Manchester City (-450) vs. Sunderland (+1500) (Draw +600)
A Premier League mismatch is on tap for Thursday morning, as Manchester City host struggling Sunderland on New Year’s Day at Etihad Stadium (10:00 a.m. Eastern).
The Sky Blues are the heavy favorites in the moneyline, listed at -450. Meanwhile, a Sunderland win will pay +1500 and the draw +600.
Manchester City is unbeaten in their last ten games in the English Premier League with eight wins and two draws. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing, though; last weekend, the squad could only manage a draw against a weak Burnley side (2-2).
Regarding that game, Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini lamented the result.
“It was a big opportunity to get two more points. Everybody would think the game was over, but I always say it is never over until the last minute,” said Pellegrini.
However, Pellegrini is adamant that his team – which trails first-place Chelsea by three points – still has a chance to fight for the championship.
“We have 43 points; we have the second half of the season to decide who is the best team. We were at home. That is an advantage, but Chelsea and Manchester United also drew. We will see whether Yaya [Toure] or Vincent [Kompany] will be fit for the next game,” said the manager.
On the other side, Sunderland also drew in their last fixture (0-0 against Aston Villa). Like Pelligrini, Sunderland manager Gus Poyet was unsatisfied with the draw.
“It feels very much like we’ve lost two points today as the game was there to take. We tried, there’s nobody can say that we didn’t try as we were constantly pushing forward, but we just didn’t find the back of the net,” said Poyet.
In the standings, Manchester City’s 43 points (W13, D4, L2) trails only Chelsea, as does their +24 goal differential. In contrast, Sunderland is 14th in the league with only 20 points (W3, D11, L5) and a – 11 differential.
(Photo credit: Roger Goraczniak [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)