He just cannot stop scoring, can he? Papiss Cisse’s two wonderstrikes in midweek against Chelsea have left commentators and teammates alike searching for new superlatives to describe the Senegalese international and placed him firmly in contention for goal of the season.
A £10 million January signing from Bundesliga side Freiburg – a relative bargain given the £35 million received for Andy Carroll – Cisse has lit up the Premier League with a string of fantastic performances that have seen him net thirteen goals in his first 12 Premier League appearances.
Not even club legend Alan Shearer managed this record, which in itself partly justifies Alan Pardew’s decision to burden Cisse with the Newcastle number 9 shirt.
In fact, only two other players – Micky Quinn and Kevin Phillips – have managed an equally impressive start in the Premier League.
Whatever way you look at it, and regardless of Manchester City’s defensive strengths and the importance of this game for them, he must be considered a strong contender for scoring at the Sports Direct Arena this weekend.
Averaging a goal every 72 minutes this season, he has scored four braces in his past seven games – a truly phenomenal record that Joe Hart will only be too aware of. He doesn’t shy away from the big teams either, with two of these braces registered against Liverpool and Chelsea.
With 52,000 Geordies roaring on Newcastle in their search for an unlikely, but highly deserved, Champions League spot, Cisse will regard this weekend’s match as his most important yet.
Provided that he starts the game as strong as he finished at Stamford Bridge, he may well be able to grab yet another brace against City. Odds of 25/2 for him to do so seem generous given his sublime form, and new Bwin customers who use their free £25 bet to back this will win £337.50 if successful.
Averaging a goal every 72 minutes this season, Cisse has scored four braces in his past seven games – a truly phenomenal record that Joe Hart will only be too aware of.
It goes without saying, however, that this game will not be a walk in the park for Newcastle. Manchester City, vying for their first ever Premier League trophy, will not want to give their title driving seat back to their Manchester neighbours with just one more game to go.
It may have been Vincent Kompany who grabbed their most important goal of the season so far against Sir Alex Ferguson’s men, but it has been the skill of Sergio Aguero that has helped the blue half of Manchester to possess a vital superior goal difference, with 22 league goals in 29 games.
His fine form has shown no signs of tailing off towards the end of the season either: he has netted five times in his past four games. Newcastle will be well aware of his goalscoring instinct, too, having seen him score against them at the Etihad Stadium earlier this season.
Interestingly, though, Aguero doesn’t always manage to net against the big teams in the league. Indeed, four out of the six previous games in which he has drawn a blank have occurred against teams in the top seven. Having played such a vital part in Manchester City’s successful season so far, he will be keen to make amends in this regard and punters should strongly consider backing him to score first at 9/2.
For those looking for a less obvious goalscorer, Yohan Cabaye may well represent a good choice at 5/1 to score any time. The Frenchman abandoned the opportunity of Champions League football with Lille to move to Tyneside last summer and will want to be in the thick of it to ensure that his decision is justified by qualifying with Newcastle.
His ability and confidence has grown throughout the season – his recent performance against Stoke saw him score twice and provide an assist for the third – and with Euro 2012 round the corner he will be keen to impress Laurent Blanc with a strong performance in this massive weekend fixture.
Recommended bet: Cisse to score two or more @ 25/2
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