Sam Hendry previews the weekend’s big game
Manchester City vs Manchester United
A tricky one to call this.
By all rights, Manchester City should win. They’re playing some fantastic football and have scored six goals in consecutive games this week.
And by all rights Manchester United should be coming into this game having suffered consecutive defeats instead of the two victories they ended up with.
They were outplayed by Bournemouth before Marcus Rashford grabbed a 90th minute winner, prompting Jose Mourinho to describe himself as “the luckiest manager in the world.”
It was a similar story on Wednesday night as Juventus missed several chances before two goals in the last five minutes saw United complete an unlikely 2-1 win.
It seems no matter how badly United play in first halves recently they always find a way to fight back.
This quality was on show in the last meeting between these sides, where City comfortably led at the break before a revitalised United stunned the champions-in-waiting with a 3-2 victory.
They will need all that luck and spirit again on Sunday if they’re to claim anything from what will be their toughest fixture of the season.
Pep Guardiola and his team, though, will still be smarting at the manner of that defeat at the Etihad last season and are simply stronger in almost every area of the pitch.
The absence of Kevin De Bruyne has barely been felt as David Silva and namesake Bernardo have proved to be an almost unplayable combination, and with Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez and Leroy Sane all in top form, City look just as good if not better than last year.
David has been enjoying his most efficient season in front of goal yet and goals in his last two appearances has taken him to six for the season. He also scored in the first Manchester derby of last season and could be good value at 5/2 to score anytime.
Anthony Martial has been United’s most potent threat recently and also appeals at anytime odds of 7/2 with Paddy Power.
As for the result, if United’s first half struggles continue then it could turn into a long afternoon and City to be leading at half-time and full-time at EVENS (general) is my tip.