PREMIER LEAGUE expert Ben Levene (@benlevene96) analyses Sunday's early game between Man City and Huddersfield, picking out his best bets.
Man City v Huddersfield | Sunday 19th August 2018, 13:30 | Sky Sports
The news of Kevin De Bruyne’s injury broke this week. The Citizens’ star registered eight goals and 16 assists in the league last season. The Belgian-born midfielder was not far off scooping the PFA Player of the Year award and received whoscored.com’s second highest rating across the Premier League campaign – they considered him the best player on the park in eight of the 36 matches he started.
With all the above in mind, you’d imagine De Bruyne’s absence is a massive blow for Manchester City. But Pep Guardiola’s side were without both De Bruyne and David Silva from the start at Arsenal last weekend, and had no problems carving open the Gunners.
Bernardo Silva has thrived whenever given the opportunity, whilst Ilkay Gundogan is not a bad fourth alternative.
Huddersfield defied the odds to secure survival last season, however this time around David Wagner’s task is arguably more difficult. Newly-promoted Wolves and Fulham look to have enough quality to bypass the drop zone while other sides at the lower end of the division have strengthened more than Huddersfield.
Wagner will line his side up to defend extremely deep but stopping City will prove a tough ask. Guardiola’s side have scored in 46 of their last 50 matches at the Etihad under his watch.
If Huddersfield do go behind, then they could be in for a long afternoon. The Terriers are lacking going forwards – last Saturday they mustered just 0.3 expected goals, with just Brighton producing fewer on the opening weekend.
City won both halves in 11 of 19 home league games last campaign. That’s 58%. Between the start of the season and Xmas, they did so in 7 of 10. Guardiola’s unit also won both halves at the Emirates last Sunday.
The Terriers battled hard last season, and the same can be expected here. They actually drew at the Etihad, although that was after City had already won the league. Chelsea won both halves at the John Smith last Saturday.
Man City to win both halves is 4/5 (Betfair) and that’s something I’m pretty keen on.
Man City v Huddersfield – Man City to win both halves (4/5 Betfair)