Don't be surprised if Premier League elite are shocked on a tricky weekend
Manchester City and Chelsea face tough tests getting back to domestic matters
Manchester City and Chelsea are looking good in their Champions League semi-final ties but they face trickier weekend matches than the bookmakers' prices would suggest.
I was looking at the odds and Crystal Palace to beat City 1-0 at 22-1 just jumped off my computer screen. Of course City should win, but as red-hot favourites Pep Guardiola's side are ones to swerve after the week they have just had.
Winning the League Cup final followed by that magnificent second-half performance in Paris on Wednesday to overturn a 1-0 deficit to win 2-1 means City have one trophy in the bag, another to come with the Premier League title so close and the men from Manchester also have a foot in the Champions League final.
However, the circumstances of this Palace game means it is more awkward than it looks on paper. Selhurst is not the most hospitable place to go, it's tight and difficult to get in to the stadium and I don't care who you are it is human nature to start thinking about the bigger picture of the Champions League.
Jurgen Klopp went a bit OTT with his complaints about the Wednesday night-Saturday lunchtime turnaround, yet it remains the most difficult one for players to deal with, particularly when both games are away.
Even if you don't play, the travelling, different hotels, different beds just change your routine a little bit. And at an elite level, a little bit can make a big difference with most players, myself included, unable to sleep after an evening match until the early hours.
Another issue is breakfast because you have to eat four hours before kick-off. I just could not put my stomach through chicken and pasta at 8.30am which meant cereal and toast - not ideal - and while it's the same for both teams of course you'd just rather have had the full week to prepare.
I was at The Valley on Tuesday when Charlton had everything on the line and opponents Crewe had nothing to play for and the visitors fully deserved their draw so sometimes being able to play with freedom is actually a benefit with Palace able to relax.
Whatever happens in this game I think you can safely leave City out of your weekend accumulators at odds of 1-3 because their focus is surely on the second leg with PSG on Tuesday.
The first leg was an interesting game but it suits City to play against opponents who want to play the same style as them. PSG were unable to keep going for the full 90 minutes and City took control, which is what I expect to happen in the second leg too.
They should meet Chelsea in the final - I have fancied my former club to come through their half as soon as the quarter-final and semi-final draws were made and nothing has changed my mind after the first leg with Real Madrid.
However, Chelsea don't have a gimme against Fulham. I think Scott Parker has been really unlucky with results not matching performances and don't be surprised if this London derby is a draw.
Scott Minto presents the Racing Post's weekly YouTube football show Different League in association with Betfred
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