Manchester City v Sunderland – Etihad Stadium at 17:30 live on BT Sport 1
Saturday’s evening Premier League kick-off see’s two sides with new managers go head to head as Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City welcome David Moyes’ Sunderland to the Etihad.
Pep’s arrival at the Citizens was one of the worst kept secrets in Football last season, leaving Manuel Pellegrini to play the last few months of the season knowing he was out of a job come the Summer. It looked to have taken it’s toll as well, with City finishing in 4th, well off the title pace, but it could have been worse. Would Guardiola still have taken the job if his new club weren’t competing in the Champions League?
Luckily for City they now have the chance to qualify for the UCL and have landed one of the worlds best managers. They have also stated their intentions with making some big signings this Summer.
John Stones is the most recent and most costly, joining from Everton for a reported £47M. He has taken some stick in the past and will want to live up to his promise and price tag. There will be a lot of pressure on him. Midfielder Ilkay Gundogan and forward Leroy Sane from Dortmund and Schalke respectively, two players that clearly caught Pep’s eye from his time in Germany with Bayern Munich.
Another exciting signature is that of Spanish wide forward, Nolito, who had an excellent season for Celta Vigo last term, helping them to a top 6 finish with 12 goals and 7 assists. He along with the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva and Sergio Aguero make Man City’s attack one of the most feared in the Premier League this season.
Despite the Citizen’s disappointing campaign last year, they still held the strongest record at home in the league, winning 12 of their 19 matches. They did suffer 5 losses at the Etihad which is not good enough for a title chasing team, but each of those reverses were at the hands of teams inside the top 8. It’s no surprise to see City chalked up at 1.25 to win this one.
Sunderland are also under the tutelage of a new manager after Sam Allardyce’s decision to take the England job. He achieved the near impossible last season, saving Sunderland from the drop maintaining his record of never being relegated. In steps David Moyes.
After unsuccessful stints at Man Utd and Real Sociedad, this is a job that suits Moyes as he looks to re-build his reputation. He worked wonders at Everton, bringing them stability when they were struggling, even achieving a top 4 finish back in 2004/05. He has said himself that he see’s the Black Cats as a similar side to Everton but he may have to wait another week to get some points on the board.
They have lost each of their last 5 league and cup matches against City, including two 4-1 defeats last season. More worryingly, Sunderland have failed to win a single game in August in their last 5 seasons. Moyes will be hoping to buck that trend.
The Black Cats’ away record against top 5 teams last season doesn’t make for pleasant reading either, losing by 3 goals against City and Utd and by 2 goals against Arsenal, Chelsea and Leicester, conceding 17 times. They did score in 4 of those 5 matches though (5 goals) and will find confidence in scoring in 13 of their last 14 away matches.
I’m confident we’ll see some goals here and a comfortable home win for Pep’s Premier League debut.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Man City -1.5 at 1.77 & Over 3 goals at 1.87
Prices correct at time of writing.
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