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The value bet that keeps coming up when Man City host Stoke

| 21.02.2014

Manchester City’s veneer of invincibility at their Etihad home has been yanked clean off by Chelsea and Barcelona in recent weeks, but we’ve found a cracking trend that says Manuel Pellegrini’s men will bounce back with something to spare against Stoke.

Four of the last five renewals of this Premier League fixture in the blue half of Manchester, including each of the past three, have finished 3-0 to Man City.

It’s 13/2 with Ladbrokes that the same scoreline comes in again for Pellegrini’s warriors when old boss Mark Hughes takes his Potters charges up the M6 and considering the hosts’ record in front of the faithful this season, that looks a very backable price.

There’s certainly plenty of evidence to suggest that this clash will feature over 2.5 goals at odds of 2/5, as City’s last four home games prior to the visits of Chelsea (twice) and Barca each passed that mark within 70 minutes.

Nine of the 2011/12 Premier League champions’ 21 home games this term have been won to nil, which can be backed at 5/6 to happen for the 10th time, while those who fancy a straight-up wager on the home win can pile on at 2/11.

Stoke last beat City in the league at the Britannia back in 2009, although they did hold Pellegrini and co to a 0-0 draw in the Potteries back in September and are 6/1 to share the spoils again here, while Hughes’ bruisers can be backed for an unlikely victory at equally implausible odds of 14/1.

Sergio Aguero is the favourite at 5/2 to open the scoring for the hosts, but the Argentine has missed his side’s last four games through injury and even if he were to start – which isn’t expected – City’s plethora of goal-getters ensure there’s better value to be had in this market.

Surprising though it may seem, midfield maestro Yaya Toure is the Citizens’ second-highest scorer in the top flight this season, with a cracking return of 12 goals in 24 league appearances, and with the Ivorian on penalty duty in Aguero’s absence, he rates a superb shout at 6/1 to bag the opener.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Alex Fortune