It’s that time again. Time for another derby, time for plenty more hype, time for nerves and tension to take a stranglehold on emotions.
In terms of team selection for this fixture, Manuel Pellegrini is boosted by the news that Micah Richards and David Silva are both likely to be in contention, although the match has come just too soon for Gael Clichy. A personal view would be to throw Richards straight in at right back, with Pablo Zabaleta shifting across to the left, but the manager is more likely to choose Zabaleta and Aleks Kolarov as his fullbacks.
Further forward, with Silva expected to start – such is his importance – there is a choice between Jesus Navas, James Milner and Samir Nasri for a final attacking slot. My guess is that we’ll see Navas, but Milner has been superb in recent derby games and would offer a more compact and solid presence. Up front, Edin Dzeko is competing with Alvaro Negredo for a place alongside Sergio Aguero. The Argentinean is a hugely tempting 7/1 open the scoring with Paddy Power.
Here is the side Pellegrini could select:
Referee: Howard Webb
Prediction: MAN CITY 2 - 2 Manchester United – I’m expecting it to be an open affair, with plenty of goals, chances and tension, but the worry is that the likes of Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie will drop slightly deeper than usual to exploit the space in front of City’s backline. It’s the space which Gareth Barry patrolled with such efficiency but we look unbalanced in his absence and it’s a concern. That said, we’ve got plenty of attacking talent ourselves so it could be an enthralling watch.
Vincent Kompany, such a threat from set-pieces, is an incredible 41/1 to score the first goal. Open an account with Paddy Power and receive a FREE BET worth upto £50!
Sergio Aguero to score first and the match to finish 2-2 is a quite breathtaking 120/1 with William Hill. That’s got to be worth a cheeky couple of quid!