Huddersfield Town v Manchester City Sunday, 13:30 Live on Sky Sports Premier League
Terriers start life after Wagner
It's probably a good thing - for now at least - that Huddersfield Town are accustomed to living in a state of deprivation. The Terriers have now spent the best part of 18 months without a striker worthy of the name, and now enter a new spell of managerlessness after David Wagner's surprise exit earlier in the week. With eight points between them and the safety of 17th position, things are looking fairly grim.
Results have been poor: it's now 10 games without a win, that mini November purple patch having disappeared in the rear-view mirror. And without reinforcements this month, it is hard to see how Wagner's replacement, whoever that might be, can bring about much of an improvement. Really, the German worked wonders with a fairly mediocre squad, overseeing a period of vast overachievement. When the dust settles on his departure, he will surely be remembered with fondness rather than fury.
City back in the groove
Crisis? What crisis? After a deeply unfestive Christmas, Manchester City have kicked out the jams in compelling fashion over the last five games, racking up 25 goals and bringing the smiles back to the Etihad Stadium. And while two of those matches came against lower-league opposition, the Premier League wins over Southampton, Liverpool and Wolves were arguably even more impressive in their way. They won't be romping to the title, but they remain the most thrillingly goal-happy candidates.
Measured against Huddersfield's resources, City's array of attacking riches is staggering. Especially now that Gabriel Jesus has shaken his World Cup hangover to the tune of seven goals in three matches; Sergio Agüero might just have to content himself with a spot on the bench once more this weekend, even though he bagged a hat-trick against these opponents in the autumn.
But the real key for Pep Guardiola may just be whether he can tighten up his defence. They have kept three clean sheets on the spin after conceding in each of their previous 11 matches (all competitions) and will need plenty more of the same if they are to continue battling on four fronts.
Visitors should ease to victory
If there is a fact that underlines the contrasting fortunes of these sides, it is the following: City have scored more goals in their last three games than Huddersfield have managed in their last 36 (19-18). The Terriers will attempt to make life tough for their visitors, but if Guardiola's side hit their stride, they look likely winners - as odds of 1.17 for the away win underline.
Backing them on the Asian handicap is a smarter plan, but the best option may be to back City to win this game to nil at 5/7 on the Sportsbook. Huddersfield have failed to score in 17 of their last 32 Premier League appointments - a run that includes home games against Liverpool (twice), Spurs, Chelsea and Arsenal. Their strikers are so toothless that watching them attempt to score occasionally feels cruel.
Jesus could profit again
Guardiola showed that he runs a meritocracy by maintaining Gabriel Jesus in his starting XI for the Wolves match after the blowout win over Burton. He was rewarded with a sparky two-goal display from the Brazilian, who is oozing confidence and clearly enjoys dovetailing with Leroy Sané, City's other in-form attacker. Jesus can be backed to score twice or more here at 5/2 on the Sportsbook.
Same Game Multi
This tool allows you to combine multiple picks on the same game. Here, for instance, we could back the City win, a goal for Jesus and over 3.5 goals at [2.91].
Back Manchester City to win to nil at 5/7 (Sportsbook)