Soccer odds makers have gone to press with a rather confident market on Manchester City in their opening game on the Premier League 203-2014 season. Will the Citizens come through on market expectations or can Newcastle United mastermind the surprise result?
Join us as we preview this highly-anticipated matchup complete with odds and free picks for your consideration.
Manchester City hot favourites
There is nothing coy about this market whatsoever, unlike the Man U vs. Swansea market which opens the window (just a smidgen) for reasonable doubt to seep into. Here Man City is installed as the -333 favourite at Bet365, making them one of the strongest favourites in Week 1 to win their opening match. Only Chelsea is priced higher at soccer odds of -450 to win outright over Hull City in their season opener.
So what does this tell us but that Manchester City is the smart play. Underscoring those odds is home ground advantage and a record that brooks no arguments – a 13-game undefeated run against Newcastle including both home and road fixtures. In fact, the Sky Blue have won the last five home fixtures against the Magpies and Manuel Pelligrini and fans alike will be looking for more of the same when these two sides kick-off their respective campaigns on Monday at the Etihad Stadium.
This will be a relatively new-looking Man City that takes to the pitch. To begin with divas Mancini and Tevez have been sent packing without so much as a thank you while Kolo Toure has been dispatched to Liverpool and Maicon delivered to AS Roma, to name a few. In their stead, Pelligrini has assumed the reigns and Fernandinho, Jesus Navas, Alvaro Negredo and Steven Jovetic have been brought in; a quartet signing that puts Man City at the top of the spending scale in Premier League.
All in all, Man City boasts enviable depth. It always did and these new signings will only make them better. But it’s not all hearts and roses for Man City. Joe Hart, who is the undisputed No.1 goalie at Manchester City and a good case can be made for him being one of the best keepers in the world (he’s Roy Hodgson’s first choice for the No.1 slot on the national team) had a tough season last year. He wasn’t as imposing and solid as in the season that saw Man City clinch the Premier League title from Man U’s eager grasp. As well, David Silva has seen the shine come off his stock value – he scored less last season than in the previous season and overall seems to have lost his mojo.
It remains to be seen what Pelligrini can do and how this talent and depth will combine to transcend the pitch and to get the best out of their obvious abilities and win more silverware than they’ve done over the last few years. What is obvious is that odds makers and experts alike are optimistic about the Citizens, so much so that in recent weeks they’ve moved to the forefront of the Premier League futures market as the +225 favourites to win outright – co-favoured with Chelsea. Man U meanwhile slips to third favourite position at +250.
Newcastle United hefty puppies
Thirteen attempts have gone begging by Newcastle United. Yikes. That is discouraging to say the least. No wonder the Magpies are listed as the whopping +900 bet to mastermind the upset whilst the draw bet is an unreachable +450.
Indeed, the odds are stacked against Newcastle United across the board, so much so to make them a bet best left alone. Too risky really to chance – would be like throwing water into the ocean. Besides few will be predicting an upset here. This leads us neatly to the few value soccer picks to be had.Soccer Betting Verdict: As far as this matchup is concerned, Man City to win outright has to be the best play hands down but at -333 you could do with a bit more value in prop markets. Betting on Over 2.5 at -154 seems to be a good option – both their last two encounters saw four goals combined (Man U won each time), as well a Man U win in both halves at -125.