Rooney returns, but Silva sidelined for Manchester derby
Manchester City have had the better of recent derbies with neighbours United, and a run of three straight victories against the Red Devils is in no small part down to attractive football. The hosts at the Etihad are odds-on at 10/11 with Coral to belie current form and beat Louis van Gaal’s team.
City have no win in three across all competitions, though, which may make punters tempted to take the 3/1 on offer with Coral on United earning victory. A rare draw comes in at 11/4. Manuel Pellegrini intends, however, to stick by his guns with an attacking approach to derby day.
“It is the way we must play,” City’s Chilean coach said. “We will continue doing the same way.” Home side guile may be missing, though, as chief creator David Silva misses out with a knee injury sustained in midweek. Yaya Toure picked up a groin problem in that Capital One Cup exit to Newcastle United, but may shrug it off to play some part here.
If the powerful Ivorian joins silky Spaniard Sila in being sidelined for United’s cross-town trip, then the recently returned Samir Nasri (7/2 to score anytime) and genuine wideman Jesus Navas (5/1) must take up the mantle. Even if they cannot chip in with goals, supply to City strikers Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko is essential, as this pair are proven thorns for the Red Devils to deal with.
Van Gaal has a shaky defence at best, because of chopping and changing. This will only improve if the United boss can get a settled back four and give them regular game time together. The clean sheet market does not make an attractive prospect here.
As Aguero and Dzeko both bagged braces in Manchester derby meetings last term, Coral’s fantastic match special on the Argentine attacker netting anytime and City winning at a very nice 9/4 (max stake £20) is well worth piling money on. For two goals or more, Aguero is 4/1, while Dzeko is a 7/1 shot in that market or as a safer 5/4 to be on target anytime.
United loan signing Radamel Falcao remains missing for this match after a kick in training, but happily Van Gaal welcomes club captain Wayne Rooney back from a ban, and confirmed he would recall the England talisman. “He has scored a lot of goals against City, the most of any player,” the Dutch manager said of Rooney. “So I am very happy that he can play, and he shall.”
That awesome overhead kick stands out in the memory of football fans and punters alike. Rooney need not come up with something so spectacular here to reward you, however, and is a hugely tempting 11/4 to net anytime, given he has 11 Manchester derby goals to his credit.