Manchester City descend on Tottenham Hotspur this weekend and with odds already in full swing, soccer betting fanatics can find plenty angles for profit with their soccer picks.
Tottenham Hotspur 17-7-8 (8-5-3 home)
The first thing that practically leaps off the page is the fact that most books have Man City tipped as the betting odds-on favorite – 13/10 to win outright at William Hill. Tottenham, by contrast, is priced at 19/10 for the home win. The draw is going for 5/2.
That odds makers corner this fixture in Man City’s camp has everything to do with Gareth Bale’s injury and the likelihood that he’ll miss the weekend fixture. Bale, who was sidelined in the final minutes of the first leg of Tottenham’s Europa League quarterfinal with Basel when he rolled his ankle, hasn’t seen any action since. He also hasn’t seen any training either.
André Villas-Boas is desperate for Bale to feature against Man City, in what is largely held a pivotal fixture for Hotspur in their quest for a top-four finish and a shot at Champions League next season. Since Bale’s injury, Tottenham slipped out of the top four. Although they are only two points behind Arsenal (currently in fourth spot), they clearly can’t afford to bleed anymore points with only six games on the season. It goes without saying: their bid for Europe’s premier competition will be well and truly over.
Tottenham hit its stride in mid-December, going on an undefeated trot which included eight wins and four draws until it was snapped by Liverpool in a heartbreaking 3-2 defeat at Anfield on March 10, 2013. Since then, they have gone 1-1-1 to the chagrin of soccer betting fans.
Manchester City 20-8-4 (8-5-3 road)
Manchester City, flush off an FA Cup victory over Chelsea at the weekend and a League win over Wigan in midweek action, is gearing up for a “pivotal” game with Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. Roberto Mancini’s side is 13-points adrift of neighbours Manchester United at the league’s summit, but Roberto Mancini stubbornly continues to believe closing the gap is still achievable with six games remaining on the season. Or does he really?
Perhaps he just doesn’t want to openly concede defeat to arch-rival Sir Alex Fergusson. Perhaps, he’s inspired by last season’s dramatic title victory, recalling how the soccer odds were stacked against them and the naysayers who had the Sky Blues’ title dreams done and done 90 minutes into the final game. And then, with just about a minute left in extra time, Sergio Aguero scored THE GOAL of the season that turned the league on its head, saw Man U fans nose-dive into beer vats and left Sir Alex Fergusson gobsmacked.
Bit of a pipedream to expect a replica of last season’s title race, which, incidentally was a lot closer than it is this season. Yet one has to respect the Italian’s never-give-in attitude, which, if adopted and applied on the pitch by his men, at least should see Man City cruise to a more respectable second-place finish.
Manchester City rides a four-game winning streak ahead of Sunday’s clash. Their last league defeat came to Everton, a 2-0 defeat at Goodison Park. Overall, they are 8-0-2 in their last ten games. In league action, they are 6-2-2 in their last ten (which includes a 2-0-2 record on the road).
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Soccer Betting Verdict: To assume that Man City have nothing to play for in this fixture because the league title is no longer perceived to be within reach would be a gross miscalculation of the Gucci-clad Roberto Mancini’s ego, pride and never say never attitude. You can bet Mancini wants to give Sir Alex Fergusson a run for his money, if only for appearances sake.
Mancini will approach this game the same way he does every single game, expecting his players to win. No scenario exists where Mancini and the Sky Blues would lie down and allow the Spurs to gaily traipse over them. No, this should be a hard fought game. If the Spurs want to qualify for a top-four finish, Mancini will make them earn it, with or without Bale. As such, taking Man City at odds-on does seem to be the smart play here.
That said, Man City have had a busy week with two fixtures – FA Cup on the weekend and league action midweek – while Tottenham have been resting. It’s quite possible that Man City will be knackered for Sunday’s clash with Tottenham, in which case, Tottenham at their deliciously long odds (with home ground advantage no less) do seem to be the value soccer play.