‘If we only consider this season, there is just one club in Manchester and it’s ours’. Manuel Pellegrini, February 2014
That’s the quote many of the back pages have led with today and the Paddy Power Blog can exclusively reveal that Manchester City ARE the biggest club in Manchester.
By 0.8 inches to be precise.
Yes, many journalists conveniently forgot the other half of Pellegrini’s quote which was ‘…but you cannot forget what United has done in the previous years’. After all, why let a small bit of context ruin a good headline? So the Paddy Power Blog delved into the stats this year and provided cold hard evidence that City are Manchester’s biggest club – by height.
- The combined height of the 23 players who have made at least one league appearance for City this year is 4,210cm. That gives them an average height of 183cm
- The average height of the 27 United players to make at least one league appearance is two centimetres shorter at 181cm
This doesn’t really mean anything in terms of North West superiority. We were just being a touch pedantic. However, City’s reasonably tall squad could make some difference in their mouth-watering Champions League clash with Barcelona.
- Barcelona’s average height of the players who have made at least one appearance in La Liga this year is 176cm – seven centimetres smaller than City’s average
- 35 per cent of goals Barcelona have conceded in the league this year have been headers
- City have scored eight headers this season in the league – that’s 12 per cent of their total goals. They also have scored three headers in their six Champions League games
If City are to progress past Barcelona they could do far worse than taking advantage of their height at set-pieces and from accurate crosses. If you’re looking for a punt, two of Alvaro Negredo’s nine goals in the league have been headers and he is 6/1 to open the scoring. Alternatively Vincent Kompany will fancy his chances from set-pieces and the captain is a huge 40/1 to score first and 13/1 to bag a goal at any time.