West Brom vs Manchester City | Tuesday 26th January 2021, 20:15 | BT Sport
Pep Guardiola has brandished Sam Allardyce a “genius” in his pre-match press conference ahead of this one, alluding to his impressive ability to keep teams in the Premier League. Of course, to some extent, this is true. But I suspect this task is a bridge too far with a rather poor topflight side in West Brom.
Guardiola actually boasts a good record against Big Sam, having won all three meetings before, by an aggregate score line 11-1.
Finding value in Man City matches can prove difficult given their outstanding performances of late and it’s all about finding a way to get them onside. I fancy them in the half time/full time market but it’s a bit short at 4/6 so if you add them to score Over 1 Goal you get quotes of 5/6 in Bet365’s Bet Builder.
The Citizens have won 11 games in the PL thus far and have been winning at half-time in 10 of those. The only time they weren’t leading going into the break was last time out against Aston Villa, where Villa were heroic defensively. I don’t expect West Brom to be able to contain City’s sustained pressure in the first half.
The Hawthorns has been a nice place to visit for away teams this season. The hosts have conceded 5, 3, 4 and 5 goals in their last four Premier League home games and have conceded 24 goals in just 9 home games – that is 9 goals more than the next worse home defences, with a few clubs conceding 15. That is relegation form unfortunately. They face a huge face-off on Saturday with fellow relegation threatened Fulham, and I suspect Big Sam will have half an eye on that one.
They’ve conceded over 1 goal in 6/9 home games which is another reason to get behind this bet. Given the expectancy of at least two City goals and possibly 3, 4 or 5, it’s worth looking at the goal scorer markets. Most City forwards are odds-on, but one man takes my eye.
Ilkay Gundogan is the main man at the moment, proving he is such a top player. The German has been shifted further forwards into more of a number 8 position of late, and he has four goals in five starts. He is firing plenty of shots, too, as he has had 3+ shots in 3 of his last 4.
Unfortunately, his shot line got obliterated whilst writing this, but I still fancy him to notch. Gundogan anytime goal scorer is widely available around 7/4 (2.75) but Poker Stars have boosted him up to 19/10 (2.9) to score which looks worth pursuing if you have an account with them.
He scored in the reverse fixture, and he is on penalties and free kicks after the news that Kevin De Bruyne is out injured for some time. We could even see Gundogan moved into a number 10 position here, with either Rodri or Fernandinho bolting the gate.
The Citizens are facing a West Brom side who have conceded 16.4 shots on average this campaign and 18 shots per game under Sam Allardyce’s stewardship, and their aforementioned woeful statistics regarding goals conceded should increase the chances of him scoring.
West Brom vs Manchester City – Manchester City/Manchester City and Manchester City Over 1 Goal (5/6 Bet365)
West Brom vs Manchester City – Ilkay Gundogan to score anytime (19/10 Poker Stars)