Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Prediction: Manchester City vs Norwich City

Verdict: Manchester City win & under five goals

Best Odds: 8/13

Bookmaker: Unibet

Looking to pick up their first Premier League victory at the second attempt this weekend, Manchester City will welcome Norwich to the Etihad on Saturday afternoon.

Manchester City

Starting with the hosts, while many expected Manchester City to open this year’s Premier League campaign with a statement away at a Tottenham side in transition, it was a nightmare start for the defending champions. With Pep Guardiola suffering his first opening weekend defeat since his time at Barcelona, The Sky Blues were hit with yet another defeat in North London. Despite being tipped as a standout pick to claim their fourth domestic crown in the past five years, City do have the feel of a side seeking a boost. Hit with Champions League heartbreak back in May as they suffered a 1-0 loss against Chelsea in their first European final, the former Bayern Munich boss also saw Leicester stun them in the capital a fortnight ago. Suffering another 1-0 defeat as they watch The Foxes lift the Community Shield trophy, Guardiola’s side really are crying out for a new number nine to fill the void left by Sergio Aguero. Despite their blip last weekend, City should be looking to open their account at the second attempt.

Team News

Coming off the bench against Tottenham last weekend, midfielder Kevin De Bruyne should come in alongside Jack Grealish to make his first start of the season.

However, still dealing with an injury issue, England international Phil Foden will once again be missing on Saturday afternoon.

Norwich City

As for the visitors, while the mood in Norwich’s camp might have been at a real high as they once again made their Premier League return last weekend, The Yellows quickly came crashing back down to earth. Knowing that they faced a stern test when former top-flight champions Liverpool came to Carrow Road seven days ago, Daniel Farke’s men were hit with what was a routine 3-0 drumming in East Anglia. Handed a hugely overwhelming start to the 2021/22 campaign that sees them still have to face off against Leicester before heading into the international break, this weekend’s guests face another monumental task on Saturday afternoon. Signing off their last Premier League adventure two years ago by mustering just a single point from any of their final 10 top-flight contests on the road, it should also be noted that hold a worrying record at the Etihad. Including a 5-0 drumming the last time they travelled to Manchester, they have lost their last three contests away at the defending champions by an aggregate score of 14-1.

Team News

Still dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak in their camp from earlier in the month, there remain question marks over the likes of Onel Hernandez, Jordan Hugill and Przemyslaw Placheta.

However, making his debut last weekend, Chelsea loanee Billy Gilmour should retain his spot in midfield.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the two sides last faced off at the Etihad, Manchester City picked up a 5-0 romp.
    • In fact, the defending Premier League champions have won their last three home fixtures against Norwich by an aggregate score of 14-1.
    • Norwich signed off their last Premier League run back in the 2019/20 campaign by collecting just a single point from their final 10 matchups away from Carrow Road.
    • Manchester City’s 1-0 loss away at Spurs last weekend was Pep Guardiola’s first opening day defeat since his time at Barcelona.
    • Continuing on from May’s Champions League defeat against Chelsea, City have failed to find the net in their last three competitive contests.

    Conclusion

    While Manchester City might have opened the new campaign with a shock 1-0 defeat away at Spurs last weekend, the defending champions should be looking to pick up maximum points at the second attempt on Saturday afternoon. Still looking to find a clinical edge after now drawing a blank in each of their last three competitive contests, The Sky Blues couldn’t have asked for a better fixture this weekend. Making the return to the Etihad and holding what is a rampant record against the Premier League returners, Norwich could be in for another long afternoon. Marking their return with what was a routine 3-0 defeat against Liverpool on home soil, it is hard to see anything other than a home win here, even if it might not be as clinical as previous seasons.

    Verdict: Manchester City win & under five goals

    Best Odds: 8/13

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    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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