OPINION is split on England's biggest game of the season so far.

It's Man United v Man City with the top two meeting at Old Trafford in what should be an absolute cracker.

Now I've gone for the draw and will be accused of sitting on the fence but I honestly can't pick a winner.

On their best games they'd both beat each other. But I accept that 11-10, from firms such as Ladbrokes and William Hill, is a good price on a United side who have 24 of their last 25 league games at home.

And United have played – and beaten – three of last season's top six (Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs) at home already this season.

City boss Roberto Mancini has world-class talents such as David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Samir Nasri at his disposal and while United are sometimes over-reliant on Wayne Rooney they do have a magnificent team ethic that often pushes them over obstacles.

So at the risk of picking up a few splinters I'll go for the draw at 5-2 with Stan James.

Hopefully there will be plenty of goals. Both sides have averages over three a game in the Premier League this season and William Hill are offering 9-2 the derby produces four goals, 17-2 for five and 11-1 for six or more.

There were four when Chelsea visited Old Trafford and of course 10 in the Arsenal romp. Over 3.5 pays 9-4 at Stan James and over 4.5 is 5-1 at William Hill.

Both teams to score is 4-6 at William Hill and bodog while Rooney, who potted two penalties in Romania in midweek, is 6-1 at Ladbrokes to hit the opener.

Aguero returned to action with a last-gasp winner against Villarreal and is 8-1 at Ladbrokes to break the deadlock.

A popular pick will be Nani at 12-1 with William Hill after netting in his last two Manchester derbies.

Elsewhere, Chelsea turned on the style to gub Genk 5-0 and are likely to be hot for QPR at Loftus Road. They are short at 2-5 (various) so try the Blues minus one at 21-20 with Stan James.

Arsenal should be boosted by their 1-0 Champions League win at Marseille and an extra day's rest as they take on Stoke. Take the Gunners at 4-7 with William Hill and Blue Square.

Spurs rested most of their top men against Rubin Kazan in midweek and the tactic should pay off with a win at Blackburn at 1-1 with Stan James and boylesports.

And finally Fulham is a tough place to visit but with the benefit of a free midweek I can see Everton at least drawing.


Over 3.5 goals Man Utd v Man City

(9-4, Stan James)


(1-1, Stan James)

Chelsea -1

(21-20, Stan James)


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