Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are by some way the shortest-priced Premier League side on opening day at 1/5 with bwin, and it’s not hard to see why the Spanish tactician is such a banker to get his tenure off to a flyer at home to Sunderland.
The Black Cats haven’t managed to avoid defeat against the two-time Premier League champions since former striker Connor Wickham’s brace helped secure a valuable point as Sunderland, managed at the time by Gus Poyet, stormed to unlikely safety late in the 2013/14 campaign.
City’s 1-0 win at the Stadium of Light in February was merciful compared to three 4-1 thrashings in the four previous fixtures between this pair, with the other a nervy 3-2 home win at the Etihad.
New Sunderland boss David Moyes’ most recent opening-day form has been decent, with a 4-1 victory away to Swansea three years ago in his only such fixture in charge of Manchester United following a 1-0 triumph over the Red Devils when boss of Everton 12 months earlier.
However, Moyes registered four opening-day defeats in a row with the Toffees prior to the start of the 2012/13 campaign, going down to Blackburn twice, losing to QPR, and suffering a 6-1 caning at home to Arsenal seven years ago.
Allied with Sunderland’s woeful record at City in the Premier League, with two draws and ten losses in 12 visits, it would be reckless to recommend anything but a home win in Guardiola’s first competitive fixture on British shores.
Each of the past seven all-competition Man City v Sunderland matches in the north west saw at least three strikes registered, but six of those games managed to eke out at least one more, so taking a chance on over 3.5 goals at 13/10 makes sense, with 1/2 on offer about over 2.5 efforts.
At 29/2, 4-1 to the hosts must hold value considering the spooky regularity of this correct score of late.