Ahead of the first Manchester derby of the season, we’ve priced up Manchester City at 11/8 to do the double over their bitter rivals and Man Utd at 25/1 for the reverse.
Man Utd points v Man City:
With the way the season’s gone so far it’s tough to make a case for United getting much out of either game with City, but City’s results against their neighbours have been surprisingly mixed in recent years.
Since taking charge in 2016, Pep Guardiola has completed the double over United twice, while United managed the double over City in the 2019/20 season, and the fixture has a habit of throwing out funny results.
With City marching towards the title in 2021, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Red Devils turned up and won 2-0, and the season before, two first-half goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial were enough to secure a 2-1 win at the Etihad.
Even last season, a resurgent United were a late Anthony Martial brace away from being on the receiving end of another 6-1 derby defeat, but responded brilliantly in the reverse fixture, winning 2-1 – albeit with the help of a contentious refereeing decision.
And perhaps most memorably, with City a win away from landing the title at home to Jose Mourinho's United, they threw away a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2.
Nevertheless, City are 7/10 favourites to beat an injury-hit United and be well on their way to another double.
The biggest concern for United right now is perhaps not the injury list that has seen the likes of Casemiro, Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw and Mason Mount spend time out injured, but how the side struggle to adapt when there are injuries.
Erik ten Hag seems more reliant on individuals than a particular system, and many of the individuals he does have at his disposal are out of form. Marcus Rashford is stuck on one goal for the season, Antony is yet to make an impact following his £80m move, and the midfield doesn’t seem to be functioning like an elite midfield should.
City, meanwhile, have coasted through the first part of the season and sitting comfortably, second in the league after nine games behind Tottenham. City starting slowly isn’t uncommon, though there does seem to be something different about Guardiola’s men this season.
The champions have been more methodical with their attacks, registering 10 shots or fewer in four games this season, though they do have another gear when chasing games, registering 29 shots against West Ham and Sheffield United.
The absence of Rodri for the trips to Wolves and Arsenal was sorely felt, with City losing on both occasions, but the brilliant Spaniard was back at the weekend against Brighton and reminded everyone of what he brings to the table.
Rodri attempted and completed more passes than anyone else on the pitch and had the most touches with City recording a comfortable 2-1 win. As it always does, everything went through City’s midfield metronome.
Manchester United’s 2-1 victory at Old Trafford last season came by effectively nullifying the threat of Erling Haaland; if they’re to win this time, it’s Rodri who’ll need nullifying.