Few expect Manchester City to drop points when Huddersfield visit the Etihad on Sunday, and George Pitts is no different as he previews this one.
Manchester City v Huddersfield (1330 BST Sky Sports Main Event)
City were rocked this week by the news Kevin De Bruyne faces three months on the sidelines. Team loses key player, misses said player and goes on a terrible run? Probably not in this case.
The strength in depth in Pep Guardiola's squad is frightening and the bookies expect the Belgian playmaker's absence to be no issue as they are massively odds-on for the visit of Huddersfield.
Huddersfield were one of the division's lowest goalscorers last season, so even a City win-to-nil bet is odds-on, and they are so unfancied that a draw is available at a best price of 12/1, a win for Town as big as 37/1 in places.
At a glance it is difficult to see real value in betting on this game, with City expected to ease to victory - therefore you have to delve a little deeper to see a good potential return for your money.
Terriers boss David Wagner says he has no qualms about 'parking the bus' in his approach at the Etihad, so they will have to take their chances at the other end when they come if they are to get anything from the game.
This fixture was a goalless draw in May, but it should - and most probably will - be quite the opposite this time around.
Prediction: Man City 4-0 Huddersfield (Sky Bet odds: 6/1)
Best Bet: Over 1.5 Goals in first half at evens
If this is going to be a goal-fest, we should at least get two in the first half. In the Community Shield v Chelsea and Premier League win over Arsenal City opened the scoring in the 13th and 14th minute respectively. Do that again and they could probably add at least another before the break - while this bet also gives you margin for a Huddersfield goal and presents great value at evens.
Backing Aguero to open his league account provides very little value, but a both players to score coupon boosts it nicely. Aguero looked sharp with a well-taken double v Chelsea in the Community Shield and probably should have netted last week after De Bruyne put him through on goal in the win at Arsenal. Sterling, who suits Guardiola's system so well, scored at the Emirates and could get plenty of chances here. Elsewhere, summer signing Riyad Mahrez came close to scoring on his league debut and you can get good value on the Algerian anytime.
We expect goals and a lot of Man City pressure, so they should have plenty of corners in the process. Huddersfield will look to counter and it is hoped they can force a few corners when City are tracking back, plus a booking on each side is not a big ask, so this looks well priced at 11/2.
Opta pre-match stats
- Man City’s last home league win against Huddersfield – and the last time they scored at home against them – was in a second division match in November 1987. It finished 10-1 to the Citizens, with three different players scoring hat-tricks (Paul Stewart, David White and Tony Adcock).
- Thanks to their 0-0 draw at the Etihad in May, Huddersfield were the only side to stop Pep Guardiola’s Man City scoring at home in the Premier League last season.
- Man City have failed to find the net in their last four home league meetings with Huddersfield. They’ve never gone five consecutive home league games without a goal vs a single opponent in their history.
- Man City fired in just seven shots on target across their two Premier League games against Huddersfield last season, fewer than against any other side during the 2017-18 season.
- Manchester City have scored in 17 of their last 18 Premier League games (47 goals in total), failing only against Huddersfield in May.
- Huddersfield have failed to score in eight of their last 11 Premier League games, netting just once in each of the other three.
- Benjamin Mendy provided both assists for Man City in their 2-0 opening day victory against Arsenal. The Frenchman hasn’t ended on the losing side in any of his last 22 league games (W19 D3), since a 1-3 defeat with Monaco against Lyon in December 2016 – a match in which he was sent off.
- Steve Mounie has scored 33% of Huddersfield’s Premier League away goals (4/12). o Manchester City’s all-time record goalscorer Sergio Aguero has scored 11 goals in his last seven Premier League games at the Etihad stadium.
- David Silva’s next Premier League appearance will be his 250th for Man City – the Spaniard has scored 48 goals, and provided more assists than any other player in the competition since his debut (75).
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Odds correct as of 1900 BST on 17/08/18