It may only be December but the Premier League is already looking like a two-horse race between the Manchester thoroughbreds.
The first meeting between the sides since City’s unbelievably dramatic last minute Premier League win last season and Sir Alex Ferguson has cranked up the pressure even further by claiming a win for his side would be “one of our best ever results.”
However, if Ferguson’s men are to get a victory, then they will need to tighten up their away defence. This season the Old Trafford side have conceded 12 goals in their eight away games to leave them with just the ninth best defence in the English top tier.
Shutting City out is even more imperative than normal as United are hardly likely to perform one of their come-from-behind-miracle-escape-acts that they’ve become so adept at this season – City have the best defence in the division.
In fact, based on their recent encounters at Eastlands, getting a goal at all will be a tough ask for United.
There hasn’t been more than one goal in any of the previous six league meetings between these teams at City, with the hosts winning the previous two games 1-0.
Five of the last six games there have ended in a 1-0 win for either City or United.
It may go against the trend of United shipping loads and scoring even more but, with both sides knowing a defeat would completely change the complexion of the title race – even at this early stage – everything looks set for an extremely close encounter.
Backing under 1.5 goals at 3/1 looks well worth a punt, while under 2.5 goals looks a cracking bet at 1/1.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date