The Citizens can get the distinguished honor of being thefavorites in the football odds, as they’re listed at 20/33 to get the threepoints away from home.
As for the Magpies, the value looks almost too good to passup. They can be had at 9/2 right now, while a draw (11/4) is also worth aserious look.
Alan Pardew’s side hasn’t been enjoying the best of timesover the last couple of months.
The Magpies have only won one match (out of ten) through theentire month of November and the first half of December. They not only lost toBordeaux in the Europa League last week, but also fell to Fulham in a leaguefixture four days later.
Getting a result in Craven Cottage is never easy, butNewcastle came oh so close. They had more overall chances on goal and held theedge in possession too, but Hatem Ben Arfa’s equaliser early in the second halfproved to make little difference. Fulham came right back and scored ten minuteslater and held on for the win.
We can’t blame Demba Ba for Newcastle’s recent shortcomings,that’s for sure. Ba has scored 10 goals already this season, which ties himwith Luis Suarez for third-most in the Premier League.
The man just needs some help. Ben Arfa is the only otherMagpie to have scored more than twice in the league, and you can’t have one manscoring such a large percentage (56 percent) of your team’s goals and beincredibly successful. See Suarez and Liverpool for reference.
The pressure is starting to mount for Roberto Mancini, withhis Citizens still yet to win in the month of December. They’re on athree-match winless run which has seen them tie Everton at home and then loseto Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United.
In another classic Manchester affair, a righteous fightbackfrom Citizens ultimately proved fruitless. They went down two goals early, butrecovered thanks to fine efforts from Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta.
However, a free kick from Robin Van Persie in stoppage timefound its way past Joe Hart, with Samir Nasri’s unfortunate flick not doing hiskeeper many favors.
Now there’s a six-point gap between the Manchester clubs atthe summit, and City fans have been left wondering what could have been. WithUnited facing a home game against Sunderland, a point isn’t good enough for theCitizens this weekend. They must win.
Mancini’s outfit has been quite resolute away from home thisterm, so at least they have that going for them. The Citizens have still yet tolose a league fixture outside of Manchester (three wins and four draws in sevenmatches) and have surrendered just five goals in those games. Quite a sterlingdefensive record that is.
Premier League Pick
Listen, we know City has the marquee names, but the resultsspeak for themselves. This team is not looking nearly as cohesive as they didlast year and it’s showing.
Despite disappointing up until this point, the Magpies arestill a strong unit capable of beating anyone on their day, especially on theirown pitch.
We have no doubt Newcastle will come out flying behind theirraucous crowd support, but we can’t help but think City’s class will eventuallyshine through. We’re taking the Citizens win, but in no way, shape or form willit be a walk in the park for Mancini’s men.
Premier League Tips & Predictions: Newcastle 1 Manchester City 2