Manuel Pellegrini's squad's only loss at Etihad Stadium came in Champions League action against Bayern Munich. However, they have been outstanding over the past few months, as noted by Opta Joe:
45 - In 10 home games since the start of November, Manchester City have scored 45 goals. Deluge.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 15, 2014
This is bad news for Cardiff City, who only have one win and three draws in 10 road matches this year. Then again, they defeated Manchester City earlier in the year to earn the club's first ever Premier League win.
Upsets occur all the time in this competitive league, which means that everyone should remain at attention for this exciting battle.
Who will win?
When: Saturday, Jan. 18
Where: Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Time (U.S.): 10 a.m. ET
Time (U.K.): 3 p.m. GMT
Watch (U.S.): EPL channel 491 on DirecTV
Watch (U.K.): BBC 5
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
Odds (via SkyBet): Manchester City (1-9), Cardiff City (20-1), Draw (8-1)
Top Storyline: Can Manchester City Keep Everyone Happy on the Attack?
Sergio Aguero returned to action in Wednesday's FA Cup match after missing a month with a calf injury. He came in as a substitute in the 72nd minute and scored almost immediately, showing he is just as good as ever.
Pretty much everyone on Manchester City has been playing extremely well as of late, and the result is 10 wins and a draw in the last 11 matches. The club has not lost since Nov. 10 against Sunderland.
However, the return of Aguero could end up being simply too much. Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko each had a brace against Blackburn, while David Silva and Yaya Toure are also expected to play against Cardiff, according to Richard Jolly of ESPN FC.
Of course, Pellegrini still thinks this is a good problem to have (per Jolly):
It is better for the manager to have difficult choices to select. They are three important players, Negredo and Dzeko are in a very good moment and Sergio is coming back from an important injury so the three are very useful for us.
While it is certainly nice to have this many talented players capable of scoring, he has to worry about the chemistry on the pitch as well as making sure each of them are getting enough playing time.
Still, this line-up could be deadly for opponents trying to defend it.
Prediction: Manchester City 4, Cardiff City 0
This puts a lot of pressure on players like Peter Whittingham and Fraizer Campbell to make things happen. Unfortunately, they simply will not be able to do enough to score.
On the other hand, this will not be a problem for Manchester City. They are one of the most aggressive teams in Europe, and they have the talent to finish opportunities when they see them.
Live Football also showcases the balance that this squad has displayed this year:
Man City have now scored 99 goals this season. Leading the way: 21 - Negredo 20 - Aguero: 15 - Dzeko 13 - Toure pic.twitter.com/dUDlPjfq97— LiveFootball (@livefootball) January 16, 2014
Cardiff City simply do not have the personnel to stop this attack, and Manchester should be able to score at will to earn a home win.
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