WLB DEBUTANT Danny Graham (@dannygpunter) shares his thoughts on Monday night's match-up between Manchester City and Burnley.
Manchester City v Burnley | Monday 22nd June 2020, 20:00 | Sky Sports
Manchester City host Burnley in the first Monday night football since the resumption and come in off the back of a convincing 3-0 win at home to Arsenal last Wednesday evening. The Citizens took a little while to get going in that game but when they did so around the half hour mark it seemed like they hadn’t been away.
That additional match sharpness could be a big advantage in Monday night’s fixture and whilst Burnley at home would never normally hold major concerns for them in any event, I have even more confidence in Pep Guardiola’s group than I normally would due to their midweek pipe-opener.
Burnley for their part are the last team to get going after the enforced break and couldn’t have asked for a much tougher fixture to return to. If they are anything near the lack of sharpness we have seen with several teams so far this weekend then they are going to be in for a difficult evening.
City to make a fast start
With Sergio Aguero expected to come into the side for the ineffective Gabriel Jesus from Wednesday’s line-up, and City wanting to get this game won early in order to allow squad rotation in the second half, I expect the hosts to come flying out of the traps.
Burnley concede over half of their goals in the first half (22 v 18) and that could be exacerbated further by their lack of match sharpness.
All of these factors can only add to the potential for our first bet of the evening which is for City start strongly and score Over 1.5 Goals in the First-Half. It’s a chunky looking 7/5 with Betfair (odds on in many places) and looks worth an interest – it’s a one-point play. If the price goes then 66/50 is available at Marathon.
Player props to be avoided
I’m a keen student of player props and see them as a burgeoning market in the upcoming weeks and months and certainly into next season as more and more bookies bring them into their offerings and the substitute rule hopefully reverts back to three per-team.
I do have to be a little wary of them at the moment however with the temporary rules around five substitutes. Pep has already confirmed that he intends to use all five in every match to keep his players fresh for an assault on the Champions League during August.
With the Premier League title all but gone for this year you have to take him at his word and expect wholesale changes throughout all of their games. Things like player pass lines and shots lines don’t tend to have the reduction in playing minutes factored in so there doesn’t seem much value to be had from any of those angles for this match.
One area that may be of interest closer to game time is player tackles and crosses. The difference here is that you would expect City to have large amounts of possession in the game (over 61% average) which could lend itself to a number of open play crosses and player tackles from the Burnley players.
Throw into the mix the potential return of Leroy Sane who loves to get at full-backs and the player crosses lines and tackle lines may start to look appealing.
Again we need to be wary of the amount of minutes that players will play and a little of this comes down to luck and relying on your player not being substituted. As it is, at the time of writing there is little value in any of the cross or tackle markets that are out at the moment but that doesn’t stop us having a peek at the corners markets which can be closely related and aren’t impacted so heavily by the substitution issue.
Citizens to rack up the corners
City average over eight corners per-game and concede around 2.70 – Burnley average over 4.5 and concede almost six. The raw numbers are there for a reasonably high corner count to be expected.
Another angle that I like to play regularly is what I call the double hedge. Bets like Manchester City to win, Manchester City most corners, Burnley most cards (9/5 Betfair) have the potential to give us a double return on the bet above if City hit their corner count but also act as a hedging tool in case they win the corner count but don’t hit the corner line of 6.5.
This bet is evens elsewhere but a tasty-looking 9/5 with Betfair. We’ve already discussed the merits of a City win and their corner winning prowess. Add into the mix a Burnley team who could be chasing shadows for a while and tire in the latter stages there is reason for thinking they could exceed their match average of around two cards per-game.
Referee Andre Marriner is not one for being overly zealous (averages three cards) but with City keeping hold of the ball and tiring Burnley legs this could potentially only need one card to cop.
Manchester City v Burnley – Manchester City to score Over 1.5 Goals in the First-Half (7/5 Betfair)
Manchester City v Burnley – Manchester City HT-FT and Manchester City Over 6.5 Corners (13/10 Betfair)
Manchester City v Burnley – Manchester City to win, Manchester City most corners, Burnley most cards (9/5 Betfair)