Manchester City know that victory against Sunderland could take them back to the top of the Premier League table and despite their recent troubles they should be able to dispatch of the Black Cats.
The Wearsiders haven’t beaten City away from home since 1998, a run that stretches back nine games, partly explaining the short 3/10 price about a victory for the hosts.
And given that there have only been two draws in the pair’s previous 23 meetings the 4/1 available for the spoils to be shared may not appeal to some, while the visitors are a huge 9/1 to claim an unlikely three points.
Backing the latter has some merits – Gus Poyet’s side travel to the Etihad Stadium looking to set a club record of seven consecutive away games unbeaten in the Premier League – but the Sky Blues are a dominant force on their own patch and shouldn’t be underestimated, even with their current injury problems.
Much has been made of the recent absences of leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero as well as the influential pair of Samir Nasri and Fernandinho.
Without that missing trio City have failed to score in their last two league games, however talk of a title challenge implosion is premature.
It’s been a year since the Citizens last went on a run of three home league fixtures without a win and in Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic they still have the firepower to blitz any Premier League defence.
Sunderland have conceded 17 goals in their previous six visits to the blue half of Manchester and will be deprived of the services of steadying influence Wes Brown in defence following his sending-off against Hull.
That could spell trouble for north-east side with the 11/10 on offer for City to score three or more goals potentially the value bet of the night.
It’s a feat that Manuel Pellegrini’s men have managed in eight of their 12 Premier League games at home so far this season.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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