Manchester City put their Premier League unbeaten home streak on the line against one of the three sides who managed to hold them to a draw. After opening up with four draws and a win, Sunderland also have an unbeaten run to protect ahead of this Saturday's lunchtime kick off. Paul Robinson takes a look at where the value lies.
"This fixture finished 3-3 last season and given City’s defensive woes and Fletcher’s form, I can see this being another high scoring affair."
Even the most biased Manchester City fan will admit that their side haven't been anywhere near their best so far this year. The once rock solid defence is conceding goals left, right and centre. City don't have a clean sheet to their name and this all culminated with Borussia Dortmund tearing them apart on Wednesday night.
There have been no such problems at the other end of the field though as the defending champions have netted 12 goals in half a dozen league games and Roberto Mancini finally has all four of his star strikers to choose from, with both David Silva and Samir Nasri available in midfield.
You can back City here at [1.3] but that doesn't really scream value to me against a gritty Sunderland outfit. Nevertheless, I wouldn't be keen to back against them either, so I think, at the prices, this market should be left alone.
The Black Cats have made a solid start to their campaign, and while they are unbeaten, they have only won one game; a hard fought 1-0 win over 10 man Wigan on Saturday. The worrying thing for Martin O'Neill is that £12m man Steven Fletcher is the only player to get on the score sheet in the league. The Scot has amazingly scored five goals from five shots on target and that has led his team to having the best conversion rate in the top flight (24%).
You can back Fletcher to net the first goal at [12.5] but there's another player in the team who has form in this fixture. Adam Johnson has scored twice in this match up; once at the Etihad and once at the Stadium Of Light. Ironically the England winger is on the opposite side now but he could still be worth a small back at [17.5] to continue his run and show Mancini that he was wrong to let him go.
This fixture finished 3-3 last season and given City's defensive woes and Fletcher's form, I can see this being another high scoring affair. Over 2.5 goals is trading around the [1.67] mark, but I'd be more inclined to back Over 3.5 at [2.7].
If you want a correct score then how about Any Unquoted at [4.5] as three of Sunderland's last 13 away league trips have gone unquoted and four of City's 19 at home last season did.