The Manchester Derby won’t have that ‘Title-defining’ edge it has had in recent years when Man United and Man City meet on Tuesday night (7.45 KO, Sky Sports 1). In fact the only thing it will possibly come close to deciding is how much longer David Moyes has left at the head of a crumbling empire.
But Sky Sports aren’t letting United’s mid-table mediocrity stop them plugging the bejaysus out of the Manchester Derby with as much hyperbole and slow-motion clips as possible, and there’s no reason to stop us cashing in either.
With the thought of a mid-week trip to Domino’s on the cards (paid for through Paddy’s wallet), here are five key bets on the Manchester Derby that could guarantee you a Mighty Meteor with a side of wedges.
NB: Other pizza establishments are available, as are many other take-aways that serve many different foods. It just so happens that there is a Domino’s less than 300 yards from my house.
Both teams to score 8/15
Unfortunately if you’re a fan of great defensive positioning, effective clearances and snuffing out any attacking threat you’ll hate the fact that both teams have scored in nine of the last 10 Manchester Derbies at Old Trafford. It’s important to note however that you’re boring and probably related to Mark Lawrenson, so the rest of us goal-fest-loving fans can tuck in.
Both teams have found the net in nine of City’s 14 away games in the league this season, while United have found the net at Old Trafford in 83 per cent of their games in all competitions. All in all, the chances of both teams getting on the scoresheet is high.
Over 2.5 goals 8/13
Another tough pill to swallow if you’re an advocate of top quality defending, but frankly who cares? Defending is for mugs and we all know it. Eight of the last 10 clashes between United and City in the Theatre of Dreams have had more than 2.5 goals and given us plenty of attacking goodness to gobble up.
Throw in the fact that almost two-thirds of City’s away games have featured more than 2.5 goals and United games against the top half sides have averaged 2.4 goals a game and you can see why the price is a touch skimpier than Kim Kardashian’s choice of bikini.
City to win 5/4
Backing a favourite isn’t too hard, and neither is backing a team challenging for the title who are playing a side low on confidence in seventh. However if you need some juicy stats to back up this point, United have won just two of their 14 games against top ten sides this season which is absolute muck by their high standards. In contrast City have won nine of 13 games against top half teams – losing just twice.
Therein lies the difference in quality. City can also boast a record of four wins in the last five Manchester Derbies so clearly they’re not all ‘mouth but no trousers’.
City HT/City FT 12/5
If you’re looking for a juicier price on a favorable result for City then you sir, are a greedy scamp, but we don’t blame you. So step forward the City/City result in the half-time/full-time bet at 12/5. Just once in Premier League history has the team who scored first in the Manchester Derby gone on to lose – and that was back in November 1993 when flannel shirts were cool and Mr Blobby was number one. Clearly a ridiculous period of time.
The team that bags the first goal in the Derby has an 84 per cent win rate since football records began (at the start of the Premier League) and United’s record when going behind is as depressing as a dinner date with Gareth Southgate. United have conceded the first goal of the game 17 times this season and gone on to lose 71 per cent of those games. They’ve managed to come back and win just three times – against Sunderland, Stoke and Hull – so if City go ahead expect them to win.
Rooney to score last 6/1
Robin van Persie’s injury puts a little bit of pressure on Wayne Rooney’s shoulders, but we think when you’re on £300k-a-week you should be able to cope. Luckily Wazza proved he’s more than capable by spanking in a half-volley from another postcode against West Ham before Mark Noble kindly shanked one in to his path six yards out. That puts Rooney on 13 goals in 25 appearances including four in his last four games which is solid, if not spectacular.
More notably he has five in his last five Manchester Derbies and in the last five-and-a-half years has chipped in with more than a third of United’s 26 goals they’ve put past their neighbours. Not too shabby.
- You can almost taste the pizza already right? Get all the latest Manchester Derby odds here: Desktop | Mobile