EPL Betting: City's hopes to be dashed by Norwich
...the pressure is back on, with all the players knowing what they need to do to stand a chance of winning the league after receiving an unexpected lifeline.
Manchester City are back in the title battle but Saturday's opponents have nothing to fear and Lee Dixon is primed for more twists and turns in the early weekend kick-off...
They're still long shots at [6.0] but Manchester City unexpectedly find themselves back in the title race after United's loss at Wigan on Wednesday night.
Saturday takes them to the far east (of England) for a Saturday lunchtime test at Norwich. The oddsmakers suggest it'll be a romp for City with Roberto Mancini's men [1.58] on Betfair to win at Carrow Road, but the cliché is right - there are no easy games at this level and I think this will be very tough for the Citizens.
Mancini was writing off his team's chances of winning the league after Wednesday night's results, but I think that's a poor attempt at mind games on behalf of his own players - an attempt to keep the pressure off, if you like. Well, the pressure is back on, with all the players knowing what they need to do to stand a chance of winning the league after receiving an unexpected lifeline.
But there are easier places to go when you need a win than Carrow Road. Everyone's been talking about Swansea but, with 43 points, Norwich are four places above Brendan Rogers' much talked about outfit.
And looking at the odds I can't help but feel there's mileage in laying City, as I suspect we're in for drama in Norfolk. At just [1.58] to win on Betfair I think we can profit from getting against the men from Manchester. Norwich have a lot of life in them - would it be a surprise to see them hold City back? No. Will I be backing City to cover my stake if they go behind? Yes.
Over 3.5 Goals
I've talked about opposing City on value grounds and it's debatable whether the [2.66] on seeing more than three goals at Carrow Road is a great price, but something tells me we'll see goals in the first game of the weekend. The Opta stats back that up - City have scored a total of 12 goals in their last four league encounters with the Canaries and have kept just two clean sheets so far this season: only one team (West Brom last season) has ever had fewer after 33 Premier League games
I sense drama and both carry plenty of goalscoring threat, so let's back a hatful!
In keeping with the likely drama I'm favouring first-half action with one or both keepers beaten. In other words, I fancy this won't be a snore-draw after 45 minutes. I'm laying the half-time draw.