Betting: Don’t rule out a draw between Norwich City and Manchester City

Friday, December 28, 2012
12.42 PM

Festive season football is generally important for several reasons. First, it tends to produce a number of tight, pivotal fixtures. Second, as we’ve reached the notional halfway stage of the season, teams know what they have to do between now and May to consider their campaign successful. And finally, it provides supporters with an opportunity to escape truly dire TV schedules.

Norwich fans have an opportunity to watch the reigning champions first hand, though such is Manchester United’s Premier League dominance, they’re out to 2/1 (BetVictor.com) to retain their title.

Manchester City walloped Norwich twice last term, hammering them 6-1 at Carrow Road and 5-1 at the Etihad Stadium. But the Canaries’ collective spirit suggests they’re capable of matching their opponents.

The visitors have already registered the same number of away draws as they had in the whole of last season, hence a widespread belief that Saturday’s match will finish as a score draw.

Nonetheless, the Canaries head into the fixture priced as BetVictor’s 5/1 underdogs, whereas despite being the away team, Manchester City enjoy the status of 4/7 favourites (William Hill). Stan James mark the draw at 3/1.

However, given the propensity of festive fixtures to be close, Skybet’s 13/10 posted about the opening 45 minutes finishing level offers decent value. And as tempers tend to flare at this time of the year, on and off the pitch, punters might think the same of Paddy Power’s 2/1 for the match to produce a penalty.

Bookies report a lack of appetite among punters for wagers based upon the fixture yielding a hatful of goals, hence the appeal of Stan James’ 6/5 for the match to produce fewer than 2.5 goals.

Ladbrokes chalk 5/1 against both halves finishing on level terms and BetVictor.com post 13/2 against a 1-1 outcome. In truth, however, Norwich appear a little overpriced to secure three points and at 12/1 (bet365) to register a 1-0 win, they look exceptional value.