Citizens is a game against second-tier German side Dynamo Dresden and, despite their setback last week, they go into the fixture as 3/10 favourites to pick up a win in bwin’s 3Way football betting market.
There were mitigating circumstances for City’s recent defeat, not least the fact that manager Roberto Mancini chose to use 24 players in the match.
While the players who took part in Euro 2012 are still on their holidays, Mancini is hardly down to the bare bones, even if he is choosing to give experience to a number of the club’s most talented youngsters.
Such frequent chopping and changing can hardly have helped continuity, although it should also be noted that the likes of Carlos Tevez, Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta, Yaya Toure, Adam Johnson and Kolo Toure all featured at various stages.
So while the players who took part in Euro 2012 are still on their holidays, Mancini is hardly down to the bare bones, even if he is choosing to give experience to a number of the club’s most talented youngsters.
With this in mind, it is difficult to see City slipping to another defeat this evening (a Dynamo Dresden win is priced at 6/1), even if a policy of changing the entire team at half time is continued.
After all, Mancini did something similar last season and City won all of their pre-season friendlies leading up to their title-winning campaign.
Nevertheless, the squad Mancini has at his disposal doesn’t look as strong as the one he took to America last year and, with Dynamo Dresden already eight games into their preparations for the new season, City could still be vulnerable at this early stage of the season.
As such, the draw looks a big price at 4/1, with a £20 free bet on this outcome set to return £100.
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Of course, with a few extra days’ training under their belts City should be sharper and the chances are that they will return to winning ways.
But even if they do come out on top, backing Dynamo Dresden to score at least one goal looks a decent shout at 7/10.
With Al Hilal scoring last Friday and the opposition getting a goal in two of City’s first three friendlies of last season, not to mention Mancini’s rotation policy, the Citizens are likely to concede once more.
Recommended bet: Dynamo Dresden to score at least one goal @ 7/10
Outside punt: Dynamo Dresden to draw with Man City @ 4/1
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