Given the less-than-inspiring start of both sides, not to mention the recent history of goals between the two, today’s Manchester derby promises to deliver up an early-season cracker.
It’s way too early to be talking of title deciders of course, particularly as neither team occupy the top four never mind the top two, yet the Manchester derby does have a history of setting a crucial mood and momentum for the season ahead.
In October 2011, City crushed United 6-1 at Old Trafford in a result that Sir Alex Ferguson himself admitted had a big say in seeing the Premier League title head to the blue half of Manchester at the end of the season.
While last season, Robin van Persie’s last-minute deflected free-kick saw United nick a 3-2 win at the City of Manchester Stadium, before streaking ahead so far in the title race that even City’s 2-1 revenge win at Old Trafford in April proved futile.
And neither new manager will want to begin their Manchester careers with a loss in their first derby. David Moyes in particular could do with a result to avoid the ignominy of losing to both Liverpool and Manchester City in his first two months as Old Trafford boss. With so much at stake, 10/1 for either man to buckle under the pressure and be sent to the stands could be a smart punt.
But while there is plenty riding on the game even this early in the season, there’s reason to believe that this won’t be a cagey affair. Both sides boast an arsenal of attacking talent, and both looked at their fluent best in Europe in midweek, scoring seven goals between them.
There is also the small matter of 26 goals having been scored in their last six meetings alone. So with goals on the menu, it might be a good match to bank on a couple of beauties being notched too, with a 16/1 bet on the Match of the Day Goal of the Season being scored in this game.
With Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs involved, three previous winners could be on the pitch at the same time, with Rooney not only having won it three times already (04/05, 06/07, 10/11), but his famous overhead effort at Old Trafford in 2011 providing the winner in the Manchester derby that season.
Fancy lightning striking twice? You can back Rooney to score an overhead kick at 50/1.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.