Manchester United (+400 @ BetOnline) take on Manchester City (-161 @ BetOnline) in one of the most entertaining Premier League matches when the Manchester derby is set to take place this Sunday, March 8, 2020.
The Red Devils will be motivated to еxtend their unbeaten form as they are aiming to complete a Premier League double over their city rivals for the first time since the glorious Sir Alex Ferguson era.
The Citizens, on the other hand, have won their last three Premier League visits to Old Trafford and could become the first top-flight side to claim four in a row since they themselves did so with a run of five wins between 1968 and 1972.
This will be the fourth meeting between both Manchester clubs in the ongoing campaign, with United winning twice. However, City triumphed (3-2 on aggregate) in their League Cup semi-final tie in January, while The Red Devils won the reverse Premier League fixture at the Etihad Stadium – 2-1 on December 7.
Manchester United Betting Preview
Manchester United start the weekend in fifth place but could eventually find themselves in eighth if Wolves, Tottenham Hotspur and Sheffield United win their games on Saturday.
Even though The Red Devils are targeting a top-four finish, they technically occupy a Champions League qualifying spot, pending Man City's appeal against their two-season ban from UEFA competitions.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men are unbeaten in their last nine games in all competitions, winning six of them, since a shock 2-0 home defeat to Burnley on January 22. They will kick-off against Man City shortly after top-four rivals Chelsea take on Everton at Stamford Bridge, so the gap between both sides could go up to six points if Frank Lampard wins the duel with Carlo Ancelotti.
Captain Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Dan James all missed Manchester United's FA Cup victory against Wayne Rooney's Derby County at Pride Park on Thursday. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hopeful that Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James will be fit for the upcoming derby against City, while United's skipper Harry Maguire, who started every Premier League game this season, is ‘touch and go' to make it.
Transfer deadline day signing Odion Ighalo scored twice in midweek but the Nigerian will likely make way for Anthony Martial (10 goals in 22 EPL matches).
Meanwhile, midfielder Paul Pogba and forward Marcus Rashford are still unavailable for The Red Devils, but the former is expected back in full training next week.
Manchester City Betting Preview
It really seems that the Citizens are not distracted by the two-year European ban. The upcoming derby of Manchester will be City's fifth consecutive away game in the last few weeks and remarkably, Pep Guardiola's side have emerged victorious from all of them.
Manchester City have won their last five games in all competitions, including four consecutive away games across four different competitions at Leicester City (EPL), Real Madrid (Champions League), Aston Villa (League Cup Final) and Sheffield Wednesday (FA Cup).
Pep Guardiola's men have already won the League Cup for a third successive season after a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa at Wembley last weekend, and remain highly competitive on two other fronts as they aim to defend their FA Cup trophy but most importantly – Manchester City are keen to bring the UEFA Champions League title to the Etihad Stadium. However, being 22 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool doesn't necessarily mean that City will write off the remainder of the Premier League campaign.
Aymeric Laporte suffered another injury setback as the French center-back will be sidelined for around a month, so Guardiola will likely play a center-back pairing of veteran Fernandinho and either John Stones or Nicolas Otamendi.
Pep Guardiola also revealed that Leroy Sane has “no chance” of making his comeback in the Manchester derby on Sunday. The German winger returned to training nearly a month ago but Guardiola suggested he may play more games for the Under-23 squad before he is fully ready to feature for the first team.
Kevin De Bruyne will resume training ahead of the derby, meaning that the Manchester City ace has a good chance to return to the matchday squad on Sunday, as the Belgium playmaker missed the midweek FA Cup clash against Sheffield Wednesday.
Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva compete for a spot in City's midfield three, though the latter could also start in the front three alongside Raheem Sterling and top scorer Sergio Aguero.
Ederson is also expected to return in goal after making way for Claudio Bravo in the last two domestic cup games.
Possible Starting Lineups of Manchester United and Manchester City
Manchester United: David De Gea – Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw – Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay, Fred – Bruno Fernandes – Daniel James, Anthony Martial. (4-3-1-2)
Manchester City: Ederson – Benjamin Mendy, Nicolas Otamendi, Fernandinho, Kyle Walker – David Silva, Rodrigo, Bernardo Silva – Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero, Riyad Mahrez. (4-3-3)
Manchester United have kept five clean sheets in their last six home games, winning four of them, since a 3-1 defeat to Manchester City in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-finals in January.
All in all, The Red Devils (7W-5D-2L) have the joint-fourth best home record in the league, winning the majority (26) of their 42 points at Old Trafford.
Manchester City boast the best attacking record in the Premier League – scoring 68 goals in 27 matches. Pep Guardiola's men have failed to score in only one of their 14 Premier League away games this season – in the 2-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur last month.
Moreover, four of their six Premier League defeats have come away from the Etihad Stadium, suggesting they can be vulnerable and Solskjaer's approach (as seen in most derby games this season) knows how to expose these weaknesses.
“Both teams to score – Yes” was a winning bet in four of the last five Premier League encounters between the Manchester rivals and we expect another Manchester Derby, with both teams in good form and very capable of scoring.