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Archive for September, 2015

Manchester City v Newcastle United, Saturday, October 3

Manchester City v Newcastle United, Saturday, October 3

manchester cityAfter admitting that the club was “very close to a crisis” after the midweek home defeat by Sheffield Wednesday in the League Cup, Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren praised his players’ courage during the 2-2 draw with Chelsea last Saturday. In fact, the Magpies led the defending champions 2-0 entering the final 11 minutes, before succumbing to late goals from Ramirez and Willian. Nevertheless, the result leaves Newcastle second from bottom of the Premier League and without a win, so the Toon Army will hardly be relishing the trip down the A1 to face Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

City won the corresponding fixture last season 5-0 but, although just a point behind Manchester United at the top of the Premier League, Manuel Pellegrini’s side has lost three of its last four games, including home defeats by Juventus and West Ham. Injuries to Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, David Silva and Ya Ya Toure have robbed the Sky Blues of key personnel in recent weeks and, although the last-named trio remain doubtful for the Champions League clash with Borussia Monchengladbach on Wednesday, they could all be back in contention for starting places on Saturday.

The arrival of Georginio Wijnaldum, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Florian Thauvin and Chancel Mbemba at Newcastle, and the appointment of Steve McClaren at the helm, has yet to conclusively steady the ship that foundered so badly again last season and a full-strength City side could, frankly, run riot. The bookmakers don’t give the Magpies much of a chance either, with the best 1-x-2 prices 1/4, 6/1 and 12/1.

City hitman Sergio Aguero scored 26 goals in the Premier League in 2014/15, but his tally so far this season is just one. This is the fixture that could get the ball rolling for the Argentinian, so we fancy a punt on “Kun” at 12/1 with Coral to score a hat-trick!

Selection: Sergio Aguero to score a hat-trick (12/1 with Coral)

Did you hear about the £45,000 accumulator win from a £5 bet that happened today? Some people get all the luck don’t they!

September 29, 20150 commentsRead More
Manchester United vs Sunderland, Saturday, September 26

Manchester United vs Sunderland, Saturday, September 26

manchesterunitedEvery cloud has a silver lining, or so they say, and Sunderland defender Younis Kaboul’s suspension following his red card at Bournemouth last Saturday at least means his disastrous central defensive partnership with Sebastian Coates cannot continue. In the three games in which they’ve played together this season – against Leicester, Norwich and Bournemouth – the Black Cats have conceded nine goals. The recovery of John O’Shea from illness offers a glimmer of hope for the Sunderland back line, but the fact remains that his side has conceded 10 first half goals in the Premier League this season and are currently bottom of the table, with two points from six games.

A nine-match winless streak, not to mention a midweek League Cup tie against Manchester City, is unlikely to inspire confidence in the Black Cats ahead of their trip to Old Trafford on Saturday. In fact, manager Dick Advocaat has questioned the match-fitness and commitment of his team in recent weeks, so it’s hard to see beyond anything other than a routine victory for the home team.

United’s 3-2 win at Southampton on Sunday had manager Louis van Gaal singing the praises of £36 million striker Anthony Martial, who’s scored three times in his first three games, and talking about the Red Devils as title contenders. That might be a little premature, especially with the United defence looking all at sea at St. Mary’s in the absence of Luke Shaw and Wayne Rooney without a goal, or even an assist, in the Premier League this season. Even so, van Gaal looks set to have the last laugh in the battle of the Dutchmen.

It’s difficult to find value in such an apparently one-sided contest, with Man Utd on offer at 1/5 in the Full-time Result market and just 4/7 in the Half-time/Full-time market. Former England striker Jermaine Defoe has scored five times for Sunderland this season, including a hat-trick against Exeter in the League Cup, so perhaps the shrewd play is to take the 15/8 on offer about Man Utd & Yes in the Result/Both Teams to Score market.

September 21, 20150 commentsRead More