Manchester City now control the destiny of the Premier League title, but face a daunting trip to Newcastle in Sunday’s huge clash. With just two games remaining, there is very little margin for error for the Citizens, but the Magpies have their own need for the points.
Lay Manchester City 1.76 @ Betfair
Although many observers felt that victory in the Manchester derby would mean a relatively simple stroll to the Premier League title for Manchester City, the away trip to Newcastle represents a hugely testing trip for Roberto Mancini and his squad and there is value in opposing the Champions elect.
Away from the importance of the result from City’s point of view, the bare figures should pour cold water on any premature celebrations in the blue half of Manchester. The Citizens have won 9 away games from 18 (50%). Newcastle have been beaten just twice at St James’ Park all campaign. That is just two defeats in 18.
Recent form is a positive for City, but equally so for the Toon army. The victory at Stamford Bridge illustrated that confidence remains sky-high despite the Wigan reverse last weekend, and more importantly it shows that the Magpies have the ability to mix it with the best sides in the League. With Champions League qualification still up for grabs, Alan Pardew and his team have plenty to play for. As well as the form of the team, Papiss Cisse must be the most feared striker in the Premier League at the moment, bar none.
Newcastle United v Manchester City 6th may 2012 Verdict
Statistics can not illustrate desire, or the sheer importance of a single fixture, but for that reason, they can often demonstrate the need for a heavy dose of realism amid knee jerk reactions and hype. 3/4 (Betfair) for City to win away at the club with the third best home record in the League, highlights a clear opportunity to exploit value.