United are 3.5 shots to gain their revenge on City in this weekend’s derby clash at the Etihad and claim a place in the fourth fourth round of the FA Cup.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side will be keen to banish the memory of their meeting in the league earlier in the season at Old Trafford which saw City register a 6-1 victory.
The problem is that they have struggled with injuries in recent weeks, and come into the game on the back of losses to Blackburn and Newcastle.
They conceded three times in both those games and that is simply not good enough.
The gaffer knows the task facing United against their arch in-form rivals, and it would be no surprise to see him start with a five-man midfield in a bid to try and stop the Citizens playing free-flowing football.
If that’s the case then Rooney could well play as a lone striker, where he will go head-to-head with Kompany in what good be an enthralling battle.
On things is for sure, and that is that the United players will have to be at their best and be up for the fight if they are to progress into the next round.
There is certainly some encouragement to be taken from the stats as far as this game is concerned, and bookmakers the likes of bet65, Betfred and Paddy Power could well have underestimated their chances by offering 3.5.
This is will be the eighth FA Cup meeting between the two sides, and the Red Devils have won four compared to City’s three so far.
United have also only been eliminated at this stage once in 26 attempts since 1984 – that defeat coming in 2009/10 against Leeds.
There has also not been much between the two sides in their last seven clashes at the Etihad, with five of those games ending 1-0 – twice to City and three times to United.
I’m hoping that the real United turn up on Sunday, and if they do then this could be a very close fought affair that could be settled by a single goal.
Nani, who has a good record against City, has not been at his best of late but if bouncing back to the form that saw him tear their defence to shreds in the Community Shield when netting twice would have to be of interest in the first goalscorer market at 12 with Paddy Power.
United to win 1-0 is my idea of the outcome, and that can be backed at 11 with bet365.
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