This weekend sees Louis van Gaal take his developing Man United side five miles east of Old Trafford to the Etihad for the biggest game of the week in the Premier League, the Manchester derby. Man City have very much had the upper hand in recent seasons, winning five of the last six Premier League clashes, including doing the double last term by an aggregate of 7-1.
Neither side has started their campaigns as the respective managers would have liked but a win here could be used to kick start their respective seasons. Three points would keep City in the title hunt, applying just a little bit of pressure to Chelsea, whilst for the Red Devils it would make people take them seriously as top four contenders at the very least.
LVG and his men will be hugely boosted by the late equaliser they scored last time out against Chelsea. Robin van Persie’s strike earned a 1-1 draw but the morale gained from the result may be worth more than the point itself, especially as United have struggled so much against the top sides in recent seasons. The Red Devils will again be without Michael Carrick in midfield but the form being shown by Marouane Fellaini will offer some comfort and his battle with Yaya Toure could be brutal. The visitors should welcome back Wayne Rooney from suspension, although he picked up a minor knock in training, whilst Radamel Falcao is also a slight doubt. United’s defensive injury worries continue and it is likely that Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo will start at the back.
City, who were dumped out of the League Cup on Wednesday night, have injury issues too, with key midfielders Frank Lampard, Toure and David Silva all doubts, the latter pair picking up knocks in the 2-0 home defeat by Newcastle. That Manuel Pellegrini started the duo shows how seriously he was taking the game but City couldn’t take their chances and they will hope the return of Sergio Aguero here will rectify that problem. United have been poor on the road thus far this term but with City having already dropped as many home points as they did last season in 19 games, this one could go either way.
The unpredictable nature of the contest makes Betfred’s latest in-play offer a potential saviour. To take advantage just place a £10 bet during the game at odds of at least 1/2 and if it loses Betfred will credit a free bet of £10 to your account within 24 hours of full time. This offer has low minimum odds, no restrictions on what market you can bet on, the chance to assess the game before you bet (only in-play bets qualify) and a free bet if you lose, so it could be a useful offer to take up alongside what should be a brilliant game.
How you approach the offer is up to you. You could play it safe and back something around the minimum odds mark and hope to make an easy £5 or so, with added insurance of the free bet if your “banker” lets you down. If that’s what you fancy, then backing City to win (current price 4/5), over 2.5 goals (priced at 4/7 now and sure to drift up barring a very early goal) or both teams to score (8/15) all look like great options.
However, with a £10 free bet as insurance, you might want to be bolder, in which case a correct score bet could be the way to go, with Man City to win 3-1 or, as they did in the corresponding fixture last season, 4-1, looking like decent options at odds of around 14/1 and 30/1 respectively (though remember to wait until the game is in-play to place your bet). For a nice option in the middle though, our main betting tip would be the home win in conjunction with BTTS – get on straight after kick off for odds of around 9/4.