With pantomime season fast approaching, Mario Balotelli used Sunday’s match at the Hawthorns to audition for the customary celebrity role.
Playing the part of both hero and villain, Balotelli’s two goals secured the win for Mancini’s side, but his second half red card means Balotelli won’t feature in the influential battle with Manchester United on Wednesday.
Despite all the crisis talk surrounding Man City recently, if they are to win at home to Man Utd on Wednesday, they will go level on points with their neighbours who are currently second in the Premier League table.
And with Arsenal and Chelsea dropping points to Newcastle and Liverpool, Man City find themselves back in the title race after ending the run of three straight defeats.
Man City’s title odds have been cut from 14/1 to 10/1 to win the Premier League after the weekends results, and with Man Utd struggling to hit top gear, Man City are in pole position to end their neighbours unbeaten run in the Premier League this season.
With Carlos Tevez back in the starting line-up, Man City were able to rely on their captain to provide the spark which he did so for Balotelli’s first goal.
Tevez has now played a part in 10 of Man City’s 15 league goals this season and he will be keen to prove to his former employers that it was a mistake to let him leave – Man City are 8/5 to beat Man Utd.
After both teams closed the gap on league leaders Chelsea, both sides will be keen to continue applying the pressure with a win on Wednesday.
But Chelsea’s odds of 1/6 to beat Fulham on Wednesday suggest that whoever wins the Manchester derby will continue to remain three points shy of Chelsea at the top of the Premier League.
You can get 11/5 on Man City and Man Utd sharing the spoils on Wednesday. See the full Barclays Premier League football betting odds here.