Pete Nordsted: Backing a close first half between Manchester City and Newcastle

Pete Norsted has analysed the statistics for the upcoming Premier League games and believes there is value to be found at St James' Park and Britannia Stadium
Saturday's early Premier League game sees a clash between two sides that are coming off a couple of poor results.

Roberto Mancini will be desperate for his Manchester City team to close the gap on league leaders and local rivals Manchester United after suffering a late 3-2 defeat to their neighbours at Etihad stadium last Sunday.

Manchester City have a reasonable record away to teams of Newcastle’s grading which reads won six, drawn three and lost one. The visitors have also been victorious in three of their last four meetings at St James' Park.

Newcastle United are going through a bad run at the moment and have only won one of their last seven Premier league matches.

As the season is approaching the halfway mark, it is becoming more evident that the Magpies are struggling to live up to their performances last season as well as juggle the commitment of European football.

Newcastle's record at home to the Premier League elite reads won one, drawn four and lost four, and, despite their recent bad run, I still feel Alan Pardew’s team look reasonable value +0.75 on the Asian Handicap at 21/20 (2.08) with bet365.

However, the stronger value may lie in the half-time draw and this has been seen in nine of Manchester City’s last 10 away games to teams of Newcastle’s stature. The half-time draw can be backed at 11/8 (2.38) with bet365 and this looks a reasonable bet.

Elsewhere, Stoke look to offer some good value when they host Everton on Saturday afternoon at Britannia Stadium.

Tony Pulis' side are now undefeated in six matches and are sitting only three points behind the Merseysiders, who have also started the season in strong fashion.

Stoke have also only lost once to the Toffees in four previous head-to-head meetings at Britannia Stadium too.

This may not be a pretty game but given the form and head-to-head statistics, Stoke offer some reasonable value on the Asian Handicap +0.25 goals at 4/5 (1.82) with bet365. This means should the game end a draw then you receive half of your odds.

Newcastle United v Manchester City
Stoke v Everton
Half-time result (draw) at 11/8 (2.38) with bet365
Stoke +0.25 (Asian Handicap) at 4/5 (1.82) with bet365

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