PREMIER LEAGUE expert Daniel McCulloch (@DMcCulloch1984) previews Super Sunday's mouthwatering Manchester derby as United meet to City at The Etihad.
Manchester City v Manchester United | Sunday 11th November 2018, 16:30 | Sky Sports
When I was asked to preview this game, my first thought was to find out the price of a booking for Ander Herrera. Unfortunately, it looks like several others more than enquired and it's 29/20 on a booking for the Spaniard. While I feel that it's quite likely he does enter the referees notebook, I can't back such a tip up statistically.
I recommended backing both teams to score when United went to Turin on Wednesday night and I must admit I got lucky. The Red Devils showed very little desire to score themselves and after 60 minutes I was cursing myself for not putting the obligatory ‘saver' on 0-0 in a big game in which Jose Mourinho is involved.
Cristiano Ronaldo's sumptuous strike ensured that such a bet would have been a loser but at 22/1 I am happy to get involved this weekend. Obviously I don't think this will happen but there is plenty of evidence to suggest such a price is too big.
United have looked shocking defensively for much of this season but I thought they looked fairly solid in midweek, while it should be noted that both Chelsea's goals against them came from set pieces. Since the Portuguese joined Manchester United three of his four away games against the most free-scoring sides in the league – City and Liverpool – have ended goalless.
Despite many pointing out that United look a lot better when they attempt to attack sides, there is little evidence to suggest that Mourinho agrees. It was quite a negative team selection against Juventus and I expect a safety-first line up on Sunday afternoon. City should still have too much for them, but I am certain that if this game was played one thousand times, the ‘no goalscorer' bet wins on more than the 43 occasions you need it to for this bet to be of value. 22/1 on ‘no goalscorer' with SkyBet is therefore worth a few pennies.
As I expect a cautious start from United, I also like the look of the 21/20 Betway are offering on the second half to feature most goals. It was a winner in all three of United's games against big sides – Tottenham, Juventus and Chelsea – this season and it will need a goal from City to get them out of their shell. In such a scenario such a bet is always of value.
If my life depended on it, I would back a comfortable City victory, but the odds suggest that will happen and there is simply too much evidence that Mourinho, regardless of personnel, opposition or league table position, approaches these games with a ‘must not lose' mentality. Ultimately I think they will lose but am happy with my angles.