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?
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!