Saturday, December 4, 2021

Prediction: Manchester United vs Manchester City

Verdict: Manchester City win

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: Unibet

With local bragging rights up for grabs on Saturday lunchtime, defending champions Manchester City will make the trip to Old Trafford this weekend.

Manchester United

Starting with the hosts, while Manchester United might have landed that much-needed 3-0 romp away at Tottenham last weekend, it does not cover what has been an extended inconsistent spell. Once again dodging a real Champions League bullet against Atalanta earlier in the week as they had to snatch a last-gasp point out in Italy, the pressure still remains firmly on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s shoulders. Still trying to fully put their dreadful 5-0 drumming at the hands of Liverpool behind them, the former Premier League champions appear in an uphill battle if they’re to clinch another top-four finish this season. While attacking talisman Cristiano Ronaldo might have dragged United and Solskjaer over the finish line in midweek, Saturday’s hosts have shown some real domestic issues. Remarkably, along with an action-packed 4-2 defeat away at Leicester on October 16th, United have won just one of their previous six domestic matchups on the spin, a run that stems all the way back to the middle of September.

Team News

Bagging a stunning brace against Atalanta in midweek, Cristiano Ronaldo will once again lead Manchester United’s charge at Old Trafford on Saturday.

However, limping off with a hamstring injury out in Italy, key defender Raphaël Varane will be on the sidelines for about a month.

Manchester City

As for the visitors, while Manchester United might have just about clawed their way over the finish line in midweek, the defending Premier League champions picked up some perfect momentum. Eventually cruising their way to a routine 4-1 romp against Belgium outfit Club Brugge while on Champions League duties, Pep Guardiola’s side will be desperate to keep up that momentum. Looking to make up some ground as they make the trip to Old Trafford this weekend, the former Bayern Munich boss has seen his side endure a recent domestic blip. Along with getting hit with a stunning 2-0 defeat against Crystal Palace at the Etihad seven days ago, Manchester City also came crashing out of the EFL Cup at the hands of a high-flying West Ham on October 27th. While Saturday’s guests might have shown some extended issues against their crosstown rivals, they will be boosted by an impressive record at Old Trafford. Including a 2-0 win in their last trip across Manchester, City are unbeaten in each of their last seven trips, winning six of those contests.

Team News

Once again missing out on City’s 4-1 win against Club Brugge in midweek, Spanish international Ferran Torres is expected to miss out on Saturday lunchtime.

Shown a straight red against Crystal Palace last weekend, Aymeric Laporte will be missing as he starts a suspension.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the two sides faced off at the Etihad back in March, Manchester United picked up a 2-0 victory.
    • However, Manchester City are unbeaten in each of their last seven trips to Old Trafford, recording six wins.
    • Saturday’s hosts have won just one of their last six domestic contests on the spin, a run that stems back to the middle of September.
    • Cristiano Ronaldo has recorded nine goals across all formats since opening the 2021/22 campaign.
    • Manchester City have collected 10 points from their last four Premier League contests on the road.

    Conclusion

    Finding a real boost in midweek as they stormed their way to a 4-1 win against Club Brugge on home soil, Manchester City will be looking to lay down another marker here. Hoping to bounce back from their shock 2-0 defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace last weekend, the defending champions will be looking to cash in on a United side who have only shown a host of issues. Only just about snatching a last-gasp point away at Atalanta earlier in the week, the Reds have won just one of their previous six domestic contests. With Manchester City winning six of their last seven trips to Old Trafford across all formats, we’re backing Pep Guardiola’s side to claim local bragging rights on Saturday lunchtime.

    Verdict: Manchester City win

    Best Odds: 7/10

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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