This weekend League leaders Manchester City entertain the surprise package of the season so far; Newcastle United. The Magpies remain undefeated and sit third in the table, above the likes of Chelsea, Spurs and Liverpool. This match represent the first real opportunity for Newcastle to test themselves against teams competing for the title – but will City prove too strong?
Over 2.5 goals (Victor Chandler 8/15)
The match odds market suggests this clash of two unbeaten sides will go the way of Manchester City, but the match might be closer than the current prices indicate. Even so, the real value lies in other markets.
City have kept just 4 clean sheets all season, despite trampling everyone in their path and scoring goals by the bucket full. Newcastle have taken a similar route to success. Although the early weeks of the season did show they had a very robust defence, more recently, they have been trading punches with their opponents, rather than shutting them out.
All those trends point to there being goals, and the risk of a change of style from either club is also remote. Roberto Mancini is unlikely to revert to a more circumspect style at home, and Alan Pardew has rarely set any of his teams up to defend for 90 minutes – and he does not really have the personnel to do it now, even if he wanted to.
The Magpies have a positive style and it is likely to test a City defence that has not always looked as comfortable as it should have, given the players at their disposal. QPR showed what is possible with an attacking approach in their narrow 3-2 defeat to City, and Newcastle are likely to follow suit.
The potential for City to create goals hardly needs documenting. Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli and Edin Dzeko have all been in the goals of late, and David Silva has arguably been the player of the season in the Premier League so far. 39 goals in 11 games tells you all you need to know about the firepower available to Roberto Mancini. Back there being goals in this one – Victor Chandler currently offer 8/15 on Over 2.5 goals, or Hills go 6/4 on 3.5 goals or more.