Despite neither making the most convincing start to the season, Manchester pair City and United are both in the top five, just three points adrift of Liverpool at the Premier League’s summit as they prepare for the first derby showdown of the campaign.
Obviously, as recent appointments, neither manager has taken charge of a Manchester scrap before but City boss Manuel Pellegrini presided over a couple of El Clasico contests when with Real Madrid while David Moyes was Everton chief for plenty of Merseyside battles so the pair are no strangers to such passionate clashes.
The champions appear a touch overpriced considering the two sides have yet to hit full stride and they certainly tempt at 8/11 via BetVictor to avoid defeat. However, in the circumstances, it’s the stalemate at 12/5 (Stan James) that stands out and in a contest that looks set to yield fewer than three goals (21/20, betway), Ladbrokes’s 6/1 marked against a 1-1 scoreline isn’t without appeal.
Finally, in attack, speculating on the first scorer is something of a minefield given the number of realistic candidates but some punters might back Robin van Persie at 11/8 with bet365 to strike at any point and Winner.com quote City’s Alvaro Negredo at 11/5 in the same market.
However, Wayne Rooney has helped himself to four goals on his last three trips to Eastlands and with three in two, the United front man looks huge at 11/4 with William Hill to notch at any time.