Man City host QPR tomorrow (Saturday, 5.30pm GMT) in a repeat last season’s epic finale, which saw City clinch their first Premier League title in the most dramatic scenes at the Etihad Stadium. Premier League titles do not come easily, but after scoring twice in injury time to seal it, the Manchester City fans and players alike were sent into ecstasy.
It is unlikely that this weekend’s game will include the same drama as that historic day, but three points is equally important for both sides. Manchester City are yet to hit top gear this season, and although it is nowhere near time to panic, Chelsea already look like the main competitors to their Premier League title defence.
City started with a 3-2 win over newly-promoted Southampton, and in fairness, were lucky to get the win after trailing 2-1 with just 20 minutes left to play. Goals from Samir Nasri and Edin Dzeko were enough to see the champions over the line, but against more illustrious opponents they would not have been so fortunate.
City then put in another sub-standard performance at Anfield against Liverpool, and were this time more than fortunate to leave with a point. City were remarkably flat, and without Sergio Aguero up front they seemed toothless and unimaginative. Were it not for some horrific Liverpool defending then City would surely have lost 2-0, but goals gifted to them for Yaya Toure and Carlos Tevez saw them claim an undeserved point.
City have not utilised the transfer window as many thought, but instead Roberto Mancini has opted for younger less high profile players, such as Scott Sinclair who has arrived for just over £6m from Swansea. Sinclair impressed greatly in a poor GB side in the Olympic games, but wonders how much game time he will get in the strongest squad in the country.
Bet365 odds on this Premier League match:
2/11 Man City, 6/1 QPR, 14/1 Draw
Sadly for QPR, after two weeks of under-performing, City may finally click this weekend. Therefore it is fortunate that QPR have bought Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar from Inter Milan just this week. Cesar will surely replace Rob Green, which is an odd move considering that Green only arrived earlier this summer. Seemingly Mark Hughes has seen enough already. QPR did concede five in their first game of the season against Swansea at home, and maybe that one game was enough for Hughes. It seems harsh though.
QPR recovered from that brutal hammering at home to nick a point from Norwich last weekend, in a significantly improved performance. QPR seem very ambitious this year under owner Tony Fernandes, and having already bought Park Ji-Sung and Fabio, it seems that QPR are trying to bring in players who know how to win. The signing of Cesar certainly justifies this thought, as he won the Champions League with Inter Milan just three years ago.
Betting Tips Verdict
Realistically QPR will be happy to leave the Etihad with a draw on Saturday and much depends on how City cope without Aguero. Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli were given the chance last weekend, but Balotelli could make way tomorrow for Dzeko as Mancini looks for consistency over brilliance. Whatever happens new keeper Cesar will have his hands full, and will be unlikely to prevent a City victory.