TABLE toppers Man City head to the Britannia on Saturday in search of three points. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) previews the game.
Stoke v Manchester City | Saturday 12:45 | BT Sport 1
29 points out of 42 for Man City this season, but that’s enough to see them top of the league as we kick off the last month of the calendar year. That’s a fairly low total to be top at this stage of the season and that certainly captures the inconsistencies of City in 2015/16.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side have suffered three defeats already, two of them heavy ones against Spurs and Liverpool and failed to beat Aston Villa last month.
Yet on their day they’ve been brutal towards their opponents. Four of their nine wins in the league have come by three or more goals and Europa League winners Sevilla were beaten home and away in the Champions League.
On Saturday they’re without Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany but see David Silva return to the starting line up after a couple of months out.
Stoke are similar in the sense that they’ve been hard to place this season. Three of their five league defeats have come against sides in the bottom half of the table and they came a cropper against Sunderland last week.
One prevailing theme attached to the Potters though is a hardy defence. Mark Hughes’ side have conceded just 14 goals in the league and only three sides can better that.
I’m expecting Stoke to give Man City a tough game but ultimately come away empty handed. Six of the last eight meetings have gone Under 2.5 Goals and I wouldn’t be surprised if it went seven out of nine.
Rather than back Unders I’ll take much bigger odds of 14/5 on City winning by exactly one goal. It looks a value price in one of my favourite markets.
Stoke v Manchester City – Manchester City to win by exactly one goal (14/5 Stan James)
This is a great new player offer from Boylesports! 8/1 on Arsenal beating Sunderland and United getting the better of West Ham.