Man Utd v Man City Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 24/04/19
James Cormack (@jamesxyyx) previews Manchester United v Manchester City and provides us with his best bets for Wednesday night’s crucial Premier League clash by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
- 2019 Profit & Loss: +4.42pts
Manchester United v Manchester City Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 24/04/19
- Time: 20:00
- Venue: Old Trafford
- Channel: Sky Sports
The most significant game left in the title race arrives at Old Trafford as Manchester City bid to reach the summit of the Premier League with a win over their Manchester rivals on Wednesday.
After grinding out a tough 1-0 win over the impressive and dangerous Spurs on Saturday, Pep Guardiola will feel that this game is now the biggest hurdle that separates them from back-to-back league titles.
Saturday’s victory was not your typical Etihad City display, an early Phil Foden goal indicated a vintage City performance, however, the game played out completely different to how many expected after 6 minutes. Spurs didn’t roll over at all, they wanted it and if last Wednesday’s Heung-Min Son had shown up, then City may well have lost the game, not forgetting the Kyle Walker handball overlooked by Michael Oliver.
Typically, City created chances and one man who was central to their success going forward was Bernardo Silva. The petite Portuguese winger was superb throughout; constantly hassling Spurs out of possession, starting counters, beating defenders in 1v1s and 1v2s as well as playing a big role in Foden’s goal. His quick feet made him a nightmare to defend against; he’s not one-dimensional as he can beat a player on the outside with a quick change of pace as well as on the inside with his wand of a left foot. Silva’s a player that has come on massively in his second season in England and two world-class performances against Spurs and Liverpool will end up being crucial if they end up winning the title.
This Manchester derby is not only huge for City, but for United as well, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side currently occupying 6th place, but only 3 points off 4th with this being United’s game in hand on Chelsea.
However, if current form is anything to go by, then we could be in for a United humiliation on Wednesday. Since Solskjaer was given permanent control of the wheel, United have scraped two 2-1 home wins against Watford and West Ham (both games they should’ve lost), crashed out of the Champions league in a 4-0 aggregate defeat to Barca, lost at Wolves after going in front and were humbled by Everton on Easter Sunday.
Solskjaer himself has said that this is the perfect game after Sunday, however, I’m not so sure. This is a depleted, incohesive and seemingly unmotivated squad that ex-boss Jose Mourinho criticised so much. Ole is right when talking about the overhaul United needs this summer, with the likes of Ander Herrera, Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian and Ashley Young looking likely to depart from Manchester along with others.
One man that should be shipped out is record-signing Paul Pogba. He displays his talent sporadically and after starting so well under Solskjaer, has gone off the boil massively, not only by not contributing with G+A’s, but his performances have also sharply declined. He’s a player that just won’t work consistently for United and I would offload him for however much prior to next season.
Both of these sides also exited the Champions League as of late, in rather different circumstances, however. United were outclassed by Messi and Barcelona in the second-leg at the Nou Camp, succumbing to a 4-0 defeat over two legs, whilst City were on the verge of progressing before VAR ruled out Raheem Sterling’s last gasp winner against Spurs.
The second-leg at the Etihad was nothing short of breathtaking, 2-2 after 10 minutes and 3-2 after 22. The game ended 4-3 in City’s favour, but Spurs progressing on away goals, Fernando Llorente’s hip/hand finish with 15 minutes or so remaining was just about enough for them.
Even if they overcome Liverpool in one of the tightest title races in Premier League history, a major factor when measuring Guardiola’s success at City and also his legacy will be winning a CL in Manchester, without Lionel Messi. Another relatively early exit for City and Guardiola had many questioning the Spaniard as ‘one of the best of all time’, whether it was just reactionary or whether they actually believe it, a good case could be made when you look at the money poured into this City squad, no matter how aesthetic his City side is, I think Guardiola’s legacy relies a lot on being able to win a Champions League in Manchester.
Luke Shaw is available for the home side after missing the previous two domestic fixtures due to suspension. Alexis Sanchez may also be an option for Solskjaer after the Chilean came off the bench in Barcelona, however, he was an unused sub at Goodison Park on the weekend. It’s likely that the energetic Scott McTominay will come back into midfield after starting on the bench on Sunday. Phil Jones, Eric Bailly, Ander Herrera and Antonio Valencia are all doubts for Wednesday.
City were dealt a huge blow on the weekend with Kevin De Bruyne, who has looked his usual self as of late, picking up a muscular injury that has ruled him out for this fixture.
Potential United Starting XI: De Gea, Dalot, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw, McTominay, Pogba, Fred, Lingard, Lukaku, Rashford.
Potential City Starting XI: Ederson, Walker, Otamendi, Laporte, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Gundogan, D.Silva, B.Silva, Aguero, Sterling.
Head To Head
- All-time: United-73, Draw-52, City-52
- United have only beaten City once at Old Trafford in the PL since 2012.
Key Stats & Facts
- A win for City will take them to the top of the table (by a point) with only 3 games to play.
- A victory for United will see them tied for fourth with Chelsea, although Sarri’s side has a better goal difference. Also, Arsenal could leapfrog both sides if they get at least a point at Molineux on Wednesday.
- It’s currently a three-way tie for the Golden Boot at the moment; City’s Sergio Aguero is tied with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mo Salah on 19 goals.
- Aguero has scored 8 goals in Manchester derbies since his arrival in 2011.
- Discounting penalties, Paul Pogba, who is United’s top scorer in the league, hasn’t scored since his brace against Fulham back in early February, a run of 8 PL games.
- Romelu Lukaku, who is United’s second-leading PL scorer with 12, hasn’t scored in the PL since his brace against Southampton at the start of March.
- City average 1.9 goals a game away from home compared to 3.1 at the Etihad in the PL this season.
- City have conceded just once in their last four PL away games.
- On the other hand, United have only managed to keep two clean sheets at Old Trafford this season (both 0-0 draws) and haven’t kept a clean sheet since they remarkable kept out Liverpool back on the 24th February, a run of 7 league games.
- United 13/2
- Draw 4/1
- City 1/2
In all honesty, I can see City trouncing their Manchester rivals on Wednesday and go top of the league with 3 games to go. The vertical passing of this City side will be too much for United’s midfield to handle, despite the performances of Scott McTominay vastly improving in recent weeks. The home side have been really poor as of late and even with Luke Shaw returning, I don’t see how this vulnerable United backline keeps this superb City attack out for 90 minutes, especially with David De Gea having an ‘off year’. United have kept just 2 clean sheets at home all season and on Wednesday I think De Gea will be picking the ball out of his net a few occasions. Therefore, I’m backing City to win with a -1 handicap, something City have done on 21 occasions this season, including in the reverse fixture at the Etihad back in November.
Another bet I like is Luke Shaw being carded at 15/8. Shaw is returning for this one after being suspended for picking up 10 bookings in the league this season. Shaw has also been booked 3 times in the Champions League this season and he’s my prime candidate to be booked on Wednesday. He hasn’t got the fear of being suspended and he will likely be matched up against the elegant Bernardo Silva and the powerful Kyle Walker, two players that will cause the left-back different kinds of problems down the right.
Finally, I fancy Sergio Aguero to end his dry streak against United and get on the scoresheet first in this one. After scoring 7 in his first 7 games against United, Aguero has only scored once since 2015 in the derby, that goal coming in the reverse fixture this season. The Argentine also hasn’t scored in his last two PL outings, how rarely does he make it three?