Don’t rush home – first half hour of Man City game won’t be great
Make money on Tuesday night by betting on a goalless first 30 mins
According to our calendar, squeaky bum time is still two or three months away, but Manchester City are already starting to fidget rather awkwardly.
Having scored three or more goals in 12 of their 17 league games before Christmas, there has been no stuffing in sight since.
Indeed, West Brom and Sunderland were as undaunted by the threat posed by Sergio Aguero and co as the fire-fighting residents of Albert Square were the latest big Walford blaze, Man City’s forwards suffering as miserable a three hours as those who watched EastEnder’s festive output.
Roberto Mancini will be hoping that a return to Fortress Etihad Stadium (that just doesn’t work, does it?) – nine played, nine won, 28 scored, four conceded – will stir his strikers from their festive slumber, but expect a nervy start.
Even at home, where their swagger has shown no sign of going walkabouts, they have taken a while to find their groove, with the earliest of the 16 goals scored in their last five as hosts coming in the 29th minute.
With Liverpool’s away games the least goal-heavy in the division and their defence the most formidable, it all points to a cagey opening period before the fun starts.
Betfair are offering 7/1 that the deadlock is broken between 31-40 minutes, while those who want to play safer can find 4/1 with William Hill on 31-45 minutes, or 11/10 there that it comes at any point beyond the first half hour.