Man City v Southampton: Aguero to give Saints baptism of fire
This fixture looks to have home banker tattooed all over it as Man City start as 1/5 favourites to send Southampton back to the South Coast with nothing.
It’s difficult to see the Champions of England faltering against newly promoted Southampton as they kick off their title defence in front of their home fans.
The stats will make daunting reading for Saints fans as their team try to contain a City side which averaged four goals a game at home against the Premier league new boys last season.
Roberto Mancini’s men were simply clinical at the Etihad, dropping just two points all season, as they marched their way to a first Premier League crown.
City’s Sergio Aguero was not welcome sight for opposition defences either, as he helped himself to 14 of his 23 league goals at home and the diminutive Argentine is 3/1 to be the first scorer here.
Even more worryingly for Southampton’s defenders is that Aguero bagged six goals against the promoted teams last term, including a brace against Swansea on his home debut.
Carlos Tevez also looks set to start alongside his countryman which is another foreboding omen as City won all eight games that he started towards the end of last season.
If concentrating on keeping out players such as Aguero and Tevez wasn’t hard enough for Nigel Adkins men, there is also the task of trying to break through last season’s top defence.
City kept 11 clean sheets at the Etihad and only conceded more than one goal on three occasions.
And with the Saints failing to score in nearly a quarter of their away games in the Championship last season, goals might well be hard to come by.
With this in mind it may well be worth backing a heavy score line to nil for the Premier League champions, backing City to win 4-0 at 10/3 seems an entirely plausible result.
A couple of minor plus points for Southampton would be the proven goal-scoring talents of striker Rickie Lambert, who punters can get on at 4/1 to snatch one for the visitors.
Lambert topped the Championship scoring charts last season with a hugely impressive 27 goals.
Saints have also added the highly rated Nathaniel Clyne from Crystal Palace although the young defender would probably wish for a slightly easier debut – you get the feeling he will be kept busy!