SUNDAY sees the Manchester derby take place at Old Trafford. We asked Tom Love (@TomLove_18) to source the best bets from the Premier League encounter.
Manchester United v Manchester City | Sunday 8th March 2020, 16:30 | Sky Sports
This derby seems to have been played a lot this season with varying results and performances all round.
United went to the Etihad and came back with three points in the league meeting, a match that ended 2-1 in favour of the Red Devils. You could argue it was somewhat of a smash and grab when looking at the statistics, City had more than double the amount of shots as United but the eye test may well have disagreed with the visitors looking a constant threat on the counter.
Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford were a constant thorn in an Aymeric Laporte-less City backline and although Rashford is out of this one there’s no doubt that the United forwards will be looking to do the same amount of damage with the French defender set to miss out again. The numbers with and without Laporte in the starting XI are quite startling and you can never rely on them keeping things tight without him.
Of course, you’d expect Pep Guardiola and his side to be buoyant after their League Cup win last week but the truth was they didn’t make it easy for themselves against an Aston Villa side who have been there for the taking all season. It seems a bit of an anticlimax whenever City win a domestic cup these days and although it’s another honour on the players' CV it’s nothing new to them and that confidence you’d expect might not be there.
From a betting perspective this is an interesting one. Some money has come for United in the last few days and understandably so with their recent upturn in form and strong recent record at Old Trafford. Chuck in their decent record against City and I can see why 4/1 quotes on the hosts would appeal to some.
However, the away side in this fixture has come out on top in the majority of these meetings in the past couple of years and City wiped the floor with their rivals last time they came here in the cup. If they turn it on it’s hard to see them not winning and therefore I’ll leave the outright market alone.
One market that I’m always keen to look at when City are involved is the corner handicap. It’s usually set at -5 or -6 for them to overcome so I’m surprised that the line for this game is set at -2.
The Blue Moon racked up a frightening 16 corners in their home match with United and I’d expect them to have comfortably more again on Sunday with United likely to defend deep and try utilise the counter. I expect lots of City pressure in the home sides’ defensive half and that inevitably leads to corners.
We can actually garner a better price of 1.900 on City -2.5 Asian Corner Handicap which is exactly the same bet so I’d be inclined to squeeze the maximum out of that.
The current champions rule the corner roost and by some margin too. They average over eight corners per-game whilst only conceding 2.70. Looking at United they average 5.40 but also concede five per-game making them very average in the corner table. With those stats in our favour this bet looks a no brainer at a generous line.
Finally, it would be remiss of me to not dip into the card market, for two reasons. One, this is a Manchester derby, two, the referee is Mr Michael Dean.
Wirral-Born Dean is ever the showman and always keen to get his cards out and make a statement. He was officiating the Monday night FA Cup clash between Arsenal and Portsmouth and booked Matteo Guendouzi for sarcasm. It’s alright for him to be constantly sarcastic but when they players are they pick up a caution. Strange.
All things considered I’m happy to take the just shy of even-money quotes on Both Teams Over 1 Card using Bet365’s BetBuilder option. It lands an awful lot in this fixture and Dean has a precedent for handing them out equally.