- Man City to be winning by 30 minutes – 27/20 with Coral
- Man City to win both halves – 7/4 with Unibet
When Manchester City lost 2-1 to Newcastle United last Tuesday, their Premier League title prospects suddenly looked bleak.
That defeat at St James’ Park gave Liverpool the opportunity to move seven points clear at the summit of the standings 24 hours later, a significant margin which would have been difficult to overhaul given that Jurgen Klopp’s men have lost only one league game all season.
The challengers to the crown failed to take full advantage, though, as Leicester City escaped Anfield with a 1-1 draw – and the same result against West Ham United on Monday night means that City can now retake top spot with victory over Everton on Wednesday.
It is difficult to envisage them failing to grasp that chance.
📊 #PL title odds after Liverpool's result last night:— Bookmakers.co.uk (@bookmakers) February 5, 2019
💙 Man City - 5/6
🔴 Liverpool - 11/10
◻️ Tottenham - 16/1
😬 Nail biting stuff
At times in recent weeks Pep Guardiola’s charges have lacked the drive and intensity which was present throughout their record-breaking title-winning campaign, even long after the chasing pack had fallen away.
They allowed the game to drift against Newcastle and were punished when their opponents came from a goal down to emerge triumphant, while they also took their foot off the gas after taking an early lead against Arsenal at the weekend.
A second goal before half-time eased City nerves following Laurent Koscileny’s equaliser, but there were periods of the first half in which they were second best.
Guardiola will have been heartened by his team’s display after the break, though, when City took full control and dominated proceedings until the final whistle. A 3-1 victory was the least they deserved in the end, and they certainly looked more convincing than a stuttering Liverpool side did in their 1-1 draw with West Ham.
City To Make Another Fast Start
Another quick start could be on the cards here – Aguero scored the opener against Newcastle after 24 seconds and broke the deadlock against Arsenal after 46 seconds – so Coral’s odds of 27/20 on the visitors leading at the half-hour mark look like good value. The Argentinian, incidentally, is available at 7/2 (BetBright) to score first.
If City have cause for optimism ahead of this midweek clash, the same cannot be said for Everton. It has been a difficult few weeks for Marco Silva and co., with Saturday’s 3-1 home reverse against Wolverhampton Wanderers meaning that the Toffees have now won only three of their last dozen top-flight fixtures.
Having moved into the top six after a 1-0 defeat of Cardiff City in late November, they now find themselves down in ninth place in the table, 14 points adrift of sixth-placed Arsenal and just one above West Ham in 12th.
Silva has come under intense scrutiny as a result of recent happenings, particularly as his Watford team also tailed off in late November last season. An increasing number of Everton fans are beginning to doubt the Portuguese’s methods after a promising start to his career at the club; the Merseysiders were expected to lead the race for seventh spot this term, but that is looking like an increasingly difficult objective to achieve.
Silva is unlikely to be dismissed before the end of the season unless results dramatically deteriorate, but there is no doubt that Everton have encountered numerous problems of late – none more so than in defensive areas.
Indeed, while they may have kept clean sheets in wins against Bournemouth and Huddersfield Town last month, those are the only two shut-outs the Toffees have managed in their last 12 matches.
They have shipped 21 goals in that time to take their overall tally for the campaign to 36 – more than Newcastle and Crystal Palace, two teams who are widely considered to be involved in the relegation battle.
Set-pieces have proven particularly problematic thus far, with the Toffees having conceded 16 times from dead-ball situations so far in 2018/19. Given their recent porousness, it could be worth a small flutter on City scoring at least three goals at Goodison Park – that is available at 21/20 with Coral.
Silva’s side have not exactly set the world alight going forward either, scoring more than one goal in just one of their last six games. It is notable, though, that City have been a little lax defensively in the last few months, keeping just two clean sheets since the end of November – and those came against a Wolves team reduced to 10 men before half-time and bottom club Huddersfield.
For that reason, an away win in a game featuring goals for both teams (7/4 with Unibet) could be the way to go here, while another bet worth taking up is Guardiola’s men to win both halves (7/4 with Unibet).