Manchester United v Manchester City tips: More local bragging right for Citizens tonight

The second Manchester derby of the season will see United and City lock horns in the EFL Cup at Old Trafford tonight

Manchester United v Manchester City tips: More local bragging right for Citizens tonight

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Glen Laidlaw

October 26th, 2016

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Neither Manchester City or Manchester United have enjoyed the past few weeks very much. City were well and truly humbled by Barcelona on Wednesday with the Catalan giants enjoying an easy 4-0 win at the Nou Camp, this dismal result followed up by an equally dismal 1-1 draw at Southampton to make it five winless games for Guardiola. They may sit atop the Premier League table as things stand but they could certainly do with a morale-boosting win as faith in their Spanish boss falters.

The only consolation for City fans is that United are having an even tougher time of things. The Red Devils edged past a poor Fenerbahce side in their last Europa League outing but this was followed by a dreadful 4-0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last weekend. If Guardiola is feeling the pressure, one can hardly imagine what Mourinho is feeling at the moment.

The EFL Cup may not be high on the list of priorities for either boss tonight, however the importance of a win cannot be underestimated. Reserve sides we will definitely not be seeing as strong starting elevens take to the pitch at Old Trafford in what promises to be an action-packed encounter. Indeed this is a must-watch affair and anyone who tunes in is virtually guaranteed plenty of excitement and goal-mouth action.

The Citizens haven’t managed a clean-sheet since their 4-0 victory over Bournemouth last month with twelve goals conceded since then. United managed to keep Liverpool at bay a fortnight ago but this was their first ‘shut-out’ in the top-flight since August. Does this suggest that we’ll be seeing both nets bulge tonight? You bet it does.

The Old Trafford faithful won’t be happy with a defensive display this evening. It may have worked against Liverpool but it certainly didn’t at Stamford Bridge last weekend. Some adventure will need to be shown and if they do this then we should witness an extremely open encounter with goals galore.

Both Teams to Score is as low as 4/6 with some firms but William Hill are going 3/4 for such an outcome and this should perhaps be first on your betting slip. Who will actually go on to win is the main problem.

United are slight favourites at 8/5 compared to City’s 9/5, however it isn’t easy to back the Red Devils with any confidence whatsoever, especially after their capitulation at Stamford Bridge. Judging by the performance at the weekend, United weren’t just having an ‘off-day’ and it could be that Mourinho will suffer a repeat of last season. That’s how it looks to us.

The Portuguese boss made some decisions which we could only call ‘strange’ when defending his side’s title last season and he appeared to lose the Stamford Bridge dressing room in spectacular fashion. He also appears to have alienated a number of players at Old Trafford and of those in which he has shown faith – namely Marcus Rashford, Marouane Fellaini, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba – are underperforming. Is something seriously wrong? Perhaps not but the omens are not too good.

Over at City and it would appear that their problems aren’t as deep rooted. They are simply making mistakes and whilst this is a problem in itself, it is something which can be overcome. Indeed, City were the better side against Southampton, Everton and Celtic and luck clearly played a massive part in preventing a City win in all three of these games, coupled with a few ‘choice’ refereeing decisions. Claudio Bravo’s red card clearly had an impact at the Nou Camp and perhaps the only poor Man City performance was against Tottenham Hotspur. We’re all allowed an off-day, even at the highest level and Guardiola should rest assured that the good times will return. Just be patient City fans.

A little pressure is no bad thing at times and both managers will need to be fully focused ahead of tonight’s ‘must win’ encounter. Should City manage to avoid slipping easy goals to the home side and keep all of their players on the field then they should seal the win. If not then it is anybody’s, however we’ll be backing the visitors to do just that and for both nets to be bulging.

Our tip: Back Manchester City to win and both teams to score at 9/2 with Paddy Power

 

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