The English Premier League title race may be over for all intents and purposes, but it doesn’t mean the Manchester Derby on Monday April 8 at Old Trafford will be a tame affair. League-leading Manchester United goes into the match with second-place Manchester City with a huge 15-point lead with just another eight games remaining in the season. When this game ends the lead will still be 15 points, 12, or 18. Either way, it’s very unlikely that City will be able to make up the distance with just 21 points available after the game.
Sportsbook William Hill has the latest odds of a Man United win at 13/10 with a Man City victory at 12/5 and a draw at 2/1
City is the Premier League’s best defensive team and have 14 clean sheets, but they’ve scored 17 fewer goals than they had at this point last year. They’ve drawn too many games and this has certainly hurt them in their attempt to retain the league championship. This game will enable fans to see the league’s top scoring side, United, against the stingiest defense. United will also want to hand out some revenge for their 6-1 beating at the hands of City in this fixture last season.
United has been as hot as a pistol in the league with seven consecutive victories. They’ve also won 16 and drawn two in their current 18-game unbeaten streak. However, overall they haven’t been that impressive as they were beaten 1-0 by Chelsea in the FA Cup last Monday in a replay of their first quarterfinal game which ended in a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford. United threw away a 2-0 lead in that contest. They were also knocked out of the Champions League recently in controversial fashion by Spain’s Real Madrid.
United was knocked reeling from the League Cup earlier in the season, so they only thing left for them now is the league. This can be seen as a disappointment by some fans as they had hoped to win some more silverware this year. There should be some goals in this game as the last five Manchester Derbies have produced 4.6 goals per game on average for a total of 23. United boss Alex Ferguson should have Brazilian right-back Rafael in the squad as well as forward Wayne Rooney. However, the status of defenders Nemanja Vidic and Jonny Evans is up in the air.
City manager Roberto Mancini will have skipper Vincent Kompany in the team and that will help solidify an already strong back four. City hammered Newcastle 4-0 last weekend while United beat Sunderland 1-0 in the league. They know this is their last kick at the can and a loss or draw here will certainly end any hope they have of catching United. The last time these two teams met, which was at City’s Etihad Stadium, United won 3-2 on a last-minute free kick by Robin van Persie with Rooney adding a pair. However, City won both games last season, 1-0 at home and the 6-1 thrashing away. United did manage to beat them 3-2 in the FA Cup though.
Man Utd v Man City Predictions
This game should see both teams highly motivated with a lively atmosphere in the crowd. Look for both teams to create chances with United winning a close one.