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- 2014-15 Premiership
It’s Cup Final time in London this weekend, as Manchester City take on Wigan Athletic in a David vs Goliath encounter at Wembley Stadium.
Bookies aren’t giving Wigan much of a chance in the betting markets, but the FA Cup is where some of football’s most heroic deeds have been forged, and neutrals will be hoping for a competitive game on Saturday.
The head-to-head record between these two clubs doesn’t paint a pretty picture for Wigan fans. City have taken 7 consecutive wins against Wigan, and have not lost to their FA Cup rivals in 9 matches.
Wigan last managed to beat Manchester City in the 2008-09 Premier League, prior to Roberto Mancini’s arrival at the Etihad Stadium and the subsequent evolution of City into a top tier club. Prior to the turnaround at Manchester City, Wigan had defeated City regularly, and had gone 6 consecutive matches without losing a game to the Manchester side.
One thing going for Wigan is that Man City have not been at the top of their game in recent weeks, winning three of their last five fixtures, but stumbling in a 3-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, and drawing away to Swansea without getting a goal on the board.
While City did manage to beat Wigan during this period, Wigan weren’t disgraced in their 1-0 defeat to City at the Etihad in April.
Where City look most vulnerable is on attack, where they have managed to score just 5 goals in five matches. None of the strikers is in peak form, and the goals have been spread out amongst the club’s key attackers, with none of these managing to score on a consistent basis.
Defence has been doing a decent job, in comparison. City has let in just 4 goals in five matches, but had their defensive weaknesses ruthlessly exposed by Tottenham when they went down 3-1 at White Hart Lane.
Wigan’s form hasn’t been particularly encouraging of late. The club is currently in real danger of relegation and will need to win its remaining two Premiership matches to stay in the top flight next season. The last few weeks have seen the club lose three of its last five fixtures, managing a solid draw against Tottenham and pulling off an away win against West Brom.
Those two performances highlight that all is not lost for the club. In those two fixtures alone Wigan put away 5 goals, and scored another 2 in their most recent fixture – a defeat to Swansea. That means that Wigan have scored 7 goals in three matches, demonstrating sufficient firepower to get past the City defence.
Wigan’s major problem will be defence. They’ve let in an unforgiveable 10 goals in five matches, which has kept them on the back foot and mired in the drop zone. If they can pull together at the back, then Manchester City could have a game on their hands, but with the joint highest number of goals conceded in the Premiership this season, there’s little reason to believe that they will.
Manchester City are trading at well below Evens for this fixture, with most bookies offering 1/6 or lower on the City win. However, bookies’ aren’t completely ruling out the Wigan win, and have the udnerdogs priced under 5/1.
Wigan is capable of winning this match, but it will all need to come together perfectly for the club. They are capable of scoring from several positions, and can get goals in the net. City’s strikers are not in their best form, which means the patchy Wigan defence could prevent a volley of goals getting past them.
So City should still win it, but there’s room for doubt. We’re not going to be betting on the winner of the match, given the low odds on offer all round, but are instead going to take a look at the goalscorer betting markets.
Wigan has been involved in several high-scoring encounters recently, while Man City’s attacking capabilities are no secret. The game should therefore produce 3 or more goals, and with that in mind our 2013 FA Cup final betting tip is to go with a back bet on over 2.75 goals being scored in this game in the over/under goals betting markets.
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