MANCHESTER rivals United and City meet at Old Trafford for a potentially decisive derby date. We asked Tom Love (@TomLove_18) to source the best bets.
Manchester United v Manchester City | Wednesday 24th April 2019, 20:00 | Sky Sports
This Manchester derby will have consequences for both sides whatever the end result on Wednesday night. Manchester United are still in the running for a Champions League place whereas Manchester City remain in an extremely tight title battle with Liverpool for the title – if the Citizens win, their title defence is in their hands so it’s a monumental game for the guests.
One benefit for the visitors is they’re coming up against a United side that have lost six of their last eight in all competitions and were humiliated at Goodison Park on Super Sunday. Optimists on the red side of Manchester will be hoping that reality check will give the requisite kick up the backside for a game where there’s simply nowhere to hide.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came out and apologised to his fans and he doesn’t go without some degree of blame for the recent capitulation, however this bunch of players must bear the brunt of the criticism. They were out-ran and out-fought against Everton and if they can’t apply the basics of hard work and maximum effort then they don’t deserve to be in the top four.
The gulf in class between the rivals is shown in the betting markets. Despite being away from home, the current champions are as short as 4/9 to run out victorious here. However, those quotes could be justified when we look into the underlying performance data of the pair.
City are projecting a league best 2.50 Expected Goals (xG) for per game and only concede an average of 0.70. United, on the other hand, have a 1.8 xG for but a much larger 1.4 xG against.
In the league, City have won 10 on the spin, keeping clean sheets in seven of those. Consequently, nine of those 10 wins have come alongside Under 4.5 Goals. That’s the angle I’m inclined to take here and we can back City to win and Under 4.5 Goals at 19/20 (Ladbrokes).
With this game being so crucial, I’m expecting it to be lower-scoring than the goal lines suggest. If City do take the lead I’d expect them to monopolise possession and see the game out in a professional manner. That’s what they did at the weekend against Spurs and they have the ball keeping ability to perform such a tactic.
Manchester United v Manchester City – Manchester City to win and Under 4.5 Goals (19/20 Ladbrokes)