Sunday, April 18, 2021

Prediction: Manchester City vs Manchester United

Prediction: Correct Score 2-0

Odds: 6/1

Bookmaker: William Hill

Manchester City will be looking to take another significant step towards the Premier League crown as they do battle with nearest rivals and near neighbours Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium.

Pep Guardiola’s men come into the clash as odds on favourites to claim the trophy, currently sitting 14 points clear of the Red Devils. United then will surely be aiming to extend City’s wait and also rubber stamp a place in the top four in the process.

Manchester City

One of the main reasons that it looks likely that Manchester City are set to secure a third title in four seasons is their irresistible form in recent months. Their recent 4-1 thumping of Wolverhampton Wanderers extended their winning run to 21 matches in all competitions. As a matter of fact, they only need to notch two more victories to match Bayern Munich’s all-time record of 23 in the top-five European leagues. One crucial aspect of that seriously impressive run has been City’s defensive excellence. Pep Guardiola’s men possess the most stubborn defense in the Premier League having shipped just 17 goals in 27 matches, a rate of just 0.63 per game. Considering that five of those strikes came in the shocking 5-2 thumping at the hands of Leicester City back in September, that is seriously eye-catching. As a matter of fact, that is the last home game that the Citizens lost in the Premier League – a run that they will desperately hope to continue against Manchester United on Sunday.

Team News

Another positive of Manchester City’s charge this season has been the lack of injuries that they have suffered. Only central defender Nathan Ake is a doubt for the clash against the Red Devils, however the former Bournemouth man could potentially return. John Stones and Ilkay Gundogan started on the bench last time out against Wolves so could potentially return for Sunday’s clash.

Manchester United

A worrying run of inconsistency from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s troops has dramatically seen them fall out of the title race in recent weeks. Wednesday’s 0-0 stalemate against Crystal Palace meant that they have won just three out of their last ten matches in the Premier League. Whilst it could be argued that they have only lost once in that run, the embarrassing 2-1 reverse at the hands of Sheffield United at Old Trafford, they have only taken 15 points out of a possible 30 – certainly not form of title winners. It’s even more concerning too that the Red Devils have seemingly lost their goalscoring edge. Each of their last three matches in all competitions have ended 0-0. You have to go all the way back to 2005 for the last time that the club have been held to three consecutive bore draws and they have not claimed four draws in a row since September 2004. Their great away record though should give them encouragement as they head to the Etihad Stadium. The Red Devils have not lost a Premier League game away from home in their last 21 games.

Team News

Somewhat unlike their neighbours, United have quite a few players who are doubtful ahead of the game. David De Gea is set to remain out of the lineup for personal reasons and will once again be replaced by Dean Henderson. Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and Phil Jones all remain ruled out. There is better news surrounding Victor Lindelof though who has recovered from his back problem and could return to the starting lineup. Donny van de Beek and Anthony Martial missed out against Crystal Palace but could potentially return at the Etihad.

Key Facts To Consider

  • Manchester United have the far better all-time head-to-head record between the two sides (W76, D53, L55)
  • The two sides have met twice already this season in the Premier League and Carabao Cup, with Manchester City undefeated
  • The Citizens won the last clash between the two 2-0
  • The Red Devils could potentially win three consecutive games away to Manchester City for the first time since 2000 should they take three points
  • Sergio Aguero has scored eight goals in just 11 Premier League starts against the Red Devils

Conclusion

Should Manchester City win this game, then it is hard to formulate an argument against them winning the Premier League title this season. They will be extremely keen to avoid a repeat of the 2017/18 season where they were all set to win the title against their rivals but the Red Devils roared back to win at the Etihad. Manchester United’s impotence paired with City’s defensive resilience will see them avoid that and win the match comfortably.

Prediction: Correct Score 2-0

Odds: 6/1

Bookmaker: William Hill

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Orme


Daniel is a football journalism graduate from the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately six years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.

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