One of the biggest rivalries in all of football is undoubtedly the Manchester derby between Man City and Man United. This English Premier League showdown will take place at Etihad Stadium on Sunday December 9 when City hosts arch rival United. This is always a heated fixture no matter where abouts the two teams are in the table, but since they’re the top two in the league, the game is essential viewing for all fans.
Online bookmaker William Hill offers over 180 bets on this game and also free bets not to miss, They have the latest odds of a Man City win at 13/10 with a Man United victory at 12/5 and a draw at 2/1.
United enters the game in first place with 36 points from 12 wins and three losses. They’ve scored 37 goals and allowed 21 against the league up to now. While United hasn’t drawn a game this season, City has six of them along with nine victories for 33 points. They’re the only unbeaten team in the league and have scored 28 goals for and allowed a league-best 11 against.
While City won the league on goal difference on the last day of the season in 2011/12, they really wrapped it up by beating United in both games. They hammered their neighbours 6-1 at Old Trafford and squeaked out a 1-0 decision at Etihad, but lost 3-2 in the FA Cup. They drew 1-1 at home against Everton last weekend and were then beaten 1-0 by Borussia Dortmund in an away Champions League game in the week. They’ve now been knocked completely out of European tournaments this season.
United can extend their lead to six points with a win here, keep it at three, or find City level with them after this game. It’s not going to be easy though since United haven’t been doing too well defensively this season and often fall behind in games. They’ve allowed the first goal in times in 23 matches this season and lost a Champions League game 1-0 to CFR Cluj during the week. They managed to come back against Reading last weekend though after falling behind 2-0 and won a 3-2 decision.
City manager Roberto Mancini has some injuries to worry about as midfielder Jack Rodwell is out of action along with defenders Aleksandar Kolarov and Micah Richards. Midfielder David Silva will need to pass a fitness test and so will James Milner and Gael Clichy. He has a lot of options in attack with Carlos Tevez, Mario Balotelli, Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero to choose from, providing Aguero’s healthy.
United manager Alex Ferguson will likely be without Tom Cleverley as he was injured in the week and Anderson will be sidelined for several weeks. Japanese midfielder Shinji Kagawa may finally make it back to the squad after a knee injury, but wingers Nani and Antonio Valencia will probably miss the game and the status of captain Nemanja Vidic isn’t clear. Up front, the attack looks fine with Ashley Young, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck, ad Robin Van Persie. Rooney has eight goals against City in his United career.
Man City hasn’t lost in their 21 past league matches and of course is hoping to extend it to 22. This game is going to be analyzed and dissected to death. People will be studying statistics and tactics, but it’s just going to be two football teams facing each other for first place. Sit back and simply enjoy it. Hopefully it won’t be a defensive battle and we’ll see a few goals. United played too defensively last season in the loss at Etihad and can’t afford to do it again. This game is so unpredictable as seen by the 6-1 pasting last season, but let’s go with a close United win.