Man City vs Aston Villa
Manchester City mopped the floor with Crystal Palace at the weekend, and have conceded just two goals in their last nine league matches – remarkable stuff, and testament to the renascent John Stones.
Not content with his role in City’s near impassable defense, on Sunday Stones also scored twice to leave Pep Guardiola delighted – and City supporters sensing that the Premier League championship could be coming back to the blue half of Manchester this season.
City could go top of the league if they beat Aston Villa on Wednesday – and as good as the Villans have been this season, they’ve endured setbacks against Chelsea and Man Utd in recent weeks, and may find Guardiola’s team offer a similarly difficult challenge.
In the most recent five meetings in all comps between these sides, City have come out on top in each match. The last three league games between the two have an aggregate scoreline of 13–1 in the Manchester side’s favour.
Will this match be similarly high scoring? City’s lack of goals for much of the season may be a vanishing trend, with three goals scored against Chelsea earlier this month, as well as the 4-0 drubbing of Palace at the weekend.
Still, Villa have generally kept the score down in recent defeats; in their last four league losses, they’ve been turned over by just a single goal. That’s 2-1 to Man Utd, West Ham and Brighton, and 4-3 to Southampton.
Villa might be able to keep things similarly tight here; you can back City to win by 1 in the Exact Winning Margin market at 16/5.
Fulham vs Man Utd
Fulham were narrowly beaten by Chelsea at the weekend, though they held their own for much of the match, despite playing the entire second half with ten men after a red card for Antonee Robinson.
Prior to that defeat, Fulham had kept five league draws on the bounce, and may be hopeful of landing a point against Man Utd on Wednesday. But there’s no arguing with United’s recent unbeaten run, even if the much-ballyhooed game against Liverpool at the weekend turned out to be low on incident.
The usually influential Bruno Fernandes was not at his best, so will he and the Manchester side he embodies come roaring back here?
With Fulham’s recent record as draw specialists, the odds of 10/3 for a stalemate may sound tempting – but it’s sobering to remember that Fulham haven’t even scored a goal in their last three league games at Craven Cottage.
United surely have the personnel to win this one, even if the odds of 13/25 probably aren’t bowling you over. How about this – in three of the last four league games at the Cottage between these sides, United have scored at least three goals. You can back the visitors to win 3-0 at 19/2, or alternatively back over 2.5 goals by United at 15/8.
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