Manchester City take on Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Saturday in a 5:30pm kick-off at the Etihad Stadium.
The Citizens are five points clear with a game in hand at the top of the table after last weekend’s superb 4-1 win at Liverpool.
Spurs, meanwhile, are four points behind the fourth-placed champions with a game in hand, so need to go on a run at some point in order to push for the Champions League qualification positions.
City are heavily odds-on 3/10 favourites to win the match, with the draw 9/2 and a Spurs win 17/2.
Despite winning 10 Premier League games in a row, Pep Guardiola’s side do look a bit on the skinny side to me given that they have failed to beat Spurs in the last three meetings between the sides.
If Harry Kane was still injured I’d more than understand these prices, but with the England man and Son Heung-min combining in attack, Jose Mourinho’s side have a chance against anyone.
Instead, then, I’ll look towards cards as a starting point for our Bet Builder. Paul Tierney officiates this clash, with the 40-year-old averaging 3.92 cards per game in the PL this season and showing both sides at least one card each in 11 of his 14 games.
Indeed, Tierney has shown both sides at least one card each and 30+ booking points overall in 10 of his last 11 league games, with this same mark landing in eight of Spurs’ last nine league games.
It’s also landed in City’s last two games, and perhaps more interestingly in eight of Guardiola’s nine league games against Spurs.
In order to get our bet above evens, I’ll also back City to score and avoid defeat given their superb form:
If you’re looking for a bigger price, City to win, 2+ cards each team and 4+ City corners is 4/1.
2+ cards each team has landed in seven of Guardiola’s games against Spurs, with 73% of Mourinho’s side’s league opponents receiving 2+ cards and 64% of City’s opponents receiving 2+ cards this season.
In terms of player cards, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is an obvious candidate in what is likely to be an incredibly busy evening for the Spurs midfielder.
The Denmark international has been booked five times this season, leading Tottenham’s tackles and fouls per game counts, so 9/4 (bet365) is a decent enough price.
Ruben Dias, meanwhile, was booked against Liverpool on Sunday as well as in the reverse fixture, and could struggle with Kane’s physicality. 18/5 (Bet Victor) appeals.
Personally, I prefer the price of Raheem Sterling at a massive 10/1 (bet365) given that he has been booked three times in his last four league games against Spurs.
The winger looked back to his best at Anfield, with Serge Aurier or Matt Doherty set for a busy evening at right-back for Spurs. They are both evens to make 4+ or 3+ tackles respectively (Sky Bet).
Aurier and Hojbjerg both landed five each in the reverse fixture so if both start I will look into requesting a combined player tackle multiple.
One price which does seem a little too big from a Spurs perspective is Son Heung-min to have a shot on target at 10/11 (Betfair).
The South Korea forward has tested the opposition goalkeeper at least once in nine of his last 10 league starts, and has scored an impressive five goals in his last six games against City.