City far too strong for tired Wigan

Manchester City can land our ante-post FA Cup wager in fine style with a resounding victory over Wigan in Saturday's final.

Last Updated: 11/05/13 at 17:15 Post Comment

Carlos Tevez: Can help fire City to a simple victory

Carlos Tevez: Can help fire City to a simple victory

Roberto Mancini's side have been in decent form in the Premier League of late and added another win-to-nil during the week, and that's how we'll look to capitalise on their class advantage at Wembley.

Wigan's defeat at the hands of Swansea on Tuesday leaves them on the brink of relegation and they won't receive any sympathy from the favourites.

Manchester City v Wigan (1715 BST)

There's no polite way of putting it, but Saturday's FA Cup final has the look of a game which could be utterly dominated by one side: Manchester City.

Roberto Mancini's side have found this competition a welcome distraction from the disappointments found in both the Premier League and Europe and it's hard not to feel that their semi-final victory over Chelsea effectively secured the trophy.

That game, also played at Wembley, was the first time in this season's competition that a member of the opposition had managed to force the ball over the City goal-line, a fact which rather underlines the task at hand for Wigan.

Of course, this is very good news for us. Back in January, we advised four points on City at 11/2 and there's absolutely no temptation to back Wigan and secure a profit.

This is in no way meant to disrespect Wigan or undermine their superb effort in reaching this stage. It's fair to say the draw has been kind in the main, but their 3-0 quarter-final defeat of Everton was the product of an electric performance and has rightly been rewarded with a trip south to Wembley.

And as recently as a fortnight ago, it may have been possible to build a case for an upset. Wigan managed three wins from four in March and briefly looked ready for what's become an almost expected late-season rally, one which has saved them from relegation in the past.

However, Tuesday's 3-2 home defeat to Swansea suggests that their luck is about to run out and if they defend on Saturday as they did then, City will pull them apart piece by piece.

Even without that defeat, it's clear that where City have nothing else to focus on this season, Wigan have two huge games to come in their battle to stay alive.

With that in mind, the events at Old Trafford this week provide a further unwelcome distraction - Roberto Martinez is being mentioned as a strong candidate to replace David Moyes at Everton and while making all the right noises, it's clear that he would've preferred not to answer questions about his future right now.

History, both in terms of this competition and Wigan's record against City, offers no salvation for the Latics and their fans.

Fifteen of the last 19 FA Cup finals have seen only one team score, including several notable examples where a side has held a clear advantage in terms of class, and the last seven times Wigan have played City they've lost without finding the net.

With that, City's recent record of winning without conceding and our very strong outright position in mind, we'll have a good bet on City winning to nil.

Anything odds-against looks well worth taking, like Sky Bet's 5/4. It's a price which fails to recognise how deflated Wigan looked on Monday, their overall record against City and the recent history of FA Cup finals.

For those looking further afield, Carlos Tevez has five goals in this season's FA Cup already and the evens offered in places about him finding the net here looks perfectly fair, as do quotes of 7/2 that he opens the scoring.

The Argentine striker scored the only goal of the game when City beat Wigan at the Etihad just a few weeks ago and looks the man most likely if awarded a place in the starting line-up.

It may also be worth considering Pablo Zabaleta. The tireless full-back has really impressed with his attacking exploits this season and his first ever goal for City came against Wigan, while he's already scored in the FA Cup at Stoke.

Ultimately, though, everything points towards a straightforward win for City and we'll look to capitalise with an appropriately straightforward bet. They beat Stoke 1-0 in the final two years ago and while I fancy one side of that score to alter dramatically, I don't expect their 2013 opponents to find scoring any easier.

Verdict: Manchester City 3 Wigan 0


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