Fresh from his tidy profit last weekend, Mark O'Haire has the best bets for Super Sunday as Manchester City host Manchester United.
1pt on Under 2.5 Goals (6/5 Betfred)
1pt on Joao Cancelo 2+ Total Shots (11/8 Sky Bet)
1pt on A Penalty In The Match (7/4 Unibet)
Pep Guardiola believes Man City have “come through hell and done something more than remarkable” by overcoming a tough winter schedule to extend their winning run to 21 games following a 4-1 victory over Wolves on Tuesday night. The Citizens are now 14 points clear at the top of the table and haven’t failed to succeed in any game since mid-December.
During that time, City have played 21 games in all competitions, reached the final of the League Cup, the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and taken control of their last-16 Champions League tie against Borussia Monchengladbach. The sequence includes 15 straight Premier League wins amongst an unbeaten streak that stretches back 28 matches to November.
The midweek triumph came courtesy of three goals inside the final 10 minutes – and despite a second-half flurry from Wolves – the Citizens always looked in control of proceedings. It was also an improvement on last weekend’s success over West Ham with Guardiola making six changes; City looked refreshed, reinvigorated and raring to go.
There will be a time to go against the grain and oppose Man City, although I’m not sure Super Sunday’s showdown with cross-city rivals Man Utd is it. With Pep’s posse so easily seeing off Chelsea and Liverpool in recent months, it’s clear the hosts command the respect that their pre-match market price implies.
However, derby dust-ups do tend to be that much tighter and this fixture hasn’t always lived up to the pre-match hype. With United adopting a safety-first attitude in big matches, it again looks worth our time opposing goals with UNDER 2.5 GOALS trading at an appealing 6/5 (Betfred).
The Red Devils have drawn 0-0 in five of their last seven battles with fellow Big Six outfits this term, failing to score from open play in those fixtures. Expected Goals (xG) data also points towards a dearth of goalscoring opportunities at both ends when United come across the league’s elite in 2020/21, as Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer employs a contain and counter approach.
With Anthony Taylor overseeing matters, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see a spot-kick awarded with the Wythenshawe official awarding nine penalties in 18 Premier League outings this term. Going back to the beginning of last season across all competitions, the 42-year-old has given 30 (42%) penalties in 71 matches. Unibet are offering 7/4 on a PENALTY IN THE MATCH.
And the case for a repeat enhances when digging deeper. For starters, Taylor has pointed to the spot in eight of his 10 all-Big Six matches since the start of 2019/20, as well as in each of his last two Manchester derbies. What’s more, United and City have seen a whopping 24 penalties awarded in their combined 53 Premier League games.
Elsewhere, the 11/8 (Sky Bet) on JOAO CANCELO TO HAVE 2+ SHOTS could also be worth a poke. Man City’s hybrid full-back and/or midfield man has thrived in his new role, firing in at least two attempts in eight of his previous 11 encounters when playing at least an hour. Meanwhile, Man Utd have faced shot tallies of 18, 17 and 17 at Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool in 2021.
Score prediction: Man City 2-0 Man Utd (Sky Bet odds: 13/2)
Odds correct at 1630 GMT on 04/03/21
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