WE'VE joined forced with renowned punter James Cantrill (@JimmyThePunt) to set-up and share our Colossus Premier League Predictor selections ahead of Sunday's Premier League highlight between Chelsea and Manchester United.
What will the Correct Score be?
As is the case with the majority of these clashes, do not expect fireworks. There have now been 24 Premier League fixtures between the traditional Big SIx this season, 15 have seen two goals or fewer.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s tactics used to be marvelled at in these games as his contain and counter approach meant he has successfully navigated victories at The Etihad and the Parc des Princes in games gone by. However, with three goalless draws on the spin, he has gone from being compared to Sir Alex Ferguson to Louis van Gaal.
United have played seven fixtures against the fellow big hitters, 72% have finished 0-0 and 85% have seen fewer than three goals. There has not been a goal from open play in any of their last six head-to-head with the Big Six as they have picked up six points from a possible 21.
Manchester City, on the other hand, have been much more impressive in these big games. They have played eight, winning five, and collecting a tally of 17 points from a possible 24. These games have averaged 2.25 goals per-game.
With the hosts winning their last 21 games on the spin, despite the numbers suggesting this will be a draw, it is hard to look past a home victory here. However, as with most of the big games in this EPL season, I do not expect to see many goals but am going to cover two results here.
Selection: 1-0, 2-0
Will a penalty be taken?
Andy Madley has the whistle for this one – he has averaged 0.36 penalties per-game this season in the Premier League.
In the hosts' eight games against the Big Six, there has been a total of five penalties awarded. They have received a total of seven all season. As for Man Utd, they have received eight penalties with three awarded in their big fixtures.
The last penalty to occur in this fixture came when they met on the 7th December 2019 at The Etihad, Marcus Rashford won and dispatched it that day.
All things considered I am going to cover both outcomes here.
Selection: Yes, No
Will a player be sent off?
Madley has only brandished one red card all season – that’s an average of 0.09 per game – and that came in a dog-fight at Bramall Lane between Sheffield Utd and Newcastle.
The hosts boast the joint-best disciplinary record in the league, they have accumulated just 29 yellows and are yet to receive a red card. This season, City games with the Big Six have not yielded any red cards either.
Manchester United have averaged 1.5Y and 0.04R per game. Their big games have only seen one red card and that came courtesy of Martial when they met Spurs at Old Trafford back in October.
Therefore, I am going to put all my eggs in one basket here and say that there will not be a red card here.
Will a goal be scored in the 1st half?
Man City have scored 12 goals in their eight big games, half of which have come in the first half as the deadlock has been broken in 63% of those fixtures. As for the visitors, they have only scored one goal in the first half of their big games.
Given City’s clinical efficiency and Man Utd’s deadly ability on the counter attack, I wouldn’t want to oppose a first half goal here- it is worth noting that there has been at least one first half goal in two of the last three head to heads- so I am going to cover both outcomes.
Selection: Yes, No
How many corners will be taken by the home team?
In their big games, City have averaged just under four corners per game, hitting anywhere from one to 10. The last three league games against Man Utd have seen them three, 11 and 16!
However, Man Utd have never conceded more than seven corners in their bouts with the heavy hitters this season- conceding an average of 4.4- so I am going to cover from five to eight here.
Selection: 5-6, 7-8
How many corners will be taken by the away team?
The Red Devils last three away fixtures against the Big Six have seen they hit between three and seven corners, averaging 4.72.
With game state being a huge factor in this market, and City expected to take the lead, they could best their average here. Excluding their 6-1 defeat to Spurs, the only game against a Big Six team in which they fell behind saw them accumulate six corners.
In the big games that Man City have taken the lead in, their opposition have averaged four corners. Therefore, I am going to cover from three to six here.
Selection: 3-4, 5-6
How many cards will be shown to the home team?
Five of Man City’s eight games against the big boys have seen exactly four cards brandished, with Sunday’s hosts receiving one or two in all of their last six.
Two of the last three Manchester Derbies have seen them accumulate three yellows, however, they have had two or less in every single one of the last 21 victories.
How many cards will be shown to the away team?
Man Utd have averaged 2.3 cards per game in their seven Big Six clashes this season, hitting between two and three in over 70% of those games.
Therefore, this is what I am selecting for this game.
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