Man City Favoured to Top the EPL as 2014 Begins

 

Samir Nasri finds the net in a 3-0 City win over Swansea earlier this season.

Samir Nasri finds the net in a 3-0 City win over Swansea earlier this season.

The second half of the Premier League season kicks off this New Year’s Day with the clash of Swansea and Manchester City at the Liberty Stadium with the visitors knowing that they can go top of the league if they avoid defeat in this match. City would prefer to win this game to give themselves a two point gap over Arsenal, who face Cardiff in a 3pm kickoff, and give themselves the best chance at staying top should the Gunners slip up at The Emirates, but will they be able to do so having failed to win either of their two Premier League visits to the Liberty Stadium or even score a goal?

GR88.com certainly believe that the 2011/12 Premier League winners can win this match as they lean towards the away win in the opening match of 2014, but with City missing their injured top scorer Sergio Aguero and suspended David Silva for this game can they live up to their favourites billing and go to the summit of the league table?

Swansea v Man City Odds:

Home Victory – 5.00

Level at Full Time – 3.80

Away Win – 1.61

(Odds provided by GR88.com are current as of today but subject to change.)

Even though they are odds-on favourites to win this match I feel that City offer plenty of value in this Swansea v Man City game as they are in outstanding form both in general and away from home now that they have overcome their away day teething troubles under Manuel Pellegrini. They struggled at the start of the season away from the Etihad Stadium as they defeated only Viktoria Plzen and CSKA Moscow in the Champions League as well as West Ham in the EPL in their first nine away games of the season. Since then though they have turned things around nicely and they have found the net on 14 occasions as they have won four and drawn one of their last five away games, including beating Champions League winners Bayern Munich in German. They only issue that I can see with City’s away form is that they are not tight enough defensively with eight conceded in their last five away trips and just one clean sheet in 11. Will their attacking abilities see them through this Swansea v Man City game though?

Swansea’s recent form does not make happy reading for fans of the Welsh club as they are without a victory in seven matches and at home they have claimed just five wins in 14 games, with three of those coming in the early stages of their Europa League campaign. In the Premier League they have defeated only Sunderland and Newcastle but on the other side of things they have lost just once in their last six Premier League games at the Liberty Stadium. The two wins against the Tyne and Wear derby combatants are joined by draws against West Ham, Stoke and Hull while their last home match saw them edged out by the impressive Everton.

Armed with this reasonable home record of late and two clean sheets in two matches against City in Premier League clashes at the Liberty Stadium can Swansea upset the odds in the first match of this new year and dent Man City’s chances at reclaiming their Premier League title? I am not convinced as this City side does not know how to stop scoring goals with an average of almost three goals a game this season in the league. I:see City outstripping this Swansea side in front of goal and cruising to an easy win as they begin 2014 in the same fashion that they ended 2013.

Back Man City to beat Swansea by at least two goals (Man City -0.75) and return to the top of the Premier League @ 1.77 in the GR88 Sportsbook!

AntonyANTONY JORDAN (antonygr88) is an avid football and cricket fan who loves to play his favourite sports as much as write about them and bet on them.  Read his daily sports betting blog at GR88.com.

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No rest of New Year‘s Day

The English Premier League title race promises to be the most exciting in years.

English Premier League title race promises to be the most exciting in years.

The English Premier League season moves into the New Year with fans across the globe rubbing their hands in glee at what promises to be the most exciting title race in years.  Going into the traditional full New Year’s Day programme on Wednesday, there are just six points separating current leaders Arsenal from fifth placed Liverpool and every title-chasing team will be anxious to get 2014 off to a flying start.

It is second placed Manchester City who get the ball rolling at mid-table Swansea knowing that a win would increase the pressure on their rivals. The Gunners are a hot favourite to pick up all three points against Cardiff at the Emirates, whilst London rivals Chelsea face a tough trip to the south coast to face Southampton. Liverpool, who have slipped behind their Merseyside rivals Everton after successive losses to Man City and Chelsea, entertain a Hull City side buoyant from a 6-0 thrashing of Fulham on Saturday. The heat is well and truly on coach Brendan Rodgers and his Reds, but Luis Suarez and co. should have the class to get back on track. Defending Premier League champions Manchester United may still be down in sixth in the table, but the Red Devils have won four EPL contests on the trot and cannot yet be counted out, especially if they get their 2014 rolling with another three-point haul at home to Tottenham!

Premier League New Year’s football betting odds:

Arsenal                 1.2                                          Manchester United        1.65
Draw                     6.0                                          Draw                                     3.65
Cardiff City          12.0                                        Tottenham                         5.0

(Odds provided by Intertops Sportsbook are current of today, but subject to change)

 

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chrisives-50CHRIS I. (tipsterchris) is a European sports blogger who’s hooked on football — both NFL American football and European football.  Chris discusses betting tips and trends and includes betting odds in his regular posts at BI.

Will Swansea end a decade wait for a home win over Hull tonight?

Bookies favour a home victory for Swansea at the Liberty Stadium this evening.

Bookies favour a home victory for Swansea at the Liberty Stadium this evening.

Swansea and Hull come into tonight’s Premier League clash separated only by Stoke City in the Premier League table with the sides having taken 18 and 17 points respectively from their opening 14 matches of the season. They will both see this match as a winnable one, but which of the two sides will be one that takes all three points and puts space between them and moves into the top half of the table?

GR88.com favour a home victory for Swansea at the Liberty Stadium this evening despite not having taken a home win in normal time against Hull City, soon to be the Hull City Tigers, and their Swansea v Hull betting odds are as below:

Swansea v Hull Betting Odds:

Swansea to win – 1.67

Draw – 3.45

Hull to win – 5.10

(Odds provided by GR88.com are current as of today but subject to change.)

Swansea will come into this match full of the confidence that a 3-0 win over one of the form sides in the league, in Newcastle, provides and with this win being fresh in their minds having only happened last Wednesday they will be looking to hit the same heights again this evening. That win over Alan Pardew’s men ended a two game losing streak that saw Valencia and Manchester City defeat them 1-0 and 3-0 in the Europa and Premier Leagues at home and away respectively. That loss to Valencia is their only home defeat in seven, but they have only one won of their last five at the Liberty Stadium too as they recorded three draws between beating St. Gallen and Sunderland 1-0 and 4-0 before losing to Valencia. They will need to perform at the level they produced against Newcastle if they are to win tonight, but can Swansea manage this level two games running?

Against a Hull City side that does not travel well I feel that Swansea are deserving of being the odds on favourites to win this match tonight and that they should be able to pick off Steve Bruce’s men in the same manner as Newcastle. Hull may have produced the performances needed to stay in the Premier League in front of their own fans at the KC Stadium, but with their away record reading six losses in seven Premier League games they are likely to struggled tonight. They have a total of five away goals this season and three of those came at Newcastle when they claimed their only points on the road so far in a 3-2 win, but they have been outscored 9-2 in the four following matches and clearly struggle as the visitors but can they turn that around this evening?

Hull did have an unbeaten season when the sides last faced each other in the 2010/11 Championship season as they claimed a 2-0 victory at the KC Stadium before drawing 1-1 in Wales, but with their away form this season I am struggling to see them get anything out of this match. They do not score enough or regularly enough to challenge a confidence boosted Swansea side will be looking to hone their game before looking to book their place in the knockout stages of the Europa League on Thursday night and I can see Hull being easily defeated in Wales this evening.

I am backing Swansea to win this match by at least two goals on the handicap market of Swansea -0.75 goals (half stake on Swansea -0.5, half stake on Swansea -1) @ 1.88.

 

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AntonyANTONY JORDAN (antonygr88) is an avid football and cricket fan who loves to play his favourite sports as much as write about them and bet on them.  Read his daily sports betting blog at GR88.com.