Manchester City got back on the winning trail with a thumping win at Burnley in midweek and they can maintain bragging rights in the Manchester Derby today.
Pep Guardiola has never been in a more challenging position at this stage of the season, with Liverpool’s thumping of Leicester meaning they maintain an 11-point gap over City, who are 10/3 to make a comeback and win their third straight Premier League title with Star.
That gap is large but not insurmountable – City clawed a 10-point deficit back in the second half of last season – and they are playing far better than their recent form suggests. Their 4-1 win against Burnley was only their second win in their last six games, the other being a 2-1 win over third placed Chelsea here.
However, they’ve lost only once in that time and that defat was an entirely forgivable 3-1 loss at Liverpool when they were arguably unlucky to be on the losing side. A trip to Newcastle that ended 2-2 really should have been a different outcome as they won the expected goals count 2.6 to 0.6 along with winning the shot count 24-9, and the shots on target count 9-3.
On Wednesday their supremacy finally clicked with a Gabriel Jesus double, a Rodri screamer and a goal from Riyad Mahrez seeing them swipe aside Burnley and that attacking firepower shouldn’t be forgotten overnight. Kevin De Bryune and David Silva excelled in midfield there and one cannot forget Bernardo Silva (two assists in midweek) or Raheem Sterling going forward.
Man City v Man Utd
Sky Sports Premier League / Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Ultra HD
HEAD TO HEAD RECORD*
(Maximum 10 matches, Since 2010)
APR 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester United 0-2 Manchester City
NOV 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 3-1 Manchester United
APR 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 2-3 Manchester United
DEC 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester United 1-2 Manchester City
APR 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 0-0 Manchester United
OCT 2016 CARABAO CUP Manchester United 1-0 Manchester City
SEP 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester United 1-2 Manchester City
MAR 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 0-1 Manchester United
OCT 2015 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester UNITED 0-0 Manchester City
APR 2015 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester United 4-2 Manchester City
NOV 2014 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 1-0 Manchester United
Manchester United have not quite clicked under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but the Norweigan will be sitting more comfortably after a well-deserved 2-1 victory over Tottenham on Wednesday.
United were deserving of their victory, with the returning midfielders Fred and Scott McTominay both delivering excellent performances and allowing them to control the tempo of the game as they got the better of Spurs pairing Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks, allowing them to get Marcus Rashford heavily involved.
It’s no surprise that Rashford scored both goals to win United the game, taking his tally to nine goals and four assists from 14 top-flight outings this season, and he will be a threat against a City defence that has proven to be very vulnerable this season since Aymeric Laporte’s long term injury.
United did bypass Spurs’ attacking players with ease at times in midweek and whilst the City press will be more effective, they do tend to give their best performances on the break and Dan James will be interested in spaces opening up.
However, that was a Spurs side which has only just come under new management and they are now facing a City team which for all its troubles, are 11 points clear of their neighbours and probably should be further ahead in the league table.
City have been shocked a couple of times at the Etihad – in March 2016 Louis Van Gaal’s United side won 1-0 here and Jose Mourinho’s team staged a remarkable fightback in April 2018 to come from 2-0 down to win 3-2 and deny the hosts their title for another week – but the other games have been mostly one-sided and last season City won 3-1 here and 2-0 at Old Trafford.
United still have to find a solution to their woes on the road – their only top-flight road win this term came against Norwich, their only away league victory since the start of March – and for all that City haven’t won as much as they’ve needed to this season, when they have won it’s been comprehensive – nine of Manchester City’s last 11 league wins have been by at least two goals, and all but one of those wins has come with three or more goals in the game.
PROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: PROFIT 220.68 points
(excluding Political Bets posted 8 August and 23 Nov, Premier League ante-post, Cameron Brown football bets)