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Goals guaranteed in Manchester battle of the giants

Manchester arch-rivals United and City go head-to-head at Old Trafford in a fixture that has produced five or more goals in five of the last seven meetings in all competitions. Coral give odds of 4/1 for the total scored to be over 4.5 again.

Remarkably, in three of those games, the Red Devils have come out 3-2 victors and can be backed at 28/1 to win by that margin once more.

The two Premier League giants battle it out, but both without their prolific frontliners in Sergio Aguero (who has scored 26 in 28 matches this season so far) and Robin van Persie (17 in 25) due to injury.

Wayne Rooney and Alvaro Negredo will therefore step up, with the former especially in confident mood. The England forward smashed in an audacious volley from 51 yards during United’s 2-0 win over West Ham – he also netted the other – and can be backed at 9/1 to get a double or more again.

Rooney certainly enjoys playing against City and has scored five in his previous five in all competitions against them. Back him at 13/8 to get a goal anytime.

His Spanish opponent Negredo has managed 23 in all competitions from 42 games and has odds of 6/4 in the anytime scorer market. He hasn’t grabbed a goal in his last five Premier League games, however, so City may have to rely on their powerhouse midfielder Yaya Toure once more.

The Ivorian hit a hat-trick in his side’s last game, against Fulham, and has incredibly scored 20 goals this season from the middle of the park in all competitions. He is on a run of 11 in his last 14 and can be backed 7/4 to net anytime or 10/1 to get two or more.

City do hold the upper hand against United in recent meetings, having won four of their last five league games against them, and are favourites for victory again at 23/20. Man Utd are priced at 12/5 to win, while a draw is 5/2.

Manuel Pellegrini will know that his team need a victory at Old Trafford in order to remain title favourites (current odds of 6/4) as they are six points adrift of leaders Chelsea, but with three games in hand.

United go into the fixture on the back of two successive victories, but will still be without central defensive trio Rio Ferdinand, Chris Smalling (both injured) and Nemanja Vidic (serving the second of his two-match suspension).

Jonny Evans is a doubt, meaning that Phil Jones and Michael Carrick may be forced to continue their partnership after their impressive clean sheet performances against the Hammers.