Manchester City v Sheffield United: Shoot for profit with Cancelo

Joao Cancelo
Joao Cancelo: Has been peppering the opponent's goal of late

Joao Cancelo's shooting prowess can deliver a profit at handsome odds when Manchester City host Sheffield United in the Premier League on Saturday, says Andy Schooler.

"Cancelo has landed a shot on target in five of his last seven Premier League starts yet he’s available at 12/5 to have another at home to the basement dwellers."

Back Cancelo 1+ shot on target @ 12/5 (Sportsbook)

Manchester City v Sheffield United
Saturday 30 January, 15:00
Live on Sky Sports Main Event

Are City back to their best?

Top of the league after seven straight victories. Eighteen games unbeaten in all competitions. Quadruple talk emerging again.

It appears Man City are beginning to purr once more.

Prices about comfortable City wins have been quick to return to their regular levels (frankly they didn't change that much during their funk) but is their improved form really all it's cracked up to be? After all, they still haven't beaten any of the current top seven.

The basis for the improvement has undoubtedly been a tightened defence in which Ruben Dias and John Stones have formed a highly-impressive partnership. They have conceded just a single goal in 12 matches together, leaving the once-untouchable Aymeric Laporte sidelined.

But in forward areas, it is worth remembering that not every game has seen the swaggering domination of Tuesday's 5-0 demolition of West Brom.

In their last home game, City saw plenty of the ball against Aston Villa but the visitors created some decent opportunities in the second half and may well have taken something from the game had it not been for their hosts' controversial opening goal when offside was, correctly, not given.

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Lowly Brighton were also recent visitors and lost only 1-0.

City - 1.162/13 to win this game - had Kevin de Bruyne to unpick the packed opposition defence that night but won't have that luxury on this occasion. He remains sidelined though injury but at least Sergio Aguero may be available again following his positive COVID-19 test earlier this month.

De Bruyne's absence wasn't felt against West Brom, who, not for the first time this season, looked utterly outclassed.

Four wins in five for sharpened Blades

The same cannot be said right now of Sheffield United, who made it four wins from their last five games in all competitions with their shock 2-1 victory on the other side of Manchester on Wednesday night. They are at 25.024/1 to repeat the trick at the Etihad.

Indeed, despite their woeful points haul of just eight so far, they have not looked out of their depth too often during the current campaign.

Chris Wilder, Sheffield United manager.jpg

Eleven of their 16 defeats have been by the single goal, including a 1-0 loss in the reverse fixture in October.

OK, 33 goals conceded in 20 games isn't great but it's fewer than Leeds, Palace, Newcastle and West Brom and I can at least see them putting up a fight here.

Swerve goal-glut repeat

The three previous meetings since the Blades' return to the top flight have had scorelines of 2-0, 1-0 and 1-0. For the record, another win to nil is a 1.664/6 shot.

But those results are also a nod to the 2.5 goal line where the unders are on offer at an eye-catching 2.89/5.

Five of City's last six home league games have landed this bet. The five opponents in question included United's relegation rivals Fulham, West Brom, Newcastle and Brighton.

City's defence has been rock solid of late but the Blades' backline has also been fairly strong - only four times have they conceded three or more this term.

Such a bet carries obvious risk - City are capable of taking apart most teams when they click - but at almost 2/1, under 2.5 goals should at least be considered, particularly with City now having one eye on next weekend's showdown with Liverpool at Anfield.

Joao Can deliver on shots front

A more confident wager comes from the shots markets and centres on City's under-rated but bang-in-form Joao Cancelo.

Ilkay Gundogan has been attracting plenty of plaudits after bagging seven goals in his last eight league games (he's 2.6413/8 to score in this match) but Cancelo has been a star performer who has gone under the radar in their current winning run, contributing plenty to their attacks, usually from full-back but sometimes from midfield.

And the Portuguese's recent shooting stats are impressive - something the layers haven't cottoned onto properly.

Cancelo has landed a shot on target in five of his last seven Premier League starts yet he's available at 12/5 to have another at home to the basement dwellers.

With five of his last six shots on target having come from outside the penalty area, the 9/2 about him having a shot on target from outside the box is also a very tasty price.

City average more shots per game than any other side and with only four teams having more shots against them than the Blades, both of these prices deserve to be backed.

Opta fact

Manchester City have won their last 11 games in all competitions, conceding just three goals in that run. They've never won 12 in a row in their history, while the last top-flight team to do so was Arsenal between August-October 2007.

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Andy Schooler's P/L 2020/21

Staked: 54.5pts
Returned: 40.64pts
P/L: -13.86pts

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Cancelo to have a shot on target and the game to contain under 2.5 goals can be combined as a Same Game Multi at a shade under 10/1!

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