Sunday, October 20, 2019

Prediction: Cardiff vs Manchester City

Verdict: Over three goals

Best Odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: Bet365

Returning to the dugout on Saturday afternoon, Pep Guardiola will be demanding an immediate response after their midweek defeat to Lyon. This weekend, Manchester City will head to newly-promoted Cardiff.

Cardiff

Starting with Neil Warnock’s Cardiff side, although there were some signs of improvement in their 3-2 loss to Arsenal, it has been a very difficult start for the Bluebirds and they’re just one of three teams yet to pick up a win this season. Coming off the back of a 4-1 defeat away at Stamford Bridge last weekend, it will be their recent defensive issues causing Warnock the most concern. Now conceding nine goals in their last three, Cardiff also crashed out of the League Cup last month at the hands of Championship outfit Norwich. With many tipping them for an immediate drop back down, Cardiff have now not tasted a win in the Premier League in their last 11 outings, a run that stems back to 2014.

Team News

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock will assess the fitness of several players who are carrying niggling injuries or have been affected by a virus.

Harry Arter returns after illness but Aron Gunnarsson has suffered a setback in his recovery from a knee injury.

Manchester City

Well, despite being the bookies favorite to win the Champions League this season, it couldn’t have been a worse start for the defending champions. With Pep Guardiola serving a one-match touchline ban, he had to watch from the stands as his side lost their opening fixture 2-1 against a struggling Lyon side. There is no doubt that the former Barcelona boss will demand his side return to the one that broke almost every Premier League record last season. Although it was a poor start to their European campaign, City are still the team to beat on home soil. Guardiola’s sid are unbeaten in 11 Premier League matches, winning nine. With Cardiff vs Manchester City known to be a fixture that guarantees goals, one man to watch could be England winger Raheem Sterling. The 23-year-old now has two in his last two Premier League appearances.

Team News

There could be a Manchester City recall for Sergio Aguero, who was named on the bench against Lyon, but Benjamin Mendy is absent with a bruised metatarsal.

Kevin de Bruyne, Eliaquim Mangala, Danilo and Claudio Bravo remain out.

Key Factors to Consider

  • The last 10 meetings in all competitions have produced an average of 3.5 goals per match.
  • Cardiff are winless in nine Premier League games since beating Southampton in April 2014 (D3, L6).
  • They have conceded 15 goals in their last six top-flight home matches.
  • Manchester City are unbeaten in 11 Premier League matches, winning nine.
  • They have claimed 23 points from a possible 27 in away fixtures since their defeat at Liverpool in January.

Conclusion

On paper, this appears to be the perfect opportunity for Guardiola’s side to bounce back from their mid-week slump. With the defending champions already holding the joint best-attacking record in the division, a Cardiff defence that have now conceded nine in their last three should certainly be concerned. Given the gulf in class and City’s need to make a statment, we’re backing a goalfest in South Wales.

Verdict: Over three goals

Best Odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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