Manchester City heads to London to face Queens Park Rangers in a fixture both clubs need for different reasons. Is there any way to approach this and find a bet with the champion Sky Blues such steep Road Favorites?
QPR vs. Manchester City, Saturday 17:30, (NBC/NBC Sports Live Extra/Deportes Telemundo En Vivo (US)/Sky Sports 1/HD, Sky Go Extra, Sky Go (UK), 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT): On paper, or computer, this English Premier League Week 11 fixture looks like a complete mismatch with the defending champions, Manchester City (6-2-2, 20 GF-10 GA, +9 GD, 17 points) steep Road favorites (-275, Bwin) at Loftus Road Stadium on Saturday against host and 19th-place Queens Park Rangers (2-1-7, 9 GF-20 GA, -11 GD, 7 points) in the day’s late game.
Soccer Odds have the Total Goals at a wobbly 2½ Over -175 (Under +135, bet365) with the Both Teams To Score prop bet at Yes -125, No +100 (BetVictor). A look at a random prop bet that looks appealing: Manchester City To Win To Nil is priced at +150 (BetVictor).
The visitors and defending English Premier League champions are coming off a derby against rival Manchester City on Sunday, a game the Citizens won 1-0 as Sergio Agüero scored the game’s lone goal at The Etihad Stadium on Sunday. Manager Manuel Pellegrini has received some probably unjust heat at City’s perceived lackluster start to the new season but in reality, the Sky Blues are right in the thick of things and have a roster loaded with talent and can get scoring from almost anyone on its roster while goalkeeper Joe Hart and the club’s lockdown defense has lead this team to two Premier League crowns.
On the attack, there’s nobody better than striker Agüero (10 goals), while Edin Džeko (2 goals), former Chelsea star and future NYCFC (MLS) player Frank Lampard (2 goals), playmaker David Silva (2 goals) and Stevan Jovetic (2 goals) also can provide quick offense. The Citizens should be able to score at least twice in this one, but QPR always plays teams tough here at home—they’re miserable on the Road, going 0-0-5 and being outscored an embarrassing 14-2—but City are the defending champions and a Champions League team that may be the only club that can make a run at unbeaten Chelsea, so winning games against QPR is imperative for Mancini and his boys. And with Agüero and Džeko and Jovetic and midfielder extraordinaire Yaya Touré, there are a number of players on this City team who can be deemed clutch.
The Rangers will probably spend the remainder of the season fighting relegation, but as it showed on Saturday at Stamford Bridge in West London in its gritty 2-1 loss to the Blues courtesy of a late second-half Chelsea penalty kick, this QPR team can be as feisty as they come. Charlie Austin (5 goals), Eduardo Vargas (1 goal), Dynamo Kiev-loanee Niko Kranjcar (1 goal) and Steven Caulker (1 goals) are among the players who have scored so far for this somewhat anemic offense which has scored only 9 goals in their first 10 games. Manager Harry Redknapp is the right man for the job but like many teams in this league and others, it’s hard to compete with the richer clubs with the thicker rosters and monster payrolls. Back-to-back league fixtures with Chelsea and Manchester City hammer home that point for little QPR, which has allowed the most goals in the league (20).
Best Betting Approaches
When it comes to setting up your soccer picks, this could be a hard one to find a way to make some money to be quite honest. You could probably employ the Asian Handicap if you think Manchester City can win by a couple of goals and since that makes sense, that would be the prescription here. The Sky Blues are -1 -162, -1.25 -125, -1.5 +112 (BetVictor) and City -2 +185 (bet365). Manchester City doesn’t have a great record at QPR lifetime (2-2-4, 9 GF-10 GA), but those games and that past history is pretty irrelevant and it’s the situation here that will matter to the Citizens, who, like everyone else in England’s top flight of soccer, are chasing first-place and unbeaten Chelsea (8-2-0, 26 points) and will be motivated by the reality they already have 2 losses and 2 draws heading into this game.
In this fixture last season at Loftus Road Stadium (in January), City dominated the Time of Possession against the Super Hoops (69%-31%), but the game ended in a 0-0 draw and there were only 4 shots on target by the Sky Blues and a paltry 1 by the hosts, QPR. Games like that are why some people find it hard to consistently watch soccer, though for QPR, holding City scoreless and earning a Draw and 1 point feels a lot like a win. Manchester City will definitely remember that game and Pellegrini will throw all his guns at this one to get that first goal, the win and the expected 3 points. But it might not be easy and scoring and quality shots may again be somewhat scarce with the hosts coming off a game with league-leading Chelsea in week 10 and the visitors off an affair with their heated rivals United on Sunday.
PREDICTION: QPR 0 Manchester City 2
EPL PICK: Manchester City -1 -162 (BetVictor)
EPL PROP PICK: Manchester City To Win To Nil +150 (BetVictor)