Manchester United host Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday in a 5:30pm kick-off at Old Trafford.
The hosts are looking to bounce back from the midweek disappointment of crashing out of the Champions League after the 3-2 defeat at RB Leipzig, but have won their last four Premier League games to rise to seventh in the table.
City, meanwhile, have won their last two league matches – scoring seven past Burnley and Fulham with no response – to climb one place behind their city rivals in the league.
Pep Guardiola’s side are odds-on favourites to win at 13/20, with the draw 10/3 and a United win 7/2.
Given United have won three of the last four head-to-heads and generally prefer playing on the counter-attack, the odds on City look a little short to me with the pace United possess to hurt them in transition.
Both teams to score has landed in five of the last eight league meetings between the two sides, and I can see it landing again on Saturday.
It has done so in seven of United’s 10 league games this season, and in five of City’s ten league games. City have improved defensively this season, keeping four clean sheets, but three of those were against the bottom four sides in the division.
All 11 of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester derbies, meanwhile, have seen each side pick up at least a card, with referee Chris Kavanagh showing both Premier League teams he has been officiating one each in 10 of his last 15 matches at the top level, so I’m happy to add this for an even-money Bet Builder:
Eight of those aforementioned 11 Manchester derbies saw both sides pick up two or more cards each, with it occurring in each of the last five meetings, so I also think this is worth backing at 21/20, especially with six of the 10 matches Kavanagh has shown both teams at least one card each actually seeing both teams pick up two or more.
Rodri has been booked in each of the last three meetings between the sides, with Fred booked in two of the three, too. Fred has been booked three times this season with Rodri cautioned twice, so 12/1 for the double looks a good price (Betfair).
Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Kyle Walker are the other three players I’ll be keeping an eye out for when the team news arrives. Shaw and Walker are no strangers to the book in this fixture, with Maguire picking up an astonishing seven yellow cards in his 16 career starts against Man City, including the most recent meeting in March.
Two other very interesting doubles with Betfair involve Bruno Fernandes and Kevin De Bruyne, the two rivals’ star players. The pair are both on penalties and love a strike from range, making 11/2 on both to have a shot on target from outside the area look a very good price, especially considering it is only 6/4 with Sky Bet.
I’m also keen both to have two or more shots on target each at 16/1. This effectively prices both players at better than 3/1 each, which seems far too good for such talented players on any penalties and free-kicks. Fernandes has had two or more shots on target in his last three league starts, with De Bruyne having three at home to Fulham last time out.