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19.4. Premier League Betting Preview

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19:45 Newcastle United - Manchester City

 

Manchester City's 0-3 victory against Chelsea on Saturday meant that the Sky Blues leapfrogged Arsenal into third place and an automatic Champions League qualification spot. The return of Kevin de Bruyne from injury has coincided with a stark upturn in form for the Cityzens, as they've won four out of their last five matches since the Belgium international's return, with the only match they didn't win being the 2-2 draw away at Paris Saint-Germain. Meanwhile, Newcastle have picked up only four points in their last five Premier League games, although they did beat Swansea 3-0 at the weekend with an impressive performance.

While De Bruyne has been credited with bringing City's season back to life, a factor that's perhaps been overlooked by the media is City's recent defensive resilience. Despite club captain Vincent Kompany struggling with injury problems, Manuel Pellegrini's men have only conceded 4 times in their last nine matches, with 6 of those being clean sheets. While Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala have made some individual mistakes during the season, in recent weeks they've gone a long way in proving worthy of their hefty price tags. This leaves Manuel Pellegrini with a slight selection dilemma if Kompany regains his fitness in time for Tuesday.

Despite the clean sheet at the weekend, Newcastle have looked suspect defensively in recent weeks, showcased by the fact that they let both Norwich and Newcastle put three past them in their previous two fixtures. Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez reacted to this by appointing Moussa Sissoko as captain due to his influence over the clubs French-speaking contingent. This might pay dividends in their battle against relegation, but City's offensive quality will most likely be too much for the Magpie's defence to handle on Tuesday night, especially with both 1st and 2nd-choice keepers Tim Krul and Rob Elliott out with injury. The Toon Army will also be bemoaning the absences of defenders Fabricio Coloccini, Daryl Janmaat and Steven Taylor unless any of them recover swifter than expected. City come into the match with a couple of major injury absences, as David Silva is still suffering from an ankle problem and Samir Nasri limped off against Chelsea on Saturday with a muscle injury, while full-backs Backary Sagna and Gael Clichy were ruled out of the trip by Pellegrini due to back problems.

Betting Tips:

We expect City's offensive quality to be too much for Newcastle's makeshift defence to handle, while City's recent defensive resilience means that the Magpie's will also struggle to find the back of the net despite their impressive win at the weekend. The odds for a clean sheet for City are simply too good to pass by and a City victory by more than a goal also looks worth a punt.

** Total goals by home team: under 0.5 3/2 Unibet

* 3-way handicap starts 1-0: Manchester City 37/25 Unibet 

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