Manchester City vs. Manchester United: Premier League betting odds, preview, and pick
The Manchester Derby is one of the highlights of the Premier League season. Since Manchester City’s influx of cash and rise to the top, the "noisy neighbors" as Six Alex Ferguson once coined them, are now the dominant force in the city.
The Citizens have won eight domestic trophies since United last lifted any silverware, and a huge 19 points separate the teams this season in the league. It’s no surprise then to see Ralf Rangnick’s United are huge road underdogs when they visit the Etihad Stadium this week.
Sun, March 6 2022, 4:30 PM
Home comforts for City
Is the pressure starting to take a toll on Manchester City? Pep Guardiola’s men bounced back to winning ways when they beat Everton 1-0 last week, but that result was not as easy as pundits were predicting, and the Toffees could have snatched a point had it not been for a dubious VAR call towards the end.
Still, they're back on home soil now, and City will be keen to avoid any more mistakes with Liverpool hunting them down at the top of the Premier League table. The Etihad has been somewhat of a fortress this year for City, whose record there in all competitions is 15-2-1 for the season. They’ve kept a clean sheet in 69% of their matches at home in the Premier League, and average 2.77 goals per match.
City are flying in their pursuit of the league crown, and only once in the last 12 years have they picked up more points than their current 66 after 27 games. They are 19 points ahead of Manchester United at this stage of the season – the furthest clear they’ve been of their neighbors after 27 games in Premier League history.
That gulf in class has never been more evident than the derby game in November, as City strolled to a 2-0 win in Old Trafford. The scoreline doesn’t tell the whole story though, as Pep’s side went 2-0 up in the first half and then coasted through the second 45 minutes, holding on to the ball and making United look like lower league opposition. Despite being on the road at one of their biggest rivals, City had 67% possession and 12 shots to United’s four. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lost his job one game later.
United do tend to step it up in this fixture, and City’s record in the last 10 games against them is only 5-4-1 (or 9-8-3 if you go back through the last 20). However, given the gulf in class between the two cross-city rivals, Guardiola’s team of superstars should be too strong.
United under pressure
Asking United fans whether they’d rather see Man City or Liverpool win the league is like asking them whether they’d prefer their partner or best friend hook up with their sister – neither is a good option!
But that is what is going to happen again this season, and United’s performance on Sunday could have a significant impact on whether the league title stays with City or heads to Merseyside.
There’s plenty of negatives around United now – despite an unbeaten eight-game run in the league. While they’re not losing games, they’ve dropped points in that run against Aston Villa, Burnley, Southampton, and Watford, and now a top four spot is in serious doubt.
Goals are becoming an increasing problem for the Red Devils, who have scored 11 in the last eight games in all competitions, an average of 1.4 a game. They’ve failed to score in 19% of their games this season and Cristiano Ronaldo just has one goal in 10 games in 2022. Ralf Rangnick has admitted that CR7 potentially needs a break but cannot rest him as there are no other strikers in form at the club.
The silver lining for United fans is that they have a good record at the Etihad Stadium in the derby. They’ve lost just one of the last seven games on the road against City (5-1-1), and have picked up some good results away from home this season, playing a style of football where they sit back, invite the home team to come forward, and hit them on the counter.
Away to Tottenham they had just 40% of the ball and six shots, but ran out 3-0 winners. A month later away to Chelsea, they had just 34% of the ball, lost the shot count 16-3, and still pinched a 1-1 draw. Expect them to set up that way against City at the Etihad – but whether they can come away with a share of the spoils is a different story.
Manchester City vs. Manchester United Betting Trends
- Both teams have scored in 77% of Manchester United’s away matches in the league this season
- Manchester City have averaged 2.14 goals per game against top six sides this season
- Manchester United have conceded in seven of their eight away games in all competitions
- Both teams have scored in just 23% of Manchester City’s home games in the league
- Both teams have scored in just three of the last 10 Manchester Derby games
- The last six Manchester Derby games have all had Under 2.5 goals
Manchester is blue
United may have a surprisingly stellar record away to City in recent years, but the gulf in class between the two sides is so large that it is hard to see anything past a straightforward win for Guardiola’s team.
While United struggle to create chances and score goals, City showed at Everton on the weekend that they can pick apart a team, no matter how they set up defensively. Rangnick’s team have plenty of issues defensively, and that weakness will be exploited by City at the Etihad. Manchester Derby games in recent memory have been tight, close affairs, so taking the Under 2.5 goals bet at +125 is a solid play, while Bernardo Silva has three goals and three assists in nine career games against Manchester United, so there’s juice in his odds to find the net.
Score prediction: Manchester City 2-0 Manchester United (+575)