Soccer Betting News - SA's Leading Soccer Betting Newspaper: Manchester United vs Manchester City Preview

Manchester United vs Manchester City Preview

Kevin De Bruyne and Bruno Fernandes

Derby: “A sports match between two rival teams from the same area.” Such a calm and inviting definition, but this game – the history, the fierceness, competitiveness and love lost – is anything but calm and inviting!

It’s the Manchester derby, old battle lines revived once again. It’s truly the sort of game which captures attention and forces an opinion. The “noisy neighbors” come to Old Trafford and will want to make their presence known. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is still trying to hold on to his wheel, knowing all too well that another terrible slip might be his last.

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English Premier League
Saturday 6 November
Old Trafford

To Win
Manchester United 32/10
Draw 29/10
Manchester City 15/20

Manchester United

A lot has been made about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his tactical nous – or lack thereof - however, this last weekend I think the Manchester United manager deserves plaudits. He’s the manager of one of the biggest clubs in the world, with one of the best squads in the world…and yet, we all thought he’d send his players out with the same ‘go out and have a go lads’ message for the Spurs fixture. Well don’t you feel silly now? I certainly do.

The confidence in the camp was low, the pressure was dilled up and the eyes of the world were upon the Norwegian. The organization and systematic shift, to highlight United’s strengths whilst also concealing their weaknesses was brilliant to watch. Tottenham defended poorly and were rightly put to the sword, but, for possibly the first time this season, it wasn’t due to the individual brilliance United possess.

With that being said, it’s almost impossible to have an insurmountable pile of confidence in United. There is still a vulnerability in transition moments and the space they often offer up to teams could always be terribly exploited. On the Spurs game alone there isn’t evidence to justify that Solskjaer has the tools to outplay City, but the previous encounters between these two might.

United have only lost once at Old Trafford (while Solskjaer has been manager) to Manchester City. Granted, he has largely employed a counter-attacking style of football in these fixtures, but I think his last roll of the dice against Spurs might have unlocked something special. It is funny to note that Antonio Conte had been linked with United, only to have Solskjaer move to a 3-4-1-2 system (the very system which won Conte the Italian Serie A – insert eye emoji here)

But you know what they say, the greatest compliment is imitation. Yes, I agree, it is most a nonsensical anecdote!

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Manchester City

#PepOut? Too soon? I’m just wondering, I mean he got knocked out of the EFL Cup (or Carabao Cup – you know the one that’s meaningfulness to your club largely depends on whether you get knocked out or not…) and he’s only gone and consolidated it with a loss to Palace.

I’m sorry… I’m being facetious; City are an excellent outfit. The interconnectedness between their full-backs and forwards are not only lethal, but often futuristic. I mentioned this in my article last week, City don’t look or feel as dominant as they usually are. They haven’t really put in performances that dominate opposition sides, or completely play them off the field. And their results don’t exactly scream anything lavish or even remotely grandeur.

I’m going to say this completely aware of the backlash and (possibly) deserved banter the sentence might receive: United have had such a ‘horrible’ season and are ‘completely out of the title picture’… but being just three points off City, doesn’t that mean City are in the same boat?

Manchester City have an excellent squad and a world-class manager, but I don’t think the performances we’ve seen from them reflect that. I don’t think even they are currently in the company of a Chelsea or Liverpool and so I wouldn’t be surprised to see them drop points at Old Trafford.

I think this game hinders on which approach United adopt, and only just, because it is still a derby. And so, even if it is a league game it will feel as though it’s for all the marbles.

Prediction: Under 2.5 Goals (5/4)
On immediate form, United could justify your vote. On squad and manager influence, City probably just edge it. It’s an intriguing game which could really go either way, if I’m honest I’m going to take City on here and back United at 32/10! Only because I think City are too shortly priced at 15/20.

I think the bet for the various multiples as well as the lump sum down payment, is under 2.5. If Solskjaer looks to take the game to City because United are at home, they lose. And it might get ugly again. I think City dictate the ball and tempo and United will be happy to shift defensively. I’d love to see the same Italian-styled system employed by the Red Devil’s, only because I think it diversifies the attack.

Nevertheless, I think a tactical game awaits. One with little goals.

Written by Ryan Liberty