EPL Preview: Manchester United v Manchester City – 10 December – Old Trafford
Manchester City go to Old Trafford with the comforting thought that they are a clear 8 points ahead of their up-coming rivals, Manchester United. City would above all, want to keep their unbeaten record in the current 2017-18 season intact. Of some concern for Pep Guardiola will be the manner in which his side struggled to overcome lesser opponents like Huddersfield, Southampton and West Ham. Goals in the dying minutes of those matches salvaged wins for a side that have looked invincible all along.
Guardiola would have noted the manner in which United defended against waves of Arsenal attack last week and the City attack have been troubled by compact defenses of late. They have been susceptible to counter-attacks, too, as witnessed in the West Ham and Huddersfield matches and United have in their ranks players like Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard who are good are just that. United can even look to rattle the visitors in set-pieces as the Angelo Ogbonna header did for West Ham last weekend. Mourinho will look to tie down the free-flowing attacking style adopted by Guardiola like in the Huddersfield match, where everyone got behind the ball and City struggled to find a way through.
The big advantage going for Man City will be that the hosts will be the ones who would want a win more, go out in an all-out attack mode and it could be them counter-attacking for a change. With attacking riches galore in the form of David Silva, Kevin de Bruyne, Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus, City would expect to get a goal or two if that were to happen.
Not wanting to lose his key defenders for the big Sunday Derby, Guardiola wisely benched Fernandinho and Vincent Kompany in the West Ham game as both already had four yellow cards apiece.
After the horrific spell under coach David Moyes in the 2013-14 season where United lost 4 games on the trot to City, things have looked up for the boys from Old Trafford. The Red Devils have lost just one of their six encounters with City and won as many as three after that since 2015.
But given the visitors phenomenal form this season in all forms of competition, bookmakers are betting on a City win at Old Trafford on December 10. A 0-0 or a 1-1 draw also look highly probable results.
Man Utd to Win or Draw (Double Chance), best odds 1.74 @ 888Sport
BTTS, best odds 1.7 @ Sportingbet
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