Monday, October 21, 2019

Prediction: Manchester United vs Manchester City

Verdict: Manchester City win and over 1.5 goals

Best Odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: Bet365

Manchester City can take a major step towards securing Premier League title glory if they can inflict more misery on Manchester United in Wednesday’s pivotal derby.

Manchester United

Starting with the hosts, coming off the back of a humiliating 4-0 hammering away at Goodison Park on Sunday, Manchester United have very publically started to stall following Ole Gunnar Solskaer’s permanent arrival last month. Losing four of their last five matches across all competitions and also crashing out of the Champions League at the Nou Camp last week, the Red Devils have some serious ground to make up if they intend to secure another top four finish. Now sat down in sixth and three points adrift of Chelsea, a huge part of their issues at the back end of the season have come down to their continued defensive issues. Shipping seven goals in their last two appearances, United’s 48 goals conceded this season is their worst defensive record in four decades. Along with drastically struggling with their form at the back end of the Premier League campaign, Solskaer’s side also hold a very worrying record against their cross-town rivals. Suffering a 3-1 loss in the reverse fixture, Wednesday’s hosts have lost five of their last seven Premier League fixtures against Manchester City at Old Trafford.

Team News

Manchester United will make changes in defence after Phil Jones was forced off through injury in the loss at Everton.

Ander Herrera is expected to be available after four weeks out with a thigh injury, while Luke Shaw returns from suspension.

Manchester City

As for the visitors, while Manchester City may have seen their Champions League dreams come to an end last week, Pep Guardiola’s side still have their sights firmly set on reclaiming their Premier League crown. Chasing a two-point deficit to Liverpool and with the chance to reclaim their spot at the top of the table, the former Barcelona boss has seen his side continue to shine in England’s top-flight. Picking up a 1-0 win over Spurs on Saturday, City have won their last 10 Premier League games – their longest streak since a run of 18 between August and December 2017. Unsurprisingly, it has been the Sky Blues’ form in the final third which has really spearheaded their title charge. Already bagging 79 league goals this season, Wednesday’s visitors hold the best attacking stats of any side in Europe’s top-tiers. One man to watch for Guardiola’s side will be leading goalscorer, Sergio Aguero. Sat joint top of the overall goalscoring charts with Mohamed Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the 30-year-old marksman has scored five in his last seven across all competitions.

Team News

Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne will miss the derby after sustaining a muscular problem last weekend.

Claudio Bravo is the only other absentee through injury.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Manchester City have won five of their last seven Premier League fixtures at Old Trafford (D1, L1), having triumphed in only one of the first 14 visits.
  • A seventh away win for City would be a new Premier League record for overall wins at Old Trafford by a visiting club. They are currently tied with Chelsea on six victories.
  • United have lost six of their last eight games in all competitions for the first time since 1989.
  • Manchester City have won their last 10 Premier League games – their longest streak since a run of 18 between August and December 2017, which remains the all-time top-flight record.
  • They need just one more goal to match their own record of goals scored in all competitions in a top-flight season (156 in 2013-14).

Conclusion

Given Manchester United’s very public struggles at the back end of the season, Pep Guardiola should see this as a golden opportunity to reclaim their spot at the top of the table. With United now losing five of their last seven top-flight matches against City at Old Trafford, we’re backing Wednesday’s visitors to come away with the three points and the local bragging rights in midweek.

Verdict: Manchester City win and over 1.5 goals

Best Odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: Bet365

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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