Premier League football returns on the back of the international break and we re-start with a tasty Manchester derby.
It’s the first taste of this fixture for Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola but if their antics when facing each other in El Clasico are to go by we could have a touchline story as well.
Prior to the break it was Spurs v Liverpool. Our two bets fell one corner short and one second half goal from being perfect. That puts the P/L total on -3.40.
Manchester United v Manchester City
Venue: Old Trafford
Kick Off: 12:30
Referee: Mark Clattenburg
The big news surrounds the retrospective punishment of Sergio Agüero that sees him suspended – a huge blow for the Citizens.
Club captain Vincent Kompany has returned to training but won’t be risked. Claudio Bravo is set to make his debut in goal whilst Leroy Sane is in line to feature.
Armenian Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who was a casualty during the international break, is reportedly fit to play his part if required.
Luke Shaw pulled out of the England squad for a precautionary measure, so should be fit, whilst Marouane Fellaini overcame a back injury to feature for Belgium on Tuesday.
The South American players that were on international duty – Antonio Valencia and Marcus Rojo, only returned on Friday, so will be assessed closer to the game.
Whose 100% record will fall in the feature game of the weekend?
The draw is well fancied for this game at Old Trafford and it could prove to be a tactical battle considering what we know Jose Mourinho can do ahead of big games.
Mourinho has come up against teams managed by Pep Guardiola on 16 occasions and it is the Spaniard who holds the upper hand having come out on top seven times, with six draws and just three defeats, so with that record could Mourinho set out his stall?
From what we’ve seen so far this season you’d expect the Citizens to start on the front foot, as they have in their games whilst United have grown into their games.
This is somewhat highlighted by the fact City have five goals in the first half whilst Man United only have two in that time.
Previous Mourinho teams have been hard to break down in big games and that is something we could see here, despite City’s lack of Aguero.
That could lead to a way in a big price and a 16/1 shout, which is Man City half time-Draw full time.
One of the key battles is going to be between Zlatan Ibrahimovic and £50 million man John Stones. We know Stones has a mistake in him, so that is something United can profit from, especially in the second half.
Prior to the international break the Red Devils struggled to break down a resolute Hull defence but the goal finally came late on courtesy of Marcus Rashford, who can do no wrong.
The 18 year old even scored a hat trick on his England U21 debut in midweek and he’d be a player to look at in the last goalscorer market at 7/1.
Man City saw off West Ham but they seemed to take their foot off the gas when they went 2-0 up and if they lose that concentration here up against the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial you’ll get punished.
I have looked back on the last ten Manchester derbies dating back to the 2011/12 season to try and gain a statistical picture.
There have been 32 goals scored meaning this fixture averages 3.2 goals per game however only one of those goals was scored in the two fixtures last season.
Three games into the new season Man United matches have averaged 2.3 goals per game and Man City’s have averaged 4 per game – so you do have to anticipate goals.
Many have suggested a draw for this fixture and for me if it was to happen it’d be a score draw. The total goals market of 2 or 3 goals at 11/10 with Betvictor would appeal.
A different way in with goals is through the timing of a goal to be scored. Having broke down the ten head to head’s then the 15 minute period that has seen the most goals is from the 76th minute to full time – ten goals have been scored in that time.
The Sky Blues have already scored four goals in the closing stages of matches whilst Rashford did similar at Hull the other week. This market is best price with Betway where it is 6/5 for a goal to be scored from 76th minute to full time.
The next time period good for goals would be from 46 to 60 where seven goals have been netted; this is a bigger price at 13/8 again with Betway. It does all point to the second half being the highest scoring and that could be another way in at 23/20.
Typically derbies can be feisty affairs but this doesn’t tend to stray too high on the cards. The last ten meetings are as follows (red cards in brackets): 2; 4; 3; 4 (1); 4; 3; 8; 7; 5 & 8 (1).
That works out at 4.8 yellow cards per game but so far this season both sides have a low card make up. Man United average 1.3 per game to Man City’s 2 per game.
Mark Clattenburg is the man with the whistle and the top English official has shown seven yellows in his two games this season.
The 41 year old has taken charge of three of those ten previous meetings I’ve taken a look at. His first derby was the anomaly when Man City won 6-1 showing 8 yellows and sending off Chris Smalling. Other than that the stats for his other two games are normal with 3 then 4 yellows.
This season there has been an average of 4 yellow cards per game. Bet365 have set the bar at 5.5 cards but I’m quite willing to stick my neck out and say the Unders at 11/10 would be the way to play this market considering this bet would have landed in 6 of the last 10 derbies.
Corners proved profitable during the Euro’s but so far we’ve fallen short by one or two. This fixture averages 11.8 per game and with Man City so far averaging 12 you’d expect there to be plenty. However the Red Devils only average 6, which tempers the enthusiasm in this market.
Only one match of the previous ten has ended with single figure corners, so the 4/7 on Over 9 Corners with Bet365 might appeal to some.
There is one more market to speak of where there is a half point bet worth mentioning at a decent price.
The man of the match market, as ever is one that comes down to opinion, but there are a few candidates I can put forward to take this accolade.
Ibrahimovic is favourite for this market and we all know what he can pull off and he’s already scooped one award this season following his double against Southampton.
For me one of the main protagonists for Man City will be Spaniard David Silva, who’ll pull the strings in midfield. We know his capabilities if given a yard of space, so it’ll be interesting to see if Mourinho decides to man mark him to keep him quiet and stop City’s main creator.
A man that has improved under Guardiola and played all 270 minutes so far is Raheem Sterling and he is my pick to claim the man of the match award.
He has assisted or scored five goals so far under Guardiola’s reign and it has seen him collect the August Player of the Month award.
The 21 year old could play on the left up against Antonio Valencia, who may just be getting over his travelling, or even possibly play as the forward in a false nine role. He’ll be the one in a Sky Blue shirt to excel in this fixture.
Under 5.5 Cards (11/10 – Bet365)
Raheem Sterling Man of the Match (11/1 – 0.5pt)