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Pep Guardiola’s side are comfortably the best team in the division and this should be a straightforward victory.
Back Manchester City to win with a -2.5 handicap in the Caesars sportsbook.
City are available at -625 to triumph at Carrow Road, so there is little value to be had in betting the moneyline on this occasion. For more detailed analysis of how to bet on soccer, check out our guide.
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Three months ago, Premier League fans were still holding out hope for a three-way title race. Chelsea and Liverpool were in contention for the prize with Manchester City, whose failure to sign a natural center-forward last summer led some to favor either the Blues or the Reds. Yet as we approach the middle of February, we can say with confidence that it is only a matter of time before City get their hands on the trophy for the fourth time in five years.
At the time of writing City have a 12-point advantage at the summit of the standings. That could be reduced to six if Liverpool win their two games in hand, but there are few signs of City dropping a significant number of points between now and the end of the campaign. A 2-0 win against Brentford on Wednesday means the champions have collected 40 points from the last 42 available. They recently went on a 12-match winning run which included triumphs over Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea.
There is little doubt that City are the best team in the Premier League. They have scored the second-most goals in the division and conceded the fewest. Their squad is packed full of world-class talent, yet the collective still manages to be more than the sum of its parts. That is down to Pep Guardiola, a soccer genius who is undoubted of the best managers in the history of the game.
Guardiola has still not won the Champions League away from Barcelona. He came close last term, but City lost to Chelsea in the final. Question marks surround the Catalan in Europe’s foremost competition. He has a tendency to overthink things in knockout games, but he has devised the perfect formula for league soccer.
Norwich City are not dead and buried just yet. After a 2-0 defeat by West Ham United in the middle of last month, the Canaries were rooted to the foot of the table. That was their sixth loss on the bounce and Dean Smith had his work cut out to keep his team’s survival hopes alive. At that stage Norwich appeared destined for the drop.
It is still most likely than not that Norwich will be one of the Premier League’s three relegated clubs this term. Various online betting sites list the Canaries as the favorites for the drop. There are a few reasons for that. First, although Norwich are 18th rather than bottom, they have played more matches than the teams around them. Second, they have the worst attacking and defensive records in the league. That is not exactly a recipe for success.
Yet there have been glimmer of hopes in recent weeks. Norwich are unbeaten in their last four meetings with Premier League sides. One of those was a victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup last weekend, after which Norwich held Crystal Palace to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday. Palace were the better team on the night, but Smith’s side held on to make it seven points from the last nine available in the top flight.
Norwich’s new-found optimism is in danger of being extinguished in the late kick-off on Saturday. The Canaries allowed Palace to dominate possession in their last outing, but Patrick Vieira’s side were not incisive enough with the ball to emerge triumphant. City will not be undone by the same shortcoming. If Norwich are so passive out of possession this weekend, they could be on the end of a hammering.
There is no guarantee that a more aggressive approach would lead to a different outcome, however. City are masters at picking teams off when they are afforded too much space. Getting the balance right will not be easy for Smith and his players.
Norwich have showed signs of improvement of late, but that is unlikely to be enough to stop the juggernaut that is Guardiola’s Manchester City. The champions-elect barely concede shots on target these days, let alone goals. Three of their last five victories over non-big six sides have been by three goals or more, while they also thrashed Championship leaders Fulham 4-1 in the FA Cup.
All of which does not bode well for Norwich. This is the Premier League’s leakiest defense against its second-most productive attack. Back City with a -2.5 handicap.
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|Norwich City vs Manchester CityInformation|
|Teams||Norwich City vs Manchester City|
|Location||Carrow Road, Norwich, England|
|Time||Saturday, 12 February 2022, 12.30 PM EST|
|How to watch||Peacock Premium|
Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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