Manchester City are long odds on favourites for their Premier League clash with Reading on Saturday afternoon. City go into the match off the back of an impressive win at Newcastle last Saturday and they are expected to close the gap with Manchester United at the top of the table this weekend, while basement side Reading could be pushed further into the relegation mire.
City are currently six points behind league leaders United, who are in action against Swansea on Sunday, and Roberto Mancini's team are 3/20 on to take a valuable three points this weekend. Reading on the other hand are a juicy 12/1 to cause a massive upset and 13/2 just to take a draw with William Hill.
Those odds are no real surprise and this is the sort of game that City have made a habit of winning as they continue to bully lesser opposition in the Premiership. Their efforts in Europe may have left a lot to be desired and successive defeats to quality opposition in the form of Borussia Dortmund and Man United were a blow, but they looked somewhere near their best when beating Newcastle 3-1 last weekend and more of the same is expected.
Sergio Aguero opened the scoring at Newcastle and he is 11/4 favourite to score first this weekend. Aguero and Carlos Tevez dovetailed impressively and they have now won all 13 league games they have started together which begs the question why Mancini doesn't start them together more regularly.
That 11/4 for Aguero to score first looks a little on the short side and it is tempting to look for a touch more value at longer odds. Pablo Zabaleta catches the eye at a juicy 33/1 to be first scorer with Hills and he could be worth an each-way punt as the full-back offers a real attacking threat and he has been hugely impressive offensively in recent games, not least when scoring in the unfortunate 3-2 defeat to Manchester United.
City have scored in every home game this season and that doesn't bode well for a Reading side that have conceded 17 goals in their last five matches, including a 5-2 home defeat to Arsenal on Monday night. They were abject against the Gunners and they are now without a clean sheet in their last seven, while they have failed to keep a clean sheet away from home all season.
Brian McDermott's side have really struggled on their travels in the Premier League and it is tough to make a case for them in this Man City v Reading match. The Royals have failed to score in each of their last three away from home and City are 5/6 to win to nil, while City are 11/10 to win with a -2 goal handicap.
That could be worth a look as Reading are on a six-match losing run ahead of this fixture at the Etihad and it is tough to see where their next point is going to come from. They have been the architects of their own downfall at times as they have conceded 10 goals in the final 15 minutes of games this term, while City have scored 10 during that time and City to score between the 76th minute and full-time on Saturday is available at 10/11.
Man City v Reading Form
Check the season's statistics for both Man City and Reading, plus the odds ahead of Saturday's match.
Man City v Reading Tips
Tip #1: Pablo Zabaleta to score first (each-way) @ 33/1 with WilliamHill.
Tip #2: Man City to win with a -2 goal handicap @ 11/10 with WilliamHill.
Tip #3: Man City to score between the 76th minute and full-time @ 10/11 with WilliamHill.
3/20 Man City
Correct Score Odds
10/1 Man City 1-0
13/2 Man City 2-0
10/1 Man City 2-1
20/1 Draw 0-0
14/1 Draw 1-1
28/1 Draw 2-2
40/1 Reading 1-0
80/1 Reading 2-0
40/1 Reading 2-1
First Goalscorer Odds
5/2 Carlos Tevez
11/4 Sergio Aguero
3/1 Edin Dzeko
7/2 Mario Balotelli
5/1 David Silva
11/2 Yaya Toure
6/1 Samir Nasri
6/1 Aleksandr Kolarov
13/2 Scott Sinclair
11/1 James Milner
12/1 Abdul Razak
16/1 Adam Le Fondre
Odds supplied by WilliamHill.com, who offer live betting in-running for all Premier League matches.
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