EPL betting: Guardiola era to start on a high as Citizens host Black Cats

Updated: August 13, 2016

EPL featured betting preview: Manchester City v Sunderland, Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England; Sunday, August 17, 2.30am



Welcome to The Inside Word’s coverage of the 2016-17 English Premier League season, which kicks-off tonight. It’s been a massive off-season, particularly in the managerial ranks with new appointments for Manchester City (Pep Guardiola), Jose Mourinho (Manchester United) and Antonio Conte (Chelsea) as the big guns aim to unseat upstart champions Leicester City after last season’s massive upset result. City lead our betting card for tonight as they host Sunderland to the Etihad Stadium where £47.5m signing John Stones could make his debut in defence, with Vincent Kompany out and Nicolas Otamendi nursing a tendon problem.

Guardiola will also be without Leroy Sane (hamstring), while Kevin De Bruyne is short of fitness. Ready-made players Ilkay Gundogan and Nolito have also been added to the City squad. Sergio Aguero has scored an unmatched 17 Premier League goals in 2016, from just 18 appearances. He has scored three goals and set up two more in his past three league games against Sunderland. Manchester City are unbeaten in their past seven season-opening Premier League fixtures, winning each of the last five. Guardiola himself has presided over opening round wins in each of his past six seasons: three with Barcelona, and three at Bayern Munich.



New Sunderland boss David Moyes comes with far fewer trophies than Guardiola, but with bags of nous and a point to prove. His long-term aim is to break the club’s habit of being perennial strugglers against the drop, and they’ve been active in the transfer market, adding Adnan Janujaz, Papy Djilobodji, Donald Love and Paddy McNair. Sebastian Larsson has been ruled out for six months with a knee injury while Lee Cattermole, Jan Kirchhoff and Billy Jones are also sidelined and defender Lamine Kone is still looking for a new home. Moyes has won five times at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League.

The only visiting manager with more victories is Arsene Wenger (6). The Black Cats have not won a Premier League opener in six attempts since beating Bolton Wanderers in 2009.  They conceded the most shots (573) and the most shots on target (223) in the Premier League last season. Manchester City are unbeaten in 14 top-flight home matches against Sunderland since a 3-2 defeat in the old Division One in December 1981 (W11, D3). Their last home defeat at the hands of the Black Cats came in January 1998 in the second tier. Sunderland have suffered four successive defeats in this fixture, home and away.



Confirmed bet (card finalised)

Manchester City -2hcp v Sunderland (one unit @ $2.75)
Hull City v Leicester City WIN (one unit @ $1.90)
Crystal Palace v West Bromwich Albion -1.5 (one unit @ $2.75)
Southampton WIN v Watford (one unit @ $1.85)


Today’s other games

Burnley v Swansea City
Everton v Tottenham Hotspur
Middlesbrough v Stoke City

• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Time (AET); prices with thanks to Bet365 (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Results/comments on today’s games/races will follow in the next post.

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