Big Match Breakdown: Manchester United v Manchester City
This could shape the rest of the season
It may only be December but Sunday’s Manchester derby could define the rest of this season’s title race.
If Manchester City secure a record 14th straight league win in a single campaign, they’ll be 11 points clear at the top of the table. It’s very hard to see anyone catching them from that position.
A United win would see the gap close to five points. And that could make things very interesting.
It’s shaping up to the biggest game of the season so far and the Coral News Team have all the info you need.
United are on a 24-game unbeaten run at home in the league. But City have scored more goals at Old Trafford than any other away side (27).
In the last five seasons, City have had a slight edge over their rivals in the derby. They’ve won five games, while United have won three.
Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho also know each other well. They worked together at Barcelona in the 1990s before becoming managerial rivals at Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively. Guardiola has won eight of the 19 meetings between the two managers. Mourinho has won four of them.
With doubts over Marouane Fellaini’s fitness, Mourinho could go for a back three to have safety in numbers in defence.
Ander Herrera is likely to come in for the suspended Paul Pogba. The industrious Spaniard could be very effective against City’s possession-based approach.
Guardiola’s biggest call will be over who to start in attack. Aguero’s experience could see him get the nod over Gabriel Jesus.
City haven’t been as rampant in recent weeks. They’ve needed late winners in each of their last four victories. Opposition sides are happy to sit deep and deny Guardiola’s side space in behind. But City have found a way through in the end.
United’s wing-backs will need to watch Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling closely. The midfielders have to deny Silva or De Bruyne the room to pull the strings.
If they can do that, they’ll need to counter ruthlessly like they did against Arsenal last weekend. Their height advantage also makes set pieces a genuine threat.
Jesse Lingard could be the key man. He linked the midfield and attack superbly at the Emirates Stadium. Mourinho will want a repeat performance from the 24-year-old.
City’s attacking approach does leave them vulnerable at the back. There’s a chance for a big return on Man City to win and Both Teams to Score at 16/5.
Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero lead the way in the Scorer markets. They’re both 7/2 to score First.
For United, Romelu Lukaku is 5/1 to open the scoring.
But the Coral News Team think the value pick is Raheem Sterling. The 23-year-old is City’s top scorer this season and he has three goals in his last four appearances. He’s 21/10 to score Anytime.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing