Can Blackpool rock Mancini?
Blackpool are having an unbelievable first season in the Premier League with three wins so far and are defying pundits who had expected them to be the whipping boys of the division. If you have been backing The Tangerines this season you will have been rewarded with winning odds of 10/1 (against Liverpool) 11/2 (against Newcastle) and 7/2 (against Wigan). In fact, a £10 win bet on each of their Premier League matches would have yielded a £150 profit.
The Tangerines finished 6th in the Championship last season and won promotion via the play-offs. Following that promotion they were given odds of 5/2 to avoid relegation this season. The view of them as certainties for the drop was gone after just one game when they went to the DW Stadium and thumped Wigan 4-0 on the opening day.
Once again you can get a generous price on them to get the three points, they are 9/2 to beat Man City on Sunday. If they are to cause another shock they will need to improve on their home form. Due to delays to stadium improvements they have only played two games at Bloomfield Road, losing to Blackburn last time and drawing with Fulham. If you fancy a draw in this one you can get 11/4.
One of the problems at home appears to be that their counter-attacking style could be more suited to playing away. With City likely to attack them from the start that shouldn't be an issue in this one.
Man City (8/13) have looked good in recent weeks winning their last three games including beating Chelsea at the City of Manchester Stadium. If their form continues they could be considered serious title contenders. They are 15/2 to win their first Premier League crown.
There is talk Carlos Tevez could be rested for the game. The Blues have three games in eight days and Roberto Mancini could look to the likes of Adebayor to deputise. Blackpool will no doubt hope Tevez doesn't feature. The little Argentinian has been in fine form scoring 26 goals in his last 30 Premier League matches. He is 3/1 to score the first goal. Remember , as with all our goalscorer markets, if your selection doesn't take part your stake is refunded.
A major part of City's recent good results has been the form of Adam Johnson. The former Middlesbrough winger has been flying and looks to have cemented a permanent place in the England squad. In fact the way he has been performing makes Fabio Capello's decision to omit from the World Cup squad look even more baffling. He is 2/1 to score anytime against Blackpool.
For Blackpool, Charlie Adam has been the most influential player, he opening the scoring in their shock victory over Liverpool last time out. He is 10/1 to opening the scoring against Manchester City. That seems a good price as the Scotsman is the designated penalty taker.
These two teams last met in a league match in 1999 when both were languishing in League One. The game ended 0-0, it's 12/1 for a repeat of that scoreline. Many will have predicted that City would find their way back to the top flight eventually but it's unlikely many 'Pool fans thought the next time the sides would meet would be in the top division.
Although I like what Blackpool have done this season and I think they have every chance of survival I fear Manchester City will just be too strong for them so City to win at 8/13 would be my selection. There is usually goals when Blackpool are concerned (only one of their matches this season has seen less than 2.5 goals) so a bet on over 3.5 at odds of 7/4 is worth a punt.
The game kicks off at 4pm on Sunday and is live on Sky Sports 1