The joint-best defence in last season’s Premier League takes on the second-best defensive unit in last season’s Championship at Eastlands this evening.
Hosts Manchester City conceded just 33 goals – an average of 0.87 a game – in English football’s top flight in the 2011-12 campaign, while their opponents Swansea let in 45 at an average of 0.92 in the division below.
This points to a 0-0 draw at odds of 9/1, although bwin’s 3Way football betting market paints a completely different picture.
Roberto Mancini’s men are third-favourites for the title with odds of 33/10 and as such are heavily backed to beat the Swans, who are favourites to go down.
A Man City win is priced at 8/25, a draw at 73/20 and an unlikely Swansea victory at 9/1.
The gulf between the two teams is reflected by their summer transfer activity as well as the betting market, with the Citizens continuing their extravagant acquisition policy with the signing of Sergio Aguero from Atletico Madrid for £38 million.
Swansea’s combined summer spending only totals just over a quarter of the Aguero fee alone, and Mancini’s outlay does not stop with the Argentine striker – he has also brought in Costel Pantilimon, Stefan Savic and Gael Clichy.
With City building from already-solid foundations – they finished third in the Premier League last season – and Swansea only making it up to the top flight by way of the play-offs, the Citizens’ status as favourites is more than justified.
As a result, while the Citizens look good bets to start their campaign with a clean sheet, the Swans could have trouble keeping the City attack quiet given the gulf in class – particularly as the Blues found the net twice against reigning champions Manchester United in last Sunday’s Community Shield.
With this in mind, a 3-0 scoreline appears to offer value at odds of 29/4.
A successful £25 free bet on Man City to win 3-0, available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account, would return £206.25.
Meanwhile, new signing Aguero is in line to make his first appearance in a City shirt this evening, possibly from the subs’ bench, and is available at 7/2 to score the final goal of the game.
One last option would be to have a punt on Man City to be in front at the interval given they scored more goals in the first half (33) than they did in the second (27) last season, with this bet available at odds of 3/4.
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