Can Manchester City bounce back?
No doubt about the shock of last weekend: Cardiff’s sensational 3-2 victory over Manchester City. We have grown used to early-season turn-ups in the Premier League each year, but not many people saw this one coming.
So, after toppling one of the title favourites, can the Bluebirds, back in the top flight after more than 50 years, now show everyone that it was no flash-in-the-pan and beat another side they’re not supposed to, Everton, in South Wales tomorrow?
Malky Mackay’s men will be cock-a-hoop and fancying their chances after what some have described as Cardiff’s greatest achievement since they beat Real Madrid 1-0 at Ninian Park in the first leg of the Cup Winners Cup quarter-finals back in 1971.
And with their passionate fans roaring them on again, they will have no reason to fear Everton, still searching for their first League win under Roberto Martinez following draws away at Norwich and at home to West Brom.
Fraizer Campbell, Cardiff’s two-goal hero last Sunday, is 6/1 with Coral to get on the scoresheet first for the home side and Everton will not need to be told to pay attention to the striker at set pieces.
But Everton will be no pushovers and offer plenty of goal threats themselves, including Marouane Fellaini (10/1) and Leighton Baines (16/1) in possibly their last games for the Toffees before they head down the East Lancs Road to Old Trafford, and new England starlet, Ross Barkley (16/1), who is starting to look the real deal in midfield. This game has the feel of a draw about it (23/10).
Newcastle and Sunderland are also without a win so far this season and they really need to put that right this weekend to muffle the alarm bells already ringing in the background.
Fresh from Capital One Cup victories during the week, both North East clubs now have very winnable Premier League games, Newcastle (11/10) at home to Fulham and Sunderland (17/10) away at Crystal Palace.
Newcastle lacked a cutting edge up front last season and manager Alan Pardew will be hoping that Loic Remy – at last wearing the black and white of the Magpies, albeit on loan, after preferring to join QPR last season – will weigh in with some crucial goals this campaign. The French striker is poised to make his debut tomorrow (possibly from off the bench) and is 6/1 with Coral to net first or last for the home side.
Meanwhile Man City (1/6) have a chance to cover up their blushes by taking out their frustrations on another of the relegation candidates, Hull City, at the Etihad. Lightning couldn’t strike twice in a week, could it? If anybody thinks so, Coral are going 16/1 a win for Steve Bruce’s boys.
Written by Jon Freeman