Manchester City v Manchester United: A Real Six Pointer for Champions League Chasers
Manchester City have missed out on the FA Cup dream for another season at least and for now they must forget about that defeat at the hands of Arsenal and concentrate instead of finishing in the Premier League top four. On Thursday they host Manchester United in a local Derby that carries even more significance than the chance to claim bragging rights.
With six matches left for both sides, City stay in fourth place but are now just one point ahead of their local rivals. Therefore, victory for United in Thursday night’s tie will see them leapfrog Pep Guardiola’s side and claim that final Champions League place – for now.
This is by far the most crucial fixture for both sides in the run in so how do the bookmakers see it?
In spite of that disappointing loss at the weekend, City remain favourites to take the points and are currently available at a best price of 23/25 with MarathonBet. The draw is available at a top price of 14/5 with Stan James while a win for United is on offer at 17/5 with MarathonBet once again.
One look at the form table suggest that United have the upper hand with four wins and two draws from the last six matches. In contrast, City have won two, lost two and drawn two their last six but the form table is countered by the fact that Guardiola’s side have the home advantage.
It should certainly be a tense 90 minutes and with so very little to choose between two evenly matched teams the draw looks particularly good value at that 14/5 price.
Individual Goal Scorers
One piece of good news for Manchester City fans is the return to fitness of Gabriel Jesus who looked in fine form following his arrival in the January transfer window. Jesus is priced at 5/1 with Paddy Power to score the first goal in this match in a market where Sergio Aguero leads the way at best odds of 7/2 with SkyBet.
Marcus Rashford is the first name from Manchester United on this list and the 19-year-old striker is quoted at a top price of 15/2 with bet365. From now it’s back to Manchester City and the inform Leroy Sane at a tempting 8/1 with Paddy Power.
This market is always tough to predict and in a game where there could be few goals, we are going to switch to the anytime markets where Gabriel Jesus can be found at best odds of 13/8 with Paddy Power. We expect the striker to return to the kind of form he was showing prior to that long-term injury and are tipping him to find the net on Thursday night.
Other Side Bets
With so much at stake in this game, many pundits are expecting a low scoring affair with neither side wanting to lose it. Conceding defeat could end all hope of qualifying for next season’s Champions League so really it should be a very cagey encounter. With that in mind, under 2.5 goals looks to be the best of the side Bets at a top price of 43/50 with MarathonBet.
If you want to take a higher risk then the correct score market will undoubtedly prove popular and if we were backing here, we would take a 1-1 draw which comes in at best odds of 13/2 with bet365 and Paddy Power.
Games between these two have often been very open and attacking and they have been some high scoring encounters at times. There is always plenty at stake in a Manchester Derby but with Champions League slots very much on the line we expect a much tighter 90 minutes with the teams ultimately cancelling each other out.