Manchester City: 1.20. The Draw: 6.75. QPR: 14.00.
City perspective: from Blue Moon
This early evening kick-off sees Queens Park Rangers return to Manchester for the first time since the dramatic season finale in May that saw us clinch the league title. Rangers have been particularly busy during the transfer window, bringing in an incredible nine new players, including established internationals such as Esteban Granero and Julio Cesar. On paper at least they present more formidable opponents than three months ago.
We too enjoyed a fruitful end to the transfer window, with Scott Sinclair, Maicon, Javi Garcia and Matija Nastasić bolstering Roberto Mancini’s squad. Having been perhaps fortunate to escape from Anfield with a point last weekend, we'll look to continue our impressive home form against QPR.
Joleon Lescott, Gael Clichy and David Silva are all expected to return to the starting line-up, whilst only Sinclair of the new signings is eligible to play.
City have looked vulnerable at the back this season, somewhat surprisingly after having the best defensive record in the league last season. The 3-5-2 system employed against Liverpool was unsuccessful, so I expect Mancini to revert to last season’s preferred 4-2-2-2 system. I expect an open game with lots of goals, but we should edge it in a similar spectacle as last time.
Score prediction: City 3-2 QPR at 25.00
Best Bets: Over 4.5 goals @ 3.15; 1-1 at h/t @ 9.75; Yaya Toure to score 1st @ 8.00.
This game that will see many of our players not only fighting for the points but also their places for the season.
Of all our new players I'm most looking forward to seeing Esteban Granero, but my thinking is the manager will save him for when Chelsea come to Loftus Road next time out.
The point earned last week followed by the win over over Walsall in midweek will serve as a welcome springboard for the team to rise from after the hammering we took at the hands of Swansea on the opening day.
Hope was in the air before the Swansea game and they smashed that in one afternoon, causing a kneejerk reaction from the powers that be. As such, QPR went into overdrive in the transfer market. If you had told me only a few years ago that after a bad start QPR will go out and buy one of the best goalkeepers in the world and he will replace an England international I would have thought you were insane - but that's what's happened as we've replaced Robert Green with Brazil's Julio Cesar.
This game is about QPR going to City and holding our heads high; trying to add to the point that we have already. What we do not want is to go into the Chelsea game on the back of a bad result.
It is only a few months since that game in May when we stayed up and City won the league, a joint celebration that saw both sets of fans hugging with joy.
There is no way that this game will have the same drama, as circumstances are very different. I do expect us to battle all game long, but City's settled line-up of stars will prove too strong on this occasion.
Score prediction: City 2-0 QPR at 7.50.
Best Bets: Under 2.5 goals @ 3.0; Vincent Kompany to score @7.75; Anton Ferdinand to get a card at 5.50.