Welcome to Shay Says, the latest football betting blog from LeoVegas’ Irish ambassador, Shay Given.
This week, the Republic of Ireland and Premier League legend previews this Saturday’s FA Cup Final between Manchester United and Manchester City.
We’ve also got his views on next week’s Champions League Final between Manchester City and Inter Milan as the football season draws to a close.
Let’s see what Shay Says!
The week leading up to the FA Cup final is brilliant. We used to get fitted with suits, and I remember Alan Shearer’s jersey being on the Angel of the North! It’s one of the most famous trophies in world football and remains a special day.
Manchester City have had a couple of bad results since winning the league, but I don’t think it will affect them too much.
Once you win the league, there’s a lot of relief and celebrations. I know Pep Guardiola will allow it too – despite them winning it five times in the last six years, this one feels very special for the players and staff.
I wouldn’t be worried about the last couple of games – their focus will be on this fixture, so I have no concerns that they won’t be ready for Saturday, especially against one of their arch rivals in Manchester United.
I imagine Manchester United will have a similar game plan to when they beat them at Old Trafford – City will have a lot of the ball and United will try to hit them on the counterattack.
United can be stubborn when they want to, David de Gea has got the most clean sheets this year and they can be very difficult to break down.
They’ve already won the League Cup earlier in the season and they’ll want to stop City from winning the treble too, and they’re definitely one of the teams who can do it.
I think City will be too strong here, I’m backing them to win 3-1. If they’re all singing and dancing like they were in the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid, they will have too much for them.
Erling Haaland has had a bit of a goal drought by his standards recently, so I’m backing him to score one!
SHAY SAYS: MANCHESTER CITY 3-1 MANCHESTER UNITED
I think this will be the tougher game for Manchester City than the FA Cup final, purely from a psychological point of view.
I was lucky enough to go to the Champions League Final between City and Chelsea a few years ago and everyone though they’d just turn up and win the game, but sometimes the pressure on such a big occasion is the biggest hurdle for teams like this.
People sometimes forget about the psychology of sport and football and the pressure on these players’ shoulders. That’s why I think it’s tougher to win than the FA Cup.
Inter have got a lot of quality in their squad – Edin Dzeko and Henrik Mkhitaryan scored in the semi-finals and Romelu Lukaku remains a threat.
They’ll be quite defensive against City but they’re very quick on the break, and when they do go they really commit bodies forward. The game will be set up for City to have a lot of the ball, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll win the match.
Inter have showed how defensive they can be in that second leg against AC Milan, so it’s not going to be an easy game by any stretch.
Despite this, I think City will have too much again for their opponents. If they get an early goal it will ease any nerves and allow them to play their football.
I’m going with 2-0 to City, with Ilkay Gundogan getting on the scoresheet.
SHAY SAYS: MANCHESTER CITY 2-0 INTER MILAN
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*all odds correct at the time of writing and are subject to change