Manchester City vs Newcastle | Saturday 26th December 2020, 20:00 | BT Sport
On paper looks like a home banker at The Etihad on Boxing Day with Manchester City around 1/7 to see off Newcastle. There won't be many making a case for Newcastle and I am not going to be the one to do it. City haven't been as destructive going forward this term but they should still have too much to beat Steve Bruce's side.
City's performance data suggests that they should have scored around four more than the 19 they have managed this season but you have come to expect them to score around two and a half goals per game under Pep so the fact they are averaging under 1.5 this term is a shock to many.
I have heard many a pundit dismiss Pep Guardiola's sides chances of winning the title but I think the 5/2 is about right. Yes, they need to score more goals but they've conceded less than a goal a game to date this season, with five of the 12 they've allowed coming against Leicester.
Moreover, the two games they have lost this season came in the aforementioned game against Leicester when their opponents were awarded (and scored) three soft penalties and Tottenham when they lost 2-0 defeat having 22 shots to their opponents four.
The bottom line is that I expect an improvement in City's results in 2021 and think they will have far too much for Newcastle. I did consider the home side in the ‘Win to nil' market but the price of 8/11 is too prohibitive. Instead, I will go for City to win and Under 3.5 Goals at 6/5 with Boylesports.
Four of City's six victories this term have seen three goals of fewer and three of Newcastle's five defeats would have also seen such a bet oblige.
I did have a look in the cards market as well and ordinarily Isaac Hayden at around 19/4 and Jamal Lewis at 6/1 would appeal. Both have received four yellow cards already this season and are surely going to be required to make several tackles tomorrow.
However, referee Andre Marriner has handed out just 18 yellow cards in eight games this season and I am not 100% certain that either will start. If they do, I will be investing in both but won't be advising either as an outright tip given they may not make the starting XI.
Manchester City vs Newcastle – Manchester City to win and Under 3.5 Goals (6/5 Boylesports)