Man City vs Man UnitedEnglish Premier League, KO: 17:30 Dec 7, 2019, Etihad Stadium
Manchester City could find themselves a formidable 14 points behind Premier League pacesetters Liverpool by the time old foes Manchester United pitch up at the Etihad on Saturday evening.
The Citizens title defence suffered a huge dent last weekend at St James' Park when Newcastle struck late to pinch a 2-2 draw – an outcome that sees City start the weekend having failed to win five of their opening 15 English top-flight fixtures.
However, Pep Guardiola's side bounced back admirably from last Saturday's setback by brushing aside Burnley 4-1 at Turf Moor on Tuesday night and anything other than another three points against fierce rivals Man United could prove to be fatal to City's hopes of retaining their crown.
The Red Devils will make the short trip to the Etihad high in confidence following a 2-1 triumph over Tottenham in midweek – a result which sent Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side into the top six for the first time since September.
A Marcus Rashford double ruined Jose Mourinho's return to Old Trafford – arguably United's finest hour of the season thus far – however, Saturday's short trip across the city will represent the Red Devils most difficult assignment of the season to date.
What's more, Solskjaer's men have won only one of their seven Premier League road trips this season – a 3-1 win at lowly Norwich – and the Old Trafford outfit have only managed to rack up three points on one occasion in their last 11 league fixtures away from home – a sequence that stretches way back to March.
The Betting Odds
Pep's champs are odds-on favourites at 3/10 (Bet 365) to make it back-to-back wins in the Premier League for the first time in five weeks.
The Betting Angles
Although I wouldn't back against the Blue Moon bagging all three points on Saturday evening, I suspect this tea-time tussle could be slightly closer than what the betting suggests.
Up until Tuesday night City have not looked their usual slick selves for a number of weeks now and that can be pinned on their well documented defensive deficiencies – Guardiola's side have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last eight attempts across all competitions.
I hit the jackpot last Saturday with an even money shot when I successfully tipped Newcastle to score against City and that's a betting angle I'm going to revisit in the Manchester derby by backing United to make the net bulge at 73/100 (Marathonbet)
Indeed, those odds are not as enticing as last weekend's winner, however, United carry a far superior attacking threat than that of Newcastle, not to mention the red half of Manchester have scored two or more goals in five of their last six Premier League fixtures.
However, at the other end of the park the Red Devils have only registered one shut out in their last nine attempts and that does bode well ahead of a trip to the home of the divisions top scorers – City have slammed in 43 goals in 15 league outings to date – an average of 2.8 goals per-game.
Furthermore, City's goal return on home turf is even more impressive – the champions have chalked up 33 goals in 11 matches in their own backyard this term – and that coupled with the fact that five of the last six visiting sides to this venue have scored has me attracted to the 17/20 (William Hill) on offer for both teams to score in this showdown – a bet that would have banked profit in 14 of the last 16 matches that these two teams have contested collectively.
Therefore, goals could be the way to go in the Manchester derby and with that in mind I'm also going to back Man City to score two or more goals and to take five or more corners at an eye-catching 13/10 (Betfred)
City have scored at least twice in 12 of their 15 Premier League matches, they have hit the back of the net two or more times in nine of their 11 home games in all competitions and Guardiola's star-studded side have taken five or more corners in every game at the Etihad this season so far.
This English Premier League match between Man City and Man United will be played on Dec 7, 2019 and kick off at 17:30