Manchester City v Manchester United – Etihad at 20:00 live Sky Sports 1
A huge Manchester Derby for my first Asian Handicap preview of the week!
A number of pundits/experts had predicted that Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho would be battling for the Premier League title at this stage of the season.
Although, tonight’s clash could still prove to be decisive in the final standings, it is in the race for a top four finish, rather than the title.
Pep’s season has crumbled around his ears over the past month with humbling exits from both the Champions League and FA Cup.
Meanwhile a 14 point deficit to league leaders Chelsea, is simply not good enough for someone with the consistent winning history of the Spaniard.
With nothing but Champions League place left to play for, the City team have just six matches left to avoid complete disaster.
Somehow the scheduling gods have been kind to Pep and they have four home games in their last six league matches.
In terms of injuries, David Silva and John Stones are both serious doubts for tonight’s match. But, Raheem Sterling can slot in for Silva and Gabriel Jesus should be ready for the bench now.
In contrast to City Manchester United have at least 8 games remaining this season and due to winning the EFL Cup in February, the fixtures have piled up.
United are in the midst of a seven week run to the end of the season, where they play 2 games every week!
The Red Devils route to a top four finish looks much more difficult than City’s, with four away games out of the remaining six.
On top of this game at the Etihad, Jose’s team still has to visit Arsenal, Tottenham and Southampton.
With the squad already pushed to its limit, these finals weeks could break it completely.
Tonight, United are without the services of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones & Marcus Rojo.
Asian Handicap Prices & Data…
The bookies have Manchester City as odds on favourites to win this match, priced at 1.93, while United can be backed at 4.3 to win in 90 minutes.
In terms of the Asian Handicap market, the line is set at +/-0.5 where City -0.5 is available at 1.93 and United +0.5 can be backed at 2.02.
The Asian Total Goals line is current at 2.5 with Overs priced at 2.06 and Unders at 1.89.
For me the value is in the Asian Total Goals market here, despite United not typically converting their chances this season.
City, have only won 2 of 9 games against the rest of the top 6 this season, but 6 of 9 ended with over 2.5 goals.
United, also have just 2 wins in their 7 games against the top 6, but only 2 of the games ended with 3 or more goals.
With both teams desperate for not only Derby day bragging rights but more importantly, a Champions League place.
I can see both teams going all out for victory, with City’s remaining games a win basically guarantees their top four finish.
While, United would increase their momentum and be in a very strong position if they claim all three points tonight.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Over 2.5 Goals at 2.06
Prices correct at time of writing.
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