And Roberto Mancini’s men will know that they can afford to concede no further ground when they host Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.
With Manchester United in action on Saturday, the Citizens could find themselves as many as 10 points adrift of the Red Devils by the time that they take to the field at Etihad Stadium and, thus, victory for Mancini’s men – chalked up at 17/20 (1.85) with BetVictor – is essential this weekend.
Liverpool led 2-0 against Arsenal in midweek so the Reds would have been disappointed to have to settle for a point as the Gunners pegged them back to force a 2-2 draw, and the visitors are chalked up at 100/30 (4.33) with BetVictor to secure all three points on Sunday while the same firm go 14/5 (3.80) that the match ends in a draw.
BetVictor offer a hugely tempting 9/5 (2.80) quote that the opening goal - of what promises to be a hugely entertaining game - comes inside the opening 38 minutes. And that is an outstanding price when it is considered that the opening goal in Liverpool's last 12 matches in all competitions, has come within that period – with goals both for and against the Anfield club.
Argentine striker Sergio Aguero is expected to lead the Citizens’ attack against the Reds at Etihad this weekend and BetVictor go 17/4 (5.25) that Aguero bags the opening goal, while his fellow countryman Carlos Tevez is also available at 17/4 (5.25) with the same firm to break Sunday’s deadlock.
Liverpool, though, will hope that it is another South American striker, Uruguayan Luis Suarez, who steals the headlines here.
Suarez has scored an astonishing eight goals in his last seven matches for Liverpool and is outstanding value at 13/2 (7.50) to score the opening goal against a Manchester City side set to be without captain Vincent Kompany for this weekend’s clash.
The stage is set for a thriller and, subsequently, the 9/5 (2.80) with BetVictor for the opening goal to be scored should be snapped up here, while Luis Suarez should be taken at a juicy 13/2 (7.50) to be the man to get the ball rolling with the opening goal of the game.
|First goal inside 38 minutes at 9/5 (2.80) with BetVictor
||Luis Suarez to score first at 13/2 (7.50) with BetVictor
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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter