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Hull City v Manchester City Preview: Patience could be the key to turning a profit

There is only one Premier League side that are odds on to win away from home on Boxing Day as Manchester City head to relegation favourites Hull City.

Pep Guardiola’s men are just 1/3 (1.33) with Betway and even that is a joint industry best price about the visitors collection three points from their trip to the KCOM Stadium. Hull are as big as 15/2 (8.50) with the online bookmaker while a draw is priced at 9/2 (5.50) but in truth it is a huge leap of faith to see anything but an away win in this one.

Mike Phelan’s side may be boosted by a raft of players signing new contracts this week but there is a very real possibility that they could be playing Championship football this time next season. The Tigers are bottom of the table and after a bright start to the campaign, they have taken just 5 points from their previous 13 Premier League games.

Piling into City at such a short price probably isn’t many people’s idea of festive fun so the key could be finding an alternative angle to derive a little more value from the various markets on offer.

Over 2.5 goals is just ½ (1.50). That’s a bet that has paid out in four of Man City’s last five matches away from the Etihad but again, it doesn’t inspire much excitement with regards to a potential return, especially with Sergio Aguero still sidelined through suspension.

While Hull haven’t amassed many points in the top flight this term, they have actually done pretty well in the early stages of matches and it is often the second half of games where the different in quality have been exposed. The Tigers have scored just three first half goals to date and none in the first 15 minutes of their matches, that means a staggering 78.6% of their strikes have come after the break.

That suggests a high-scoring second half could be forthcoming but of course this wager wouldn’t appeal if Manchester City – the team expected to score the majority of the goals – didn’t have a similar trend to their games.

While the average time of their first goal scored is the 33rd minute, Guardiola’s men do have more cutting edge after half time in their matches, netting 55.6% of their goals in the second half. Without the services of top scorer Aguero, it could take City a little bit of time to break down their stodgy hosts who will be happy to sit deep and frustrate their illustrious visitors.

Given that the Tigers are unlikely to employ too many expansive tactics in the early stages, there looks to be some mileage in backing the second half to be the highest scoring at 11/10 (2.10) with Betway, who are best price on this outcome at the time of writing.