Manchester United v Manchester City Betting Preview
Back Manchester United to steal the first Manchester derby of the season
After spending a total of £320 million between them this summer, the two Manchester clubs look set for one of the most eagerly-anticipated and exciting derbies in recent times. With Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola taking charge of their first all-Manchester encounter, both managers will want to secure three points to put distance between the two sides in the league table. Mourinho has won six of his first seven games in charge of United, including three out of three in the league. With six goals scored and only one conceded, the Red Devils are already looking a much stronger outfit than in any of their previous three seasons.
Summer signings Zlatan Ibrahimović and Paul Pogba have both made good impressions since joining the club, and the former has registered three goals in his first three league games. Eric Bailly, who was named Manchester United’s player of the month for August, has also been superb since his arrival from Villarreal, winning two man-of-the-match awards in his first three league starts. With Sergio Aguero suspended, United fans will fancy their chances on Saturday, especially if Bailly and co. produce another solid defensive display. I think United have a very good chance of taking all three points.
Guardiola’s Manchester City have also won all of their opening three league games, and currently sit top of the Premier League table on goal difference. They look a quality outfit under the Spaniard, with new signings Nolito and John Stones both impressing early on. Raheem Sterling also seems to have found another level under Guardiola, and his two goals helped City to a reasonably comfortable 3-1 win over West Ham United last time out. They’ve scored an average of three goals per game so far, but with Aguero unavailable this weekend they could struggle to continue that form, especially against much stronger opposition.
On a negative note, Guardiola’s men have failed to keep a clean sheet so far, and their defensive frailties are still very much evident. Vincent Kompany remains a doubt for Saturday’s match, and without him City could struggle to deal with United’s attacking quality. Guardiola watched his side ease into the Champions League group stage after an emphatic 6-0 aggregate win over Steaua Bucharest just over a fortnight ago, but it’s fair to say Saturday’s clash will be a tougher test. It’s a tricky one to call, but with United’s home advantage I can’t see City winning this one.
United are unbeaten in the last three Manchester derbies, having lost the four prior to that run. They have however lost three of the last five meetings at Old Trafford, but the last of those occasions came back in 2014, and something tells me this time will different. It’s also worth bearing in mind that City have only scored three goals in the last four league meetings between the two sides.
To score – Zlatan Ibrahimović 11/8
The Swedish powerhouse has taken the Premier League by storm since his arrival from Paris Saint Germain on a free transfer earlier this summer, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him add to his tally on Saturday. Along with his three league goals, Ibrahimović netted the winner in United’s Community Shield victory over Leicester last month, proving he is still the man for the big occasion. I recommend backing him to score at any time with odds of 11/8.
Both teams to score in 90 minutes – Yes 4/5
Although it hasn’t happened in four of the last five meetings, it looks likely that both sides will find the net at least once judging by the amount of attacking quality on show. Manchester City have scored in their last 11 Premier League outings – the last time they failed to score came in the 1-0 home defeat to United back in March. Also, United have scored in their last ten, and therefore I fancy both teams to score on Saturday, priced at 4/5.
Match odds – Manchester United 13/10
I don’t think the match will be decided by more than one goal, but I fancy United to win the first Manchester derby of the season priced at 13/10. It would however be no shock if Guardiola’s City came away with a point, with the draw priced at 9/4, or you can back Manchester City to come away with a victory at 23/10.
Writer’s prediction: Manchester United 2 – 1 Manchester City
*Odds correct at the time of publication, click here for all the latest odds on upcoming football matches.