Urawa Red Diamonds vs Manchester City betting tips
Manchester City will kick off their 2023 Club World Cup campaign against Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds in Tuesday’s semi-final.
Cityzens boss Pep Guardiola is a three-time winner of this competition as a manager, although not with City, and can win it for a fourth time in Saudi Arabia.
Urawa Red Diamonds knocked out Concacaf Champions League winners Leon in the last round to make the final four where they will come up against City.
Football betting sites have priced Guardiola’s team as strong favourites, but there will be an element of the unknown to this fixture. Can the Japanese side pull off a shock?
City defence to provide foundation for victory
Manchester City’s defence hasn’t been in the best of form recently, illustrated by the fact they have conceded in each of their last eight matches in all competitions.
Indeed, the 3-0 win over Young Boys in the Champions League in mid-November was the last time City managed to keep a clean sheet.
However, the underlying numbers suggest this run of form will correct itself soon enough given they have conceded eight shots or fewer in seven of their last 10 games – the defeat to Aston Villa, where City conceded 22 shots, was something of an anomaly.
City are odds-on with most UK betting sites to win to nil, and this looks like a good opportunity to record a rare shutout.
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Urawa Red Diamonds aren’t exactly known for their free-scoring ability, scoring just 42 times in 34 J-League matches, and City could well be able to hold them at arm’s length.
The Japanese team’s semi-final victory over Leon also saw them lose a number of key players to injury including left-back Takahiro Akimoto, right-back Takahiro Sekine and winger Tomoaki Okubo.
If Urawa can target the space in behind the City full-backs, as a number of opponents have recently, they could pose a threat. However, the numbers suggest they will struggle to make an impression on the scoreline.
Urawa vs Man City Tip 1: Man City to win to nil – 20/23 at BetVictor
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Grealish back in vogue
Not so long ago, Jack Grealish was facing questions about his status at Manchester City after Jeremy Doku took his place in the lineup.
It wasn’t until the 3-3 draw against Tottenham Hotspur earlier this month that Grealish scored his first goal of the season, but the England international has looked more like his old self in recent appearances.
Indeed, Grealish has found the back of the net three times in his last four games, including in the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace at the weekend, and seems to have regained the trust of Guardiola.
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Injuries played a role in pushing Grealish back into the Manchester City first team, but the 28-year-old has taken his opportunity and is once again proving to be a difference-maker in the final third.
Julian Alvarez is expected to start in the centre forward position as Erling Haaland continues his recovery from injury with Doku still carrying a knock heading into the match.
Grealish is expected to start against Urawa Red Diamonds on Tuesday and we’re backing him to continue his recent good goalscoring run with our second Urawa vs Man City predictions.
Urawa vs Man City Tip 2: Jack Grealish to score at any time – 9/5 at 10Bet
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City’s firepower to prove too much for Urawa
Guardiola has flown a full squad to Saudi Arabia for the Club World Cup this month with Haaland and Kevin de Bruyne included.
Tuesday’s match could come too soon for the pair to start, but there’s every chance they could feature off the bench as they make their recovery from injury. This is a frightening prospect for Urawa Red Diamonds and is reflected in the odds on betting apps for a high-scoring City win.
While the Premier League champions have struggled for consistent form recently, they have still scored two or more goals in five of their last six matches in all competitions.
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Urawa Red Diamonds will likely sit deep and try to stay compact, but Manchester City have the technicians to play through the Japanese team who will have to chase the game if they fall behind. This would open up more space for City in attack.
On top of this, Urawa will be playing their fourth game in the last 10 days. Fatigue could become a factor for them, particularly when chasing City in possession late on in the game. This could be a step too far for them.
Urawa vs Man City Tip 3: Man City over 3.5 goals – 2/1 at with William Hill
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Graham Ruthven is a football writer and podcaster who has worked for the Guardian, New York Times, Eurosport, Optus Sport and many others. He boasts an extensive knowledge of football around the world and has been a betting tipster for a number of years.
Sophie Anderson, a UK-based writer, is your guide to the latest trends, viral sensations, and internet phenomena. With a finger on the pulse of digital culture, she explores what’s trending across social media and pop culture, keeping readers in the know about the latest online sensations.