Newport County have picked up scalps from higher tiered opposition at home in the FA Cup this year, but this is likely a stretch too far for County as they host Guardiola’s Man City.
Newport County v Man City
Saturday 16th February, 17:30
Newport County have enjoyed an impressive home run in the FA Cup this season. In previous round, Newport have beaten Championship side Middlesbrough and Premier League side Leicester. The Welsh side has been the giant killer of the tournament and will now come up against arguably the biggest giant in the competition, Man City. Newport’s success has come from earning replays in their FA Cup away games and bringing top tier opposition to Rodney Parade where they have been able win all of their cup ties within ninety minutes of play. The home side have been able to replicate similar form playing in their League 2 campaign as they have picked up nine wins and only three losses in sixteen home matches.
A key to their successful home form is that they have been able to maintain a decent average of goals scored which is higher than the average amount of goals they concede. When playing away, Newport’s average number of goals decreases to 1.07 goals from the 1.44 goals they score on average whilst playing at home.
Newport’s FA Cup talisman has been Padraig Amond. In the FA Cup he has scored four in six FA Cup appearances this season, coming up with goals against Middlesbrough and Leicester to help his side progress through the competition. In the league the Irishman has continued this form, scoring eleven goals this season. If Newport are to do beat Man City, there is a high chance that it would be with goals scored by Amond.
Man City have been in impeccable form of late with only nine wins from ten games. Guardiola’s men go into this match with Newport off the back of a 6-0 victory against Chelsea. City have been in free-scoring form in the last six matches, scoring eighteen goals and gaining an average of 3.00 goals per game. However, City’s away form gives reason for City to be wary of their League Two opposition on Saturday. Losing two out of six of their matches when playing away from home.
As well as this their goals average in the league drops from 3.50 goals when playing at home to 1.92 goals when playing away. This could point to City finding it slightly difficult to penetrate teams on differing pitches to the one they have at the Etihad. Also if teams sit and defend, City may feel they can’t beat teams as easily than they would at home. City have shown they have been able to avoid losing goals through teams counter attacking against them when City are dominating matches. On average, Man City concede 0.79 goals whilst playing at home but have concede only 0.69 goals while playing away. Although in the league they have conceded vital goals whilst on their travels, losing 2-1 to Newcastle and Leicester, between late December and late January. In both matches, City led at half time but were beaten in the second half. This also occurred in the draw against Leicester in the EFL Cup in December. City led at half time through De Bruyne but drew the match due to an Albrighton goal.
The home side go into this with a fresh squad to choose from. One thing that Michael Flynn, Newport manager, will have to be careful of is that, centre-back, Fraser Franks doesn’t pick up a yellow card as his yellow card total has reached four and a fifth would cause him to be suspended for Newport’s league game against relegation threatened Notts County.
City won’t have club captain Vincent Kompany fit due to a muscle injury. Also Claudio Bravo won’t be clear to play as he has been sidelined long term due to an Achilles injury.
Due to the sheer gulf in class between the two sides, the bookies have made Manchester City clear favourites to win the match at odds of 1/20. For Newport to continue their fairytale in the FA Cup, bookies are willing to offer 30/1 odds for Newport to win.
There would be no value in having Man City to win on their own anywhere near your betting slip with those odds. The best you could do to get more for your money in a City win would be through a Man City to win and over 2.5 goals bet which can get odds of around 1/5, however I believe City will find it hard to score, as they have done in previous away games. For City to win and under 2.5 goals, you can get odds of around 9/2 for that bet.
Another market to explore is the cards market. Newport have picked up only four cards in the last five matches, whereas City have picked upon average 1.40 cards per game in the last five games. The bookies would offer odds of Evens for there to be between five and twenty-five booking points in the match.
Man City to win and Under 2.5 Goals (9/2)
Between 5 to 25 booking points in the match (Evens)