Manchester Is Red This Weekend!Stats
Man City v Man United
The first Manchester derby o the season takes place on Sunday afternoon when City host United at the Etihad Stadium and both eager not to lose any more ground in the title race.
A 2-0 Capital One Cup loss at home to Newcastle on Wednesday night compounded an awful eight days for Manchester City as they went without a win for a third game running. They were defeated twice, threw away a two-goal lead to CSKA in the Champions League before having to settle for a draw, conceded six goals and generally looked anything but champions. Manuel Pellegrini’s side are now six points adrift of leaders Chelsea in their bid to keep hold of their crown and have kept only one clean sheet in their last seven games, and managed only two in nine league outings overall.
Sergio Aguero remains perhaps their one saving grace of late, the Argentine striker has scored 11 goals this season, and eight in his last seven.
While United’s results have hardly been outstanding, they do appear to be on an upward curve with just one defeat in their last seven
…and have grabbed late goals in successive games to salvage a point from matches they looked set to lose. The most recent of those came last weekend when undefeated Chelsea were pegged back after Robin van Persie struck in the fourth minute of injury time to earn a 1-1 draw after Dider Drogba had given the Blues a second half lead. Louis van Gaal’s side have, however kept just two clean sheets themselves all season, with both coming against the bottom two clubs, Burnley and QPR.
Van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Angel Di Maria each have three goals to their name this season.
Gifted playmaker David Silva injured his knee in the defeat to Newcastle and is a major doubt for the hosts although Samir Nasri played for an hour on his return from injury and is set to take the Spaniard’s place. Yaya Toure also came off with a groin problem in midweek but was thought to be a precautionary measure. Frank Lampard is set to miss out with a thigh injury.
Rooney is available once more for United following a three-game ban, but is now an injury doubt. Phil Jones looks set to miss out again with shin splints but Radamel Falcao, Jonny Evans, Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young could be available once more as they return to fitness.
City have won the last three derbies in a row, and crushed their local rivals 7-1 on aggregate last season, including a 4-1 thumping in this fixture. Aguero’s found the net three times in his last two appearances against United and five in the six derbies he’s played, while Toure has scored three in his last four. Rooney is United’s record goalscorer overall against City with 11 in total.
This game looked an obvious home win at 20/23 even ten days ago but to use an old cliché, things can rapidly change in football, and there now looks to be real value in a United win at 31/10.
Both sides have been a shambles at the back almost all season though which is reflected in the 11/20 on both to score although that does look a sure thing, while the 29/20 on over 3.5 goals has real merit too. After his crucial goal at the death last weekend, a rejuvenated Van Persie looks the pick of the goalscorers for me at 13/2 first and 15/8 anytime too.