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Porous Man City to come a cropper on against sturdy Newcastle

| 11.01.2014

The Manchester City goal machine is on the road and heading for the north east, but as the St James’ Park turf shudders under the dum, dum, dum of their colossal footsteps, Alan Pardew loads spanners into his backpack and stretches his slingshot arm.

Throttling all comers without dirtying their kit at home, City have seemingly amended the away day gripes that haunted them in the initial stages of the Manuel Pellegrini tenure with four straight league successes.

On these grounds, few would turn their nose up at the Citizens’ 4/6 odds for victory here, though the masses lining up for a piece of this action will be cursing their eagerness come the final whistle on Tyneside.

Newcastle are too princely-priced to ignore at 4/1, while the 14/5-rated draw is also a real possibility given their strong league showing this campaign.

Arsenal and, somewhat obscurely, Hull are the only league visitors to file back on to the team bus with three points in tow following St James’ sojourns. Liverpool and Chelsea are amongst those unable to better the Magpies at home, an esteemed bracket that, of course, includes City, who required extra time to knock them out of the Capital One Cup.

Effective is one adjective that fittingly describes the majority of their home performances, efficient, though, probably doesn’t.

Using the Hull loss as a starting point, Chelsea are the only team not to bag a league goal when visiting the Toon and such defensive generosity means the team topping the league goalscoring standings are certain to celebrate at least once here.

In that same period, however, the Gunners boast the only clean sheet recorded at the most northerly top-tier venue.

These facts conspire to make both teams to bag an unadventurous, but cast iron banker at 8/13.

City have conceded in eight straight road games across all competitions, allowing exactly two in three of their last five. The hosts have scored exactly that many in five of eight home league games, so punting on them to bag either two or three at 23/10 should appease those in search of a beefed up bounty for a winning bet.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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James Middleton