The Manchester Derby headlines the weekend’s EPL action
By Ian Palmer
The Manchester derby takes place this Sunday, November 2 at Etihad Stadium as reigning Premier League champions Manchester City take on Manchester United, their cross-town rivals. Neither team is in great form at the moment as City sits third in the 20-team league table with 17 points while United is in eighth with 14.
The bet365 soccer lines have Man City as the favourites at 10/11 with Man United 10/3 and a draw 11/4. The over/under is 2.5 goals with 3/5 odds at over and under at 13/10
City is winless in their last three games in all competitions as they were beaten once each in the Premier League and Capital One Cup and were held to a 2-2 away draw by CSKA Moscow in the European Champions League just over a week ago. They dropped a 2-1 decision at West Ham last week in the league and were then knocked out of the Capital One Cup (League Cup) 2-0 as the trophy holders at home by Newcastle.
City is six points adrift of league-leading Chelsea at the moment and can’t afford to slip much lower if they plan on retaining the league crown. They’ve already lost once at home in the Premier League this season as Stoke City managed to edge them 1-0. However, they do have impressive wins over a couple of the league’s better sides in Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.
It looks like City manager Manuel Pellegrini will have to do without the services of Ivory Coast international midfielder Yaya Toure, English midfielder Frank Lampard and Spanish international forward David Silva as they’re both sidelined with injuries. On the bright side, French international midfielder Samir Nasri is back in action after spending some time out with an injury.
Man United hasn’t managed to win on the road this season, but they have escaped with draws at West Brom, Burnley, and Sunderland. Their other road contest resulted in a 5-3 loss to newly-promoted Leicester City. United’s last outing was a 1-1 league draw at home with Chelsea. United left it late against the league leaders as Dutch international forward Robin van Persie tied the game in the last minute of injury time.
The good news for Man United manager Louis van Gaal is that English international forward and team captain Wayne Rooney will be back in the squad after sitting out the last three games with a suspension. Also, it looks like Northern Irish defender Jonny Evans will be returning along with Ecuadorian winger Antonio Valencia and Colombian forward Radamel Falcao. But the bad news is that Englishmen Ashley Young and Phil Jones could be missing due to injuries.
United holds the all-time edge in league games against Man City with 65 wins to 44 and the other 49 being draws. They’re also leading the series away from home as they’ve managed 28 wins to 25 with 24 draws at City’s home ground. However, when it comes to recent meetings between these two northwest giants, City won both games last season by scores of 3-0 on the road and 4-1 at home. The last time United beat them was in December of 2012 when they were 3-2 winners. Overall, United has just one win in their past five league encounters against their rivals.