THE Premier League continues on Wednesday evening as Newcastle welcome Manchester City to St James' Park. Ben Levene (@BenLevene96) shares his best bets.
Newcastle v Man City | Wednesday 27th December 2017, 19:45 | Sky Sports
With the first-half of the season out the way, the title already looks a foregone conclusion. Manchester City are 12-points clear of second place Man Utd with tonight’s game in hand, and are a best price of 1/50 to win the Premier League. Paddy Power and Betfred have already paid out on the Citizens!
Pep Guardiola’s side have won all nine of their Premier League away games this season, keeping five clean sheets. City have now won 17-consecutive league games, and after a run of four-consecutive 2-1 victories, they’ve scored four goals in each of their last three games.
They’re relentless in their style. Unsurprisingly, they average more shots per game than any other side in the Premier League and have had more ownership of the ball than any other team in Europe’s top five-leagues, at an average of 65.9% per match.
Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle have struggled at times this season. It’s been a real grind and much has been made of the limited resources within which Benitez is functioning. Despite this, they are a point above the drop-zone and with games against a Brighton, Stoke and Swansea to follow City’s visit, a big few weeks lie ahead for the Toon.
Newcastle have lost their last their last four matches at St James’ Park and haven’t kept a clean sheet in ten-matches. They’ve kept just two clean sheets in nine home games so far this season.
City have won both halves in each of their last three league games and if they taken an early-led on Wednesday evening, the same could occur again. Apply Newcastle’s home form and recent defensive troubles and the 151/100 (Marathon Bet) about Man City winning both halves becomes appealing.
Of course, there is a strong chance Guardiola will decide to rotate, but the likes of Danilo, Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva aren’t exactly void of quality. It’s also likely that Newcastle set up to frustrate but in games against Chelsea and United they lost 3-1 and 4-1.
Newcastle to rack up the corners
Six of Newcastle’s 19 goals in the league this season have come via a set-pieces and given some set-piece uncertainty shown by City against Huddersfield and West Ham recently, this could be an angle Benitez looks to exploit.
Newcastle have had three or more corners in eight of their nine home games this season and in each of their last 11 league matches more generally. In fact, they’ve fallen below this mark in just one of 19 games.
City have only conceded this mark in four of nine away games, but that does include trips to the likes of Huddersfield, Watford and Brighton who would have prioritised set-pieces in similar fashion to Newcastle. City’s potential defensive rotation could create channels for Newcastle to hit.
Newcastle to have three or more corners is 10/11 with Sky Bet and looks a solid stats-based bet.
Newcastle v Man City – Man City to win both halves (151/100 Marathon Bet)
Newcastle v Man City – Newcastle 3+ corners (10/11 Sky Bet)