Games rarely get bigger and rivalries hardly get more heated than this one. There’s books to explain the generations long rivalry between these two teams, so all we’ll say is that this is likely to be a passionate affair all the way from the pitch to the stands. However, this game doesn’t just exist in a vacuum.
Both Man United and City have had their ups and downs this season and have each been staging somewhat of a comeback as of late. United have been unbeaten since they lost to Burnley in late January, while City have a slightly shorter streak – having lost to Tottenham at the start of February – but have managed more convincing victories. And in terms of performance, we’d say they are too close to determine who has a clear advantage here. All this makes for a tough to predict but truly exciting fixture.
Manchester United vs Manchester City Prediction: Man United 1-0 Man City
This is an occasion where we are clearly at odds with the bookmakers. They have City pegged as favourites, and not only do we think that they have underestimated United’s chances but we actually think that the home team have an ever so slightly better chance of emerging victorious. City have looked good in wins over Sheffield Wednesday, Leicester, West Ham and Aston Villa, for sure. But have they looked better than United’s recent run of dominance? Not necessarily. On top of that, United will be desperate to keep up their winning ways and they have the home field advantage. By a hair, our scoreline prediction is 1-0 to United.
Our recommended tip: Man United win to nil
Considering this is an occasion where we clearly disagree with the bookmakers, you can get very good odds simply by backing Manchester United here. However, if you want to go a step further than an outright winner wager, we think predicting they will win to nil is an excellent way to go. Whichever way this plays out, it’s likely to be a close game and Manchester United have come away from their six victories without conceding a single goal. For that reason, this prediction doesn’t seem that much of a stretch, but it does provide you with considerably better odds. 888Sport are offering 17/2 odds on this bet.
While United have the overall statistical edge, these days, they are essentially deadlocked, exchanging victories without either managing any kind of long-term advantage. At least, that has been the case since 2013. They traded a leg each with City coming out on top in the 2020 League Cup, and each earned a win in 2019, to give you a quick example of what we mean. Overall though, we would say this is in United’s favour. That’s because they are frequently seen as the underdogs, yet prove themselves to be City’s equal time and time again.
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Players to watch: Luke Shaw & Sergio Agüero
Manchester United: Luke Shaw
Considering Rooney’s presence, Manchester United’s battle against Derby felt like a rather fitting test for a team trying to establish itself afresh and shake off the cobwebs of the past. After 90 minutes and three goals scored, we’d say it was mission accomplished. And there was no one more important to that success than Luke Shaw. He was not only excellent as a full back but showcased his range by scoring a goal and providing the assist for Ighalo.
Manchester City: Sergio Agüero
While there is so much to praise about City’s performances as of late – we very nearly gave the nod here to Silva for his performance against Sheffield United – ultimately, City need results to topple their most famous nemesis. And we think the ever brilliant Sergio Agüero is the man for the job. He scored early in their last two games and could once again turn this game on its head in a flash.