Citizens to roll over hapless Hull – Betting Preview
Manuel Pellegrini's Manchester City (2/11) opened the season up well with a 4-0 defeat of a poor Newcastle side at the Etihad stadium, but surprisingly lost their second Premier League game of 2013/14 away to Cardiff.
Indeed, while City's defending has proved to be less than stellar in the plethora of pre-season games they competed in across the globe, the subsequent loss of lynchpin Vincent Kompany to injury has made matters a lot, lot worse.
The fact that City conceded three goals to Cardiff is, in part, surely evidence of this and they'll surely struggle to keep clean sheets away from home unless a suitable stop-gap replacement is brought in.
On that matter, Argentine centre-back Martin Demichelis - formerly of Bayern Munich and Malaga - is on the verge of signing on the dotted line at the Etihad. But will the 32 year old, who has played under Pellegrini at River Plate and Malaga, be up to the task of filling Kompany's boots in the short term?
He'll help, but probably not is my answer having viewed Demichelis in his time at Malaga and final years at Bayern. Sure, the pony tailed hard man will add experience and organisation to a defence that is already missing Micah Richards , but he's more likely to score in his own net than the oppositions and will be caught out for a serious lack of pace.
Playing their third Premier League game since promotion in 2012/13, Hull (16/1) lost 2-0 away to Chelsea on the opening weekend, with an impressive ten man 1-0 win over Norwich at the KC stadium.
The fact that Hull only lost 2-0 at Stamford Bridge, in my opinion, owes more to Jose Mourinho's philosophy that his teams needn't score another goal if they already lead by two, but the Tigers win over Norwich - granted by a Robert Brady (33/1 to score first, 7/1 anytime) goal - showed great resolve and defensive organisation under such circumstances.
In conclusion, while the title of my article does suggest that I'll be recommending City minus a goal (2/5) or two (6/5), I prefer to bet on match goals as we can't rule out Hull scoring with City's defensive woes.
For a little statistical backup, both of City's 2013/14 Premier League games have contained at least four goals - and with the need to put on a performance in front of their home fans after last weekend's defeat, Pellegrini's charges should be able to net another four.
Should you wish to place a saver bet in case Hull don't score and City can only rack-up three goals - and can accept that the match goals recommendation, if it were to win, would only pay out around 10/11 if you plan your stake correctly - then a 3-0 correct score is priced at 6/1.
Of course, as you'd expect at the Home of Betting, we are flush with special offers for Man City v Hull, with the Opta offer being Dzeko - who has attempted more shots than any other player in the Barclays Premier League so far this season - to score first at 4/1.
Recommendation: Over 3.5 goals (6/5)