Manchester City have been a pyrotechnics show at the Etihad this season.
The Citizens have lost one match at home so far, a 3-1 battering at the hands of defending Champions League title holders, Bayern Munich.
Every other club in all competitions this season has left the Etihad losers. Some of the losses City have inflicted were brutal.
Look at these scorelines:
- Manchester City 4, Manchester United 1
- Manchester City 5, Wigan Athletic 0
- Manchester City 7, Norwich City 0
- Manchester City 5, CSKA Moscow 2
- Manchester City 6, Tottenham Hotspur 0
These are not wins City are posting—these are canings. Michael Davies of the Men in Blazers podcast viewed City's scoring display against Norwich City to be really humiliating to the Canaries, "as they gave Norwich a bare-bottom spanking in front of all of her friends."
Despite scoring 26 times against two conceded in the Premier League so far, though, there sit City in fourth place in the table. The Sky Blues have six points to make up to catch league-leading Arsenal, who will visit the Etihad on Dec. 14.
In the interim, though, City must continue to hold serve at home. Swansea City are the next victims, er, opponents headed to the Etihad.
The Swans are a heavy underdog in this match, with City a 2/7 choice to win. A Swansea City victory could pay as much as 17/2 depending on where you look.
With key dates away to West Bromwich Albion and Southampton looming, City boss Manuel Pellegrini will have to weigh the need to keep his regulars healthy and fresh against the need to secure these three points.
As such, my predicted XI for City looks like this: Costel Pantilimon, Aleksandar Kolarov, Matija Nastasic, Martin Demichelis, Pablo Zabaleta; Samir Nasri, Jack Rodwell, Fernandinho, Jesus Navas, Alvaro Negredo, Sergio Aguero.
If City seize early control of this match, look for Pellegrini to get Fernandinho and Aguero off the pitch as soon as he comfortably can.
Betting information courtesy of Oddschecker.com.
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