William Hill Match Winner: Mancini's 'Mad Fer It!'
Newcastle v Manchester City
English Premier League
Sunday 13:30 - live on Sky Sports 1
Match betting: Newcastle 7/2 Draw 11/4 Man City 8/11
A loss at the Sports Direct Arena could leave The Citizens' fans with a double over fierce rivals Manchester United as their biggest accolade of the season. Last Monday Vincent Kompany and co. left owner Sheikh Mansour a proud man when they ground out a hard-fought 1-0 win at the Etihad Stadium. Now with an eight point advantage on goal difference two victories would surely secure the Premier League title for Roberto Mancini's side, however, The Magpies game this Sunday will be anything but a walkover.
Alan Pardew's men enhanced their bid for a UEFA Champions League top-four spot with an incredible and well-deserved victory at Stamford Bride on Wednesday night. The anomaly that was the 4-0 defeat to Wigan has been the only blemish in their previous eight matches, winning the other seven and scoring 15 goals in the process whilst impressively only conceding one other goal. They are the form team in the league and have been consistent all season long in their bid to challenge at the top-end of the table.
Papiss Cisse, who took his haul to 13 goals in 12 league games with two superb strikes against Chelsea, will be The Magpies main goal threat: The Senegalese star is great value at 13/2 to be the first goalscorer and is 15/8 about an anytime strike. If he doesn't threaten them the man he replaced as Newcastle target man Demba Ba has also proven that he knows how to find the net. Cisse's fellow countryman is 7/1 and 2/1 respectively.
A huge positive for Alan Pardew has been the swift recovery of Cheikh Tiote. The unsung hero of the Newcastle team has lifted The Magpies midfield to a new level. His collision with John Obi Mikel at Stamford Bridge will have concerned the Newcastle boss, however he alongside Jonas Gutierrez will be doing everything in their power to shut down the middle of the park against the attacking quartet of David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Samir Nasri and Carlos Tevez. Manchester United were very successful at forcing City into wide positions and slowing down their usual pattern of swift attacking football. If Newcastle can achieve the same in center midfield then they always stand a chance when Cisse can produce pieces of genius like he did on Wednesday evening.
A home game versus QPR represents Manchester City's final game of the season, and although fighting to stay in the top-flight Mancini's side look likely to get the three points at the Etihad in that one. That therefore makes this game the crucial one in their title bid. For the William Hill Match Winner the offer spans both the Manchester club's matches. We have gone 2/1, originally 7/4, that at the conclusion of Sunday's Premier league games Manchester United are top of the table. Considering the goal difference, and with respect to Swansea, that means that United must get a better result than City on Sunday. Tempting offer on the Champions and one that Roberto Mancini himself would be backing if his skepticism is anything to go by.
If buying money interests you then the 1/6 about Man City or Draw on the Double Chance market looks to be good value considering Man City's line-up. However the bet that I'm personally interested in is the Newcastle/Man City Double Result market with fantastic odds of 22/1. Considering that Newcastle have netted the highest proportion of first half goals in the top flight this season (51%) and City have scored the highest percentage of goals in the second half of games this season (67%) this just seems to be a punt worth a wager!