The first Manchester derby of the season arrives with United trailing their great rivals by three points in the Premier League, but perhaps hogging more of the area’s sun as the Citizens endure something of a blip.
Ladbrokes make Manuel Pellegrini’s hosts the 17/20 favourites to best the Red Devils, with United available at 3/1. But, after breaking down each side’s merits in usual top-trumps fashion it might be the 14/5-rated draw that is of greater interest, such is the tightness of the result.
Form: Man City 6 / Man Utd 7
United’s last-breath draw with Premier League pace-setters Chelsea was an encouraging, and deserved point for Louis van Gaal. His side are now unbeaten in four matches and are just three points off a coveted Champions League spots.
In all competitions, City are winless in three. After letting slip a two-goal lead against CSKA Moscow, they’ve since lost to West Ham and a weakened Newcastle side in the Capital One Cup.
Defence: Man City 7 / Man Utd 6
Eliaquim Mangala is taking a while to settle in the Premier League and he has been ever-present in this winless run, in which the defending champions have shipped two goals in each outing.
That’s still enough to shade supremacy over a Red Devils’ outfit that hasn’t kept a clean sheet in five appearances and has only managed two all season.
Star Man: Man City 8 / Man Utd 8
Sergio Aguero has been so hot infront of goal that he’s managed to haul in the Premier League-lead Diego Costa enjoyed in the scoring charts. He has gone off the boil slightly though, failing to score in his last two outings having bagged eight in his previous five.
Similarly, countryman Angel di Maria has failed to find the net in two games having slotted three goals in four prior outings.
Attack: Man City 8 / Man Utd 9
Just how many of the pair’s fearsome attackers make it on to the pitch is unknown. Wayne Rooney and Radamel Falcao both carry knocks and Pellegrini is unpredictable with his one-or-two-up-top flittering. The United triumvirate edges City’s for quality nonetheless.
Coaches: Man City 7 / Man Utd 7
It’s fair to say that former Bayern Munich boss Van Gaal is yet to crack the Premier League, while Pellegrini’s tactical naivety in big matches is a worry considering the Chilean is into his second term at the helm of such a big club.
Totals: Man City 36 / Man Utd 37
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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