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Ah yes, the dead rubbers. Now, you might think to yourself that unpredictability of games of this nature is troubling from a betting perspective; that you don’t know who’ll be trying and who won’t with absolutely nothing to play for. Except in this case, you’re forgetting something very important.
Newcastle haven’t tried a tap all season and Manchester City have a massive squad who will be competing for a place in the Champions League final panel. So, with that in mind, when you find the common denominators, this game fairly much works out even more lopsided than a competitive fixture would be.
Steve Bruce could lose this 10-0 – and he might do – and his job will be completely safe. For Pep? It’s a relaxing jaunt in the park, with him figuring out just who might be able to aid his side getting the better of Chelsea – something he’s clearly struggled to do in their recent meetings.
Hilariously, if anything, it’s made this encounter even more predictable. What a truly glorious moment of realisation. Here are three wagers you can make to land you in the money.
Man City are on course to score just 76 goals this season. Now, that might not seem like a shortcoming, but when you consider they hit 106, 95 and 102 in their last three campaigns, it does lend towards the idea that Guardiola is more concerned about how City can control games.
This has been demonstrated time and time again, but the biggest indication may be in their goals conceded column which tallies just 26 – one of the best tallies at this stage of a Premier League season.
Friday 20:00 – Newcastle v Man City
Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Premier League
So, does the transformation benefit us from a betting perspective? Yes. To find yourself in City’s squad for the clash in Porto, you’ll have to show you can produce in City’s system – and that means keeping the ball and making the game incredibly dull. Job done.
I’d expect both severe disruption due to constant substitutions as well as the fact the game is already put to bed after an early blitz. Whatever team Guardiola puts out – whether that be his second team who probably pose almost as big a danger to Newcastle as they’re fresh without a seismic drop-off, or a mix of both – I’d suspect the result being of little importance means they’ll not have any fear in getting it done early.
Given that Newcastle will gladly chase lateral passes all day and allow City possession in midfield at will, they may well just try to be overly individual in the hope of landing a place in the squad. That generally doesn’t result in goals.
Silva has had a disappointing season by both his and City fans’ expectations. The Portuguese winger has been in and out of the City XI all season and while the recent form of Riyad Mahrez means he’s certainly not first-choice in a wide berth, he could easily make a case for himself to be in the midfield three.
And if he plays here, he’ll be the one getting most of the opportunities as City pull balls back to the edge of the area against low block more often than not.
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