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Pep Takes on Jose in This Weekend’s Big Battle of Manchester

November 7, 2018

Last season, only one team managed to defeat the champions, Manchester City on home soil. That team was Manchester United and they did so in the most spectacular of fashion. Trailing at half time 2-0 and with City looking utterly dominant, United produced a scintillating display in the second half to come back and claim a stunning 3-2 win.

That victory not only saw City’s unbeaten home run ended, but signalled just how strong United were last season in finishing second to their closest rivals. The expectation being that United would go on over the summer to strengthen their squad to make City’s quest to retain the Premier League title this season, all the more difficult.

Unfortunaly, this season hasn’t quite worked out that way for the Red Devils. While City have gone from strength to strength and remain firmly at the top of the Premier League table and playing some outstanding football, United have struggled, losing three times in the Premier League already this season and they currently sit in a lowly 7th in the table.

The pressure is therefore on Jose Mourinho to get his team back to playing the freeflowing football that has been the byword of the top Manchester United teams of the past. However, at the moment, the Red Devils still look somewhat disjointed and in truth, they were very fortunate to win their last two games, at home to Everton and then away at Bournemouth at the weekend.

However, in recent times, United have also put on some excellent performances, most notably against Chelsea, where they managed to contain Eden Hazard in the second half and were just seconds away from a famous win at Stamford Bridge before Ross Barkley managed to drag the London side level in the 96th minute of the match.

So how will this huge game on Sunday pan out? Let’s take a closer look and find out.

Remember, if you fancy a flutter on any of the tips outlined below on Sunday’s Manchester derby, then remember to sign up with bet365 Sport. You can join today with the latest bet365 Sport New Player Bonus, which sees up to £100 worth of bet credits available for new customers after they have made their initial deposit on the site.

Manchester City v Manchester United – Head to Head

As you would expect, the rivalry between the two Manchester giants has been fierce over the years and they have enjoyed their fair share of battles right the way from 1891, when the first game between Ardwick (Man City) and Newton Heath (Man Utd) took place. The first game under their new names came in 1902 and finished in a 1-1 draw in what was then League Division two.

The teams have played a total of 176 times in their histories and it is Manchester United who hold the upper hand in the contest over time.

  • Man City wins – 51
  • Draws – 52
  • Manchester United wins – 73

The recent matches between the teams have been somewhat even, with both sides winning, losing and drawing games, although City did endure their best winning run for many years when they won four Manchester derbies in a row from April 2013 to November 2014.

City should be wary however as their last home win over Manchester united was that victory in November 2014 and in the three games City have played United at home in since, they have lost two and drawn one of the three games played.

Last 10 Games Between the Teams

  • Man City Wins – 4
  • Draws – 2
  • Man Utd Wins – 4
  • Man City Goals – 10
  • Man Utd Goals – 11

Man City League Performances This Season

  • V Arsenal (A) – W 2-0
  • V Huddersfield (H) – W 6-1
  • V Wolves (A) – D 1-1
  • V Newcastle (H) – W 2-1
  • V Fulham (H) – W 3-0
  • V Cardiff City (A) – W 5-0
  • V Brighton (H) – W 2-0
  • V Liverpool (A) – D 0-0
  • V Burnley (H) – W 5-0
  • V Tottenham (A) – W 1-0
  • V Southampton (H) – W 6-1

Man Utd League Performances This Season

  • V Leicester City (H) – W 2-1
  • V Brighton (A) – L 2-3
  • V Tottenham (H) – L 0-3
  • V Burnley (A) – W 2-0
  • V Watford (A) – W 2-1
  • V Wolves (H) – D 1-1
  • V West Ham (A) – L 1-3
  • V Newcastle (H) – W 3-2
  • V Chelsea (A) – D 2-2
  • V Everton (H) – W 2-1
  • V Bournemouth (A) – W 2-1

Probable Teams

Manchester City – 4-3-3 – Ederson, Walker, Mendy, Stones, Laporte, Fernandinho, Silva.D, Silva.B, Mahrez, Aguero, Sterling

It is hard to see Pep Guardiola making too many changes for this game given that his team absolutely hammered Southampton 6-1 last time out. That means that the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan will have to be satisfied with a place on the bench. The form of the two wide attacking players Mahrez and Sterling has been key for City this season with both scoring and creating goals for the club as well as providing chances for Aguero in attack.

Manchester United – 4-3-3 – De Gea, Young, Shaw, Lindelof, Smalling, Matic, Fred, Pogba, Martial, Sanchez, Rashford

There’s more possibility for change in the United team with Marcus Rashford’s pace and the fact he grabbed a late winner away to Bournemouth last week, possibly seeing him get into the side ahead of Juan Mata. Antonio Valencia is back to almost full fitness, but I think Ashley Young will continue to deputise at right back. I can’t see Mourinho breaking up this midfield, even with Fellaini and Herrera available and with Lukaku not 100% fit, I expect Sanchez to line up in central attack with the in-form Martial likely to be United’s biggest threat.

Our Top Tips for Manchester City v Manchester United

Full Time Result – Manchester City to win – 1/3

It is hard to make any case for Manchester United here other than it is a derby game and in these high-pressured games, strange results can and do happen. Anthony Martial seems to be their best choice of springing a surprise, but City are playing so well at the moment that in truth, I cannot see it happening. Not only do I feel City will win this game, but I feel they will do so very comfortably and it will be a long afternoon for Jose Mourinho’s men.

Correct Score – Manchester City to win 3-0 – 9/1

As I mentioned above, this is a game that I think will be a very tough one for Jose Moutinho’s men. Even though results have improved of late, they are just not playing anywhere near as well enough as they need to improve performances to a level which could challenge City. As a result, with City looking almost impossible to beat at home, I am backing the home side to win this game by a commanding 3-0 scoreline.

Anytime Goalscorer – Riyad Mahrez (Man City) – 11/10

After a somewhat stuttering start at the club, former Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez has started to find his feet over the last month or two, that late penalty miss at Anfield not withstanding. In recent games, Mahrez has started to knit together nicely with his fellow midfielders and attackers and has started to grab goals too. Given United’s problems in the right back area, I feel that Mahrez could well be a real threat in this game and I think he is capable of grabbing a goal.

All odds shown are courtesy of bet365 and were correct as of 12pm on Wednesday 7th November 2018.

About Ian John

Ian John
Working my way though the UK's top online poker sites (and some of the ones near the bottom as well) to bring you a first-hand take on the absolute best choices for online poker players from the UK.