Premier League Betting Odds & Picks: Manchester City vs. Newcastle United (Saturday, Dec. 26)
Adrian Dennis/PA Images via Getty Images. Pictured: Manchester City stars Kyle Walker, left, and Raheem Sterling.
- Manchester City continues its quest to get back inside the Premier League top four Saturday when it hosts Newcastle United in a Boxing Day match.
- Can the Cityzens maintain their dominance over the Magies at the Etihad?
- Brad Cunningham explains why he's expecting a low-scoring affair at the Etihad Stadium below.
Manchester City vs. Newcastle Odds
|Manchester City odds||-835 [BET NOW]|
|Newcastle odds||+2200 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+850 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||3.5 (-132/+106) [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday, 3 p.m. ET|
Manchester City continues its quest to get back inside the Premier League’s top four Saturday when it hosts Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium.
After starting the season on the wrong foot, the Cityzens will need to put together a major run to make up ground in the league. Manchester City is currently in eighth place, putting it eight points off the pace. However, this is a very favorable match for the Cityzens before they head to Goodison Park on Monday to take on Everton.
On the other side, Newcastle has had a wild ride of a season and currently holds with a 5-3-5 record. The Magpies got hammered by Manchester City during the restart this summer to the tune of a 5-0 defeat.
You have to go all the way back to 2006 to find the last time Newcastle wast beaten at the Etihad by the host side. And it was just a draw that day for the Magpies.
Can Newcastle finally break the streak of 11 consecutive losses to Manchester City on the road in this Boxing Day showdown?
The most surprising part of Manchester City’s start to the season is that its usually-prolific offense has been stymied. The Cityzens are averaging just 1.74 expected goals per match, which is well below where they were in 2019/20 and finished with a 2.69 xG/match average.
Manchester City’s attack has started to show signs of life lately, generating 2.09 xG/90 in its last four league fixtures. However, two thirds of those expected goals were against West Bromwich Albion and Fulham, which are sides fighting relegation at the moment.
Due to its sluggish start, Manchester City doesn’t have the luxury of taking anybody lightly, so I expect this encounter with Newcastle will have manager Pep Guardiola’s full attention, even if they have that looming Everton match.
Good fortune was the story of Newcastle’s 2019-20 campaign. The club finished in 13th place, but the Magpies had the worst expected-goal differential (-30.54) in the entire league.
Newcastle’s actual goal differential was -20, showing that it was one of the luckiest teams in the English top flight last season. However, this season, the Magpies have completely reversed the narrative on defense.
The Magpies have seen nice improvement from last season in their own defensive third of the pitch, only allowing 1.43 xG per match this year compared to 1.76 xG last season.
Offensively, Newcastle has improved in the scoring department, thanks to the arrival of Callum Wilson from Bournemouth. The striker has already bagged seven goals in his first nine appearances for the Magpies, generating 0.70 xG per 90 minutes.
However, the Magpies are desperately missing Allen Saint-Maximin, their go-to creative midfielder. He’s been sidelined the last few matches due to COVID-19 issues, making it likely he misses this contest.
Projections and Pick
Given how much of dip Manchester City’s offense has taken this season, I am expecting a lower-scoring game than expected. In fact, only 23 percent of the Cityzens’ fixtures have gone over 2.5 goals this season.
On the flip side, Newcastle has only had 46 percent of its matches reach three or more goals.
Since I have 3.11 goals projected for this meeting, I think there is some value on the total staying under 3.5 goals at a nice price.
Pick: Total Under 3.5 Goals (-112)