Roberto Mancini has cut a frustrated figure over the summer, bemoaning the fact that he hasn’t been able to strengthen his Manchester City squad as he would’ve liked. Recent capture Jack Rodwell is the only significant addition to the champions’ ranks but they nevertheless remain favourites at 13/10 with Ladbrokes to retain the Premier League crown won in such dramatic fashion back in May.
City start their defence at home to top flight new boys Southampton today and as Mancini’s charges dropped just two points on their own patch last season, it’s understandable that BetVictor make them such overwhelming favourites at 1/5.
Saints are a massive 18/1 with Skybet to stun the hosts and 7/1 via bet365 to grab an unlikely share of the spoils but while Nigel Adkins’ enthusiastic side will come flying out of the blocks on the opening day, the extra quality is with City, who have to be considered a home banker.
Nevertheless, in their first game back at this level, the visitors will be no pushovers and despite Mancini’s men putting promoted opposition to the sword on the opening day last term, on this occasion Southampton could run City pretty close at the Etihad Stadium, where Stan James price the home side at 10/3 to prevail by a one-goal margin.
Sergio Aguero meanwhile, heads the betting to notch first, at 11/4 courtesy of BetVictor but Yaya Toure, who found the net in Sunday’s Community Shield, has enjoyed a productive season and could be too much for Saints to handle. The Ivorian powerhouse is 7/1 (William Hill) to break the deadlock and an even more enticing 2/1 with Stan James to strike at any stage.