With both Manchester clubs involved in Europa League action this week, their return to domestic action must wait until Sunday, when the race for the Premier League title will take centre stage once more. Leaders Manchester City travel to Swansea after back to back home wins, and all eyes will be on them to see how they handle the pressure. Can Swansea back up their solid home form, or will the Citizens outclass them?
Under 2.5 Goals (19/20 @ BetVictor)
The odds-on about City is unappealing based on their 7 wins from 13 road games, and while the Swans have picked up an eye catching win versus Arsenal, and held Chelsea and Tottenham at the Liberty Stadium, the price on the hosts is not quite tempting enough. Away from the match odds however, some value can be found. Manchester City have rattled in 69 League goals already this campaign, but it is worth delving a little deeper into their goal statistics to try and unearth some solid value in this contest.
While the Citizens spent the early part of the season putting 5 past Spurs away, and 6 past rivals Manchester United on their own patch, that goal scoring form has dried up and the statistics now tell a very different story. Since drawing 1-1 with Liverpool at Anfield, City have played a further 6 away games in the Premier League. Including the goal at Liverpool, they have totalled 4 goals. They failed to score at Everton, Sunderland and West Brom, and bagged just one versus Liverpool, Chelsea, Wigan and Aston Villa.
Those are sobering numbers, and it is credit to Manchester City’s defence that the title bid is still on track – and that is the defence that Swansea must try and break down without Nathan Dyer, who will be suspended after his dismissal last weekend. The injury to Vincent Kompany is obviously a blow for the visitors, but Roberto Mancini has enough able deputies to not be unduly worried.
As well as the lack of goals from City, there is also the fact that Swansea boast an extremely effective defensive record at home to throw into the mix. The Welsh outfit have conceded 10 goals in 13 clashes at the Liberty. The trends point towards a low scoring game.
6 of City’s last 7 away games have seen 2 goals or fewer, and 6 of Swansea’s last 8 home games have finished with 2 goals or fewer. Under 2.5 goals is available at a shade under even money. Value?
The numbers make an overwhelming case for a bet on the Under 2.5 market, at a shade under evens with BetVictor. 9 of Swansea’s home games have seen 2 goals or less, including the games against Spurs, Chelsea and Manchester United. The Swans are more than capable of keeping decent attacking sides at bay.