Man City have work cut out as Man Utd hardly ever lose three in a row

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It has been over a decade since Manchester United last lost three games in succession and so it may be worth siding with them to avoid defeat in their FA Cup third round super showdown with neighbours Manchester City.

Sir Alex Ferguson has proved immense in the past at getting a reaction out of his players after suffering a defeat and now arguably has to work harder than ever to increase morale in the camp.

Manchester United have been in disarray over the New Year, firstly losing at home to relegation-threatened Blackburn and most recently being dominated by Newcastle.

What will be most worrying is the defensive mistakes being made, with six goals being conceded across these two defeats.

This is not ideal preparation for a trip to Manchester City, who have already put six past the Red Devils at Old Trafford this season and are comfortably the top scorers in the Premier League through the opening 20 games of the campaign.

However, they have failed to score in two of their last three league games and this will give Manchester United some confidence that they can improve on their defensive frailties.

Sir Alex does not take defeat particularly well and their current run is only the seventh time since 2005 that they have suffered back-to-back losses.

Meanwhile, 2001 was the last time that three consecutive defeats were suffered and these losses to Derby, Southampton and Tottenham came after the Premier League title had already been confirmed.

The last time they suffered three defeats in a row that did have a meaningful impact on a season was back in 1995 when they were heavily embarrassed at Newcastle and Southampton and then beaten at home by Chelsea.

But Sir Alex is likely to demand a big reaction and is liable to get one.

Manchester United’s odds are 5/2 to beat Manchester City and 11/5 to claim a draw that would result in a replay.

Alternatively, it is 4/6 in the double chance market that they avoid defeat at the Etihad Stadium.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.