Football Tips: Sterling to shine among our Fulham v Man City 3 best bets

Our tipster Andrew Cunneen breaks down Fulham's tricky task against Manchester City on Saturday evening.

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

Manchester United are the only side to keep Manchester City scoreless twice this season. In fact, bar the 2-0 Spurs victory in November when Jose Mourinho won the league for the north London outfit, they’re the only side to have kept a clean sheet against them full-stop.

Interestingly, City are also just one of two sides (Leicester are the other) to beat Fulham by more than a goal since the first week of December. That might not seem that big a deal, but when you consider they were all but down and out midway through the season, it’s a good indication of just how far they’ve come.

Saturday 8pm: Fulham v Manchester City
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They’ve played their way out, too. The antithesis of a Sam Allardyce escape attempt, if you will. And while City have boasted a 21-game win streak this season, the loss in the Manchester derby does feel like the best thing that could have happened to their end-of-season points tally, as it’s sharpened their focus again.

It’s not the perfect fixture for Fulham to contend with, and that’s putting it lightly. Their great escape attempt is about hit a speedbump and once they understand that, there’ll be no collateral damage. Here’s three punts for you to take on to keep this one interesting.

Short-price punt: Man City to Win to Nil

For all that home form matters – and it does far less this year – Craven Cottage is far from ideal for the way Scott Parker wants to play football. That’s reflected in their results too as their three biggest results this season have come away to Everton, Liverpool and Leicester.

Fulham’s only home win since November came against basement side Sheffield United. They should probably get onto their groundsman and ask him to add five yards to the touchline.

City need to regroup defensively if they’re to progress in the Champions League and that reset needs to happen in the build-up to their next-round tie after they dispose of Monchengladbach on Tuesday. Expect an improved defensive display as Manchester City Win to Nil.

Value Punt: Man City (-2)

Everything they’ve done to this point has been controlled, but I find that in smaller pitches, they come into their own because they keep possession for long spells in games.

On larger surfaces, that means they’re further away from goal, but I suspect with Fulham keeping a higher line than most in order to squeeze City, there’ll be countless opportunities for them to play in behind through a single pass.

This is where Kevin De Bruyne displays that he’s the best passer of a ball in the league and this could be another clinic. My value punt is City (-2) on the handicap.

Long Shot: Raheem Sterling to Score Two or More Goals

The evolution of Raheem Sterling from striker to generally good footballer has been a seismic progression for him. And while some of Pep’s systematics do require you to be somewhat positionless at times, there’s still a sense that Sterling isn’t producing enough in front of goal, particularly as Father Time isn’t slowing down for Sergio Aguero and there are cartridges of invisible ink more useful than Gabriel Jesus.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Pep try and start Sterling centrally here to see if he can plug a gap if required in 2021/22. I like the odds on Raheem Sterling to Score 2 or More Goals.

Tips for Fulham v Man City

Short-price punt: Man City to Win to Nil
Value Play: Man City (-2)
Long Shot: Raheem Sterling to Score 2 or More Goals

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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