Things couldn’t have gone much better for Manuel Pellegrini in his opening game in charge of Manchester City.
The Citizens were decisively deadly in front of goal against Newcastle United, knocking four past them in one of the easiest victories you’re ever likely to see in the Premier League.
In contrast, Cardiff City’s opening match in the Premier League was a bit of a disaster. Malky Mackay’s side were brushed aside very readily by West Ham United in a 2-0 defeat as they were given a harsh reality check of how tough life will be at this level.
There is little faith behind the possibility of the Welsh club bouncing back from that defeat by getting a result against a very destructive City outfit.
Odds of 7/1 for a home win have been ignored by punters as Pellegrini’s men have dominated the market over the past few days. City have been backed into 5/12 to continue their 100% start to the season. The draw can be punted at 31/10.
Despite this significant market support, cases can be made for Cardiff to outrun their gigantic odds. City have been severely weakened in their defensive department by the groin injury sustained to Vincent Kompany last week.
Matija Nastasic is expected to return from his spell on the sidelines but his lack of match sharpness may make things tough for him, even against an inferior side.
With talent such as Sergio Aguero and David Silva looking in fine fettle, the visitors should have no problem breaching a Cardiff defence that looked very shaky against the Hammers last weekend. However, City could also potentially be vulnerable defensively.
Mackay can call upon attacking options like Peter Whittingham, Kim Bo-Kyung and new signing Andreas Cornelius, who is reported to be very capable of performing at this level. The smart money could be on both teams to score at 3/4.
No player will be more fired up for the game than local hero Craig Bellamy, who faces his former employers. The Bluebirds’ talisman still can cut the mustard and will fancy his chances of firing past a weakened City backline.
He can be backed at 14/1 to open the scoring.