Author: Graham Tower
2016/17 Premier League
Published: 17:24 07/12/2012
The two Manchester rivals are threatening to run away with the Premier League title chase and Sunday’s match provides an opportunity for City and United to lay down a marker in their first head to head clash of the season.
While it’s too early in the season to hype this game as a potential title decider, City trail their Manchester rivals by three points and Roberto Mancini has stated his side cannot afford to be beaten at the Etihad this weekend. City have been lacking confidence in a number of key areas as the champions discover that defending the title is more demanding than winning it first time around.
It may work to Mancini’s advantage later in the season that City are out of Europe, but right now, he needs a number of players to reproduce the spark they showed in winning the title last season. The virtually impenetrable back line has been error prone this season and Yaya Toure, whose surging forward play proved irresistible a times during previous campaigns, looks a shadow of his former self. Married to Mancini’s uncertainty about his best forward line up and Sir Alex Ferguson will see a ripe opportunity to put United’s ‘little brother’ in its place.
United are 12/5 with William Hill in the match betting market. City, who won the last two league derbies at home, are 13/10 with BetVictor who go 13/5 the draw.
There is no doubt that United have the firepower to breakdown City in their current form but there are serious questions to be asked of the Red Devils’ rearguard, who have relied on Van Persie, Rooney and Herenandez to pull them out of trouble too many times for comfort. So far, United’s prolific strike force has been able to come to the rescue, but for how long you have to wonder.
This is a fixture that has enjoyed its share of high scores and with two dodgy defences up against a clutch of top class strikers in both line ups, it’s not unreasonable to expect to see plenty of goals in this match.
Taking a look at the Total Goals markets and bet365 offer 13/8 for Over 3 goals. Odds have tightened up for Over 4 goals and 15/8 with Blue Square is now top price.
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