Manchester City go into their match with Newcastle United knowing a win is needed to keep pace with their title rivals after Manchester United and Chelsea strolled to victory at the weekend.
With a home win offering little value at 1/3, backing a tie in the amount of goals in each half at 11/4 is the best route to take after a trend emerged over the two sides’ recent meetings.
In four of their last five matches, and seven of their last 10, Man City and Newcastle have scored equal goals in both halves.
Whether it be 4-0 or 2-2, and in all honesty it is likely to be the former given Newcastle’s lack of summer activity, there has been a welcome symmetry to their matches.
Starting as far back as the 2007/08 season, when it was Emile Mpenza and Elano, rather than Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure, on the scoresheet, there have only been three matches when this trend has not held.
Last season Man City won 3-1 at St James’ Park and 4-0 at home, with two goals in each half on both occasions. Exactly two goals in the first half this time is priced at 5/2.
In the 2011/12 season it was 3-1 to City at the Etihad, again with two scored in each half, with penalties from Aguero and Mario Balotelli securing the win.
Newcastle look half-baked after a frustrating summer in the transfer market, and are unlikely to come away from Manchester with anything.
Their only major new signing, Loic Remy, is unlikely to make his debut until September, while City fans could see any or all of Stevan Jovetic, Fernandinho, Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas for the first time.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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