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Manchester City: The Jekyll and Hyde of the Premier League

Manchester City are falling into a worrying routine in the Premier League. At home they're unstoppable going forward and impregnable at the back, a free-scoring, fast-paced and dominant force. On their travels though, they have all the cutting edge of a soggy biscuit and the defensive stability to match.

by Josh Powell | November 20, 2013

Since January 1 2011 Manchester City have played 52 home games. They have won 87 per cent of them and lost just twice, in almost two years of football. In that time they have scored 137 goals, averaging more than 2.5 a game and conceded just 34. In 58 per cent of their home games they have kept a clean sheet.

So how do you explain the strange case of Manchester City’s Jekyll and Hyde performances this season?

PP Spt Pattern Lt Gr Grad CMYK

When you first dip into the statistics in the league this season, there isn’t too much to note.

  • Their pass success rate is exactly the same, home and away, at 87 per cent
  • They have slightly more possession on the road, averaging 62 per cent, compared to 57 per cent at the Etihad
  • They average 18 shots a game at home with an average of seven a game on target. Away from home they take 17 shots a game with an average of six a match testing the keeper

But a closer inspection reveals that the numbers are merely papering over the cracks, like a shoddy piece of workmanship on Cowboy Builders, just without the glowing smile of Melinda Messenger.

  • Manchester City spend more time in the attacking third away from home than they do at the Etihad – 32 per cent compared to 29 per cent on average
  • However they are being forced to shoot from distance more often. 73 per cent of their shots at home are inside the box, compared to just 60 per cent on the road
  • Possibly as a result, City’s conversion rate plummets. They post a mightily impressive 22 per cent conversion rate at the Eithad but just an eight per cent conversion rate on their travels. To put that into context, that’s worse than Stoke’s overall conversion rate this year

Silva and Aguero celebrate

Luckily this weekend’s Super Sunday fixture against Spurs is on home soil so City fans will be fairly confident backing their side at 8/13 to take all three points. This season the Citizens have averaged 3.88 goals a game at home in all competitions and they are 9/4 to score three or more goals against AVB’s side.

Tottenham do have the best defensive record in the league, conceding just once on the road when they went to visit the Emirates. Spurs have eight clean sheets in nine away games this season but with City’s relentless attack-minded football at home, it will be hard to keep that run going in the North West.

It’s also worth pointing out that Paddy Power has either been on the sauce again or has overlooked a pretty major stat. He’s refunding the usual bets if Sergio Aguero bags the last goal of the game. That’s the same Argentinian striker who has knocked in seven goals in eight home games this season. Good luck with that boss.

  • Get all the latest odds on Man City v Tottenham here: Desktop | Mobile

MBS Aguero last v Spurs banner


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