This weekend’s eagerly anticipated Manchester derby has been dubbed a ‘must-win’ game for United, and there’s every reason to believe they can do just that.
The Red Devils head into the match eight points behind City, but a victory on Sunday would give Jose Mourinho’s side a big psychological advantage heading into the second half of the season.
United are priced at 9/4 to win the match, with City on offer at 6/5. The draw is available at 5/2.
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United clinically disposed of Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium last week, making a mockery of recent claims that Mourinho’s side are boring.
Paul Pogba’s absence through suspension after his unfortunate red card last week is a hindrance, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Phil Jones and Nemanja Matic are all available.
Captain Michael Carrick and defender Eric Bailly remain on the sidelines.
As predicted by Mourinho, City’s David Silva is fit for the game after overcoming the knock which forced him to miss the midweek Champions League loss at Shakhtar Donetsk.
Vincent Kompany will be assessed over an unspecified problem, while fellow defenders John Stones (hamstring) and Benjamin Mendy (knee) are still out.
United’s display against Arsenal should give them plenty of confidence for the derby, but it’s City’s recent form that suggests the home side could be good value to pick up three points.
Pep Guardiola’s side needed late goals to see off West Ham and Southampton in the league over the past couple of weeks, while Shakhtar fully deserved their win on Wednesday.
With Pogba out Mourinho will probably revert to the 4-2-3-1 system he deployed with success earlier in the season.
City haven’t looked as solid defensively in recent weeks and the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford will fancy their chances of finding the target this weekend.
Lukaku to score first and United to win 2-1 has been boosted to 40/1 at Paddy Power and that looks a tempting wager.
City’s last four games have finished with a 2-1 scoreline and they can be backed at 9/1 to make it five in a row on Sunday.
Raheem Sterling has been in excellent form in recent weeks, so the 6/1 on offer for him to score and the visitors to win will tempt many City fans.
United to score in both halves and have over 2.5 corners in each half looks excellent value at 18/1, but the straight win odds of 9/4 certainly appear too good to ignore.
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