Stoke up some Sunday profits
Ben Coley previews Sunday's action in the Barclays Premier League and fancies Stoke to beat Liverpool.
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The stats given below detail how big a challenge this is for Newcastle. Alan Pardew's side have struggled against City since the money arrived in the blue corner of Manchester, and it's hard to see that changing in this one. It's absolutely correct to acknowledge that City have been at their most dominant at the Etihad Stadium, but their 3-2 victory at Bayern Munich in the Champions League has sparked improvement away from home domestically as they've since collected maximum points from trips to Fulham and Swansea. If there is hope for the hosts, it's to be found in City's defensive record which is very much modest on the road. The likes of Blackburn and Leicester have shown that you can get at Manuel Pellegrini's side and indeed from 16 away games in all competitions City can boast just three clean sheets. One of them was here in the Capital One Cup, however, and Newcastle have managed to find the net just once in their last three since thumping nine-man Stoke on Boxing Day. That being said there's enough doubt surrounding City's back-line to think Newcastle will contribute to an entertaining game and City to concede but win isn't the worst bet in the world at upwards of 2/1. One interesting trend to note with City's away form in the Premier League is that neither Edin Dzeko nor Alvaro Negredo, who between them scored five against West Ham on Wednesday, have found their feet on the road. Dzeko has two goals, the most recent of which came in September, while Negredo has just one and that in August. Both scored here in the League Cup but only in extra-time and it may pay to delve further into the scorer markets for value. Yaya Toure has five goals away from home and has scored on his last two visits to St James' Park, so at 5/2 he looks worth a bet in preference to former Newcastle player James Milner at 13/2.
Verdict: Newcastle 1 Manchester City 3
Newcastle United have lost 12 and won none of their last 14 Barclays Premier League meetings with Man City, losing the last eight in a row.
The Citizens have scored at least twice in each of their last 11 league meetings with Newcastle (30 in total, 2.7 per game).
If City win this game they'll be the first team to win six in a row in the Premier League this season (Arsenal have also won five in a row).
That Stoke haven't yet scored a headed goal in the Premier League tells you that while the results have remained pretty similar, there has in fact been quite a shift in how things happen at the Britannia Stadium since Mark Hughes replaced Tony Pulis. That in itself is interesting because, on the face of it, Stoke have an excellent chance to cause an upset here. Liverpool have really impressed this season despite a couple of energy-sapping defeats at Chelsea and Manchester City over Christmas, but there's no doubt they've been much better at home and that ties into the fact that Luis Suarez has 15 goals at Anfield versus five elsewhere. Liverpool have won just three times on the road - you have to go down to 10th-placed Hull for the next side to have managed fewer away wins - and while three of their defeats have been to the top three in the division, they did lose at the aforementioned Hull and with no excuses. Liverpool also have a poor record in this fixture, so were this the same Stoke of years gone by I'd be very keen on a home win at 5/1. However, despite the shift in style Stoke remain extremely hard to beat at home, with four wins, five draws and just one defeat from 10 Premier League games. That defeat was back in September and they've responded to it with a run of eight games unbeaten and four points from clashes with Everton and Chelsea. There's no doubt in my mind then that the hosts are the ones to be with here and prices upwards of 3/1 in the draw no bet market should be taken on value grounds.
Verdict: Stoke 2 Liverpool 1
Stoke have won three and lost none of their five previous Barclays Premier League home meetings with Liverpool (D2), winning the last three in a row.
Just five of Luis Suarez's 20 league goals this season have been scored away from Anfield.
Mark Hughes' side are unbeaten in their last seven home league games, winning three.
- Both games are live in the UK on Sky Sports