Newcastle can cast doubts on Manchester City’s campaign
While start of season curtain raisers, in the grand scheme of things mean nothing, the recent Community Shield match exposed glaring holes in Manchester City’s squad.
Having been gunned down 3-0 by Arsenal, Manuel Pellegrini takes his team to Tyneside for the first Premier League match of the new campaign to take on a Newcastle United side full of promise. At 4/1, the Magpies are fantastic value to beat their visitors, who looked just ordinary last time out.
New signing Remy Cabella could prove a handful this term, and will relish the test that champions City can provide. Defensive midfielder Fernando, who moved to the Etihad in the summer, looked error-prone against Arsenal, and Cabella can run riot against the Etihad anchorman, if he plays.
Pellegrini’s side are odds-on at 4/6 for the win, however striker Sergio Aguero faces a late fitness test. It could well work in Newcastle’s favour if the Argentine does play, as he looks mentally shot, and could struggle to make an impact.
In attacker Ayoze Perez, manager Alan Pardew and his recruitment team may have unearthed a gem. He has everything; pace, trickery and a sublime eye for goal, so Coral offer odds of 2/1 for the Spaniard to net anytime.
For City, meanwhile, their best hope could materialise from Edin Dzeko ,who looks likely to lead the line if Aguero doesn’t feature, and is 5/1 to open the scoring.
Montenegro international forward Stevan Jovetic has looked impressive in pre-season and, if he can stay injury free this term, can take the Premier League by storm. He is 6/4 to find the net anytime at St James’ Park, though there will be question marks about his character, and whether he can step up when the going gets tough.
Undoubtedly, the key man for the away team is Yaya Toure, who was imperative to City’s title winning campaign last season. If he can find a way through Newcastle’s defence, he is a sensational 6/1 to score first. Pellegrini’s side may just be caught out by the Magpies, though.