Thursday night gives us a bonus fixture of a Manchester Derby. Both teams are in the running to qualify for a Champions League spot via their league position.
Whilst Utd come into the game on the back of a 23 game unbeaten league run they have been unable to break into the top 4. Meanwhile City for all their issues this season have consistently hovered around the top 4. In fact they have never been lower than 5th throughout the whole season. Utd have for the vast majority of the season been in 6th despite remaining unbeaten for those 23 games. Both teams know they must qualify for the Champions League and I believe that they will albeit in different directions.
With the news that Paul Pogba will miss the Manchester Derby this may well effect the team that Mourinho puts out. With fixtures against Arsenal and Spurs also coming up I think that the route to the Champions League lies via the Europa league for Manchester Utd. For that reason I can see Mourinho putting out a team tomorrow to stifle Manchester City. Possibly a rare start for Wayne Rooney in the offing? I think he will be keeping Rashford and/or Martial back for the Europa games as the the last thing he needs now is to lose one of them.
City also have injury problems. David Silva hobbled off at Wembley in the FA Cup Semi Final loss and will face a fitness test. Sergio Aguero was also replaced but should be fine to play. There are strong rumours that Gabriel Jesus will be on the bench for City which could make the last 20 minutes interesting if the match is still in the balance.
Whilst Manchester City have been scoring goals for fun their neighbours have been miserly in defence. They have the 2nd best defensive record behind Spurs. In saying that I just believe that the necessity for Manchester City to win this match will drive them forward. With their attacking firepower and Vincent Kompany’s steadying influence in defence I can see Manchester City winning this Manchester Derby. The issue with Manchester City all season has been in defence. I am still not comfortable with betting on them to keep a clean sheet. I feel the same here and my bet would be for Manchester City to win the Manchester Derby but for both teams to score.
Manchester City to Win and BTTS - Generally Available at 13/5 but available at 11/4 at B365