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Man United v Man City
The eagerly anticipated Manchester Derby returns this weekend for the first time this season, promising an exciting contest. Manchester City find themselves in another title challenge contest, sitting in second place trailing undefeated Tottenham, while Manchester United grapple with some familiar challenges from recent seasons – performance inconsistency and the struggle to establish a consistent winning lineup.
Pep Guardiola’s team has had a strong start to this year’s Premier League campaign, with Erling Haaland, a familiar face, leading the league in goals with nine to his name. Manchester City are no stranger to scoring against their Manchester rivals, having netted 14 goals in their last four encounters. Their sights are set on replicating their FA Cup final triumph over the Red Devils last season.
Meanwhile, Manchester United has experienced a mix of performances and results across all competitions. Coming off the back of a closely contested Champions League clash that saw Harry Maguire and Andre Onana team up to secure three points against Copenhagen, the Red Devils are back in the Premier League spotlight looking to have some similar results. Erik ten Hag will be aiming for his second victory against the Cityzens in four meetings, in a fixture that has been hotly contested since his appointment in April 2022.
In this feature, we will dive into the Man City v Man United Cheat Sheet and discuss any potential betting angles we see value in that you can add to your bet builders. There are plenty of exciting angles for this game, you just have to pick which one to ride with.
Man United v Man City Cheat Sheet
This Cheat Sheet and Preview was created using predicted lineups.
Now, for my breakdown and preview with recommended bets…
🧤 Man United stats: Not all as it seems at Old Trafford…
Erik ten Hag’s squad have secured three consecutive wins in various competitions, propelling them to eighth position in the Premier League and granting them their first points in this season’s Champions League campaign.
However, despite this recent winning streak, none of these victories could be described as convincing by any measure. The Red Devils have held the lead for a mere 98 minutes in the current top-flight season, a statistic that places them ahead of only Sheffield United, Luton, and Bournemouth, in terms of the lowest total minutes led prior to the most recent round of fixtures.
Manchester United needed to rely on a Diogo Dalot stunner to see off Sheffield United in their most recent Premier League game before the visit of the Danish champions midweek, which showed off a similarly toothless attacking display. But there is definitely credit to be given for their ability to dig deep and come out with results even when the game is seemingly against them.
Coming into this home fixture, only Southampton and Crystal Palace have prevented Man United from scoring in a Premier League home fixture since the start of the 2022-23 season, which included two goals in this fixture last season which saw the Red Devils steal three huge points from Man City in what was a very tight title chase with Arsenal.
United have also conceded plenty of shots on target this season, requiring Andre Onana to make plenty of saves. With Wolves and Brighton forcing him into six and five saves respectively, he is likely to be busy again. Only Spurs have forced opposition goalkeepers into making more saves than City’s 4.11 per 90 this season, so tapping into the goalkeeper saves market looks like a smart play.
Harry Maguire is set to keep his place in the starting XI for this fixture with his form. United have won 16 of the last 17 matches across all competitions that Harry Maguire has started, perhaps Haaland and co should be fearful?
Prediction: Over 0.5 Man United goals @ 1.44
Prediction: Man United goalkeeper 3+ saves @ 1.36
Prediction: Man United goalkeeper 4+ saves @ 1.91
🏆 Man City stats: Pep loves a Manchester derby
Pep Guardiola has undoubtedly enjoyed his encounters at Old Trafford, having notched up four Premier League victories at the Theatre of Dreams, the most of any visiting manager. He also boasts seven league wins from 14 matches since his arrival in Manchester, a feat surpassed only by Arsene Wenger with 12 wins. However, it’s an impressive record for Manchester United, given the dominance that City have demonstrated over the years.
Man City are looking to build some momentum after recovering from a wobble of their own prior to the international break, when Rodri’s suspension cost them dearly in back-to-back Premier League defeats to Wolves and Arsenal – City are unbeaten in each of the 37 fixtures Rodri has played in since defeat at Spurs in February 2023. But with his return marking a tough victory against Brighton last weekend, marking a new Premier League record of 21 successive home victories, he’s back just in time for this clash.
The champions have lost their last two away games in the Premier League prior to the international break. They last suffered three consecutive away league defeats in 2020, either side of the COVID-19-enforced shutdown. The first game in that sequence was a 2-0 loss at Old Trafford … another omen looming over this fixture.
Manchester City will be hoping to edge closer to retaining that 1st place spot in the Premier League, and if any team can ignore the noise around them, it’s Pep and his boys. This will be a great matchup.
Prediction: Man City to win @ 1.67
🎯 Man United offensive stats: Can Fernandes be the key after recent form?
The Manchester United attack has certainly had its struggles this season and has found difficulty clicking into gear.
Generating only the 8th lowest xG in the Premier League this year, and scoring 3 goals less than that expected average, there’s certainly more to come from this Manchester United attacking force.
Bruno Fernandes is looking like the biggest danger for the Red Devils and could be a target for bet builder selections. The Portuguese international is racking up an impressive 2.89 efforts on goal per 90, with 1.11 hitting the target, the best average in the squad aside from Scott McTominay. Not only does his attacking threat come from open play, but he’s first-choice penalty taker, and has taken the majority of United’s direct free-kicks this season. Fernandes to have one shot on target could prove great value.
Another attacking angle for the Red Devils for this game would be corners. They have taken the second most corners in the Premier League this year with 62, an average of 6.88 corners per game. No doubt that a tough Man City defence could reduce these numbers but the markets for United to take 3 corners or more could be valuable, or for a higher odds selection, to take 4 corners or more.
Prediction: Bruno Fernandes to have 1+ shots on target @ 2.00
Prediction: Over 2.5 Man United corners @ 1.33
Prediction: Over 3.5 Man United corners @ 1.85
🎯 Man City offensive stats: Attacking duo to cause problems
A dangerous start again for this Manchester City squad that keeps showing its attacking prowess year on year. All eyes once again on Erling Haaland, who sits at a tally of 9 Premier League goals this season, pretty tame numbers considering his form last year at this stage.
Erling Haaland enjoyed a very memorable debut against the Red Devils last year after netting a hat-trick at the Etihad and will be keen to add to that tally after he was silenced in their 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford later that season.
Haaland seems to be back in scoring form after grabbing a brace midweek and a goal in City’s last fixture against Brighton, meaning he could provide value here. Shot on target markets don’t provide too much value in Haaland’s case, 1 shot on target is priced at 1.13 and 2 priced at a more generous 1.67.
Haaland to score anytime is at 1.83. The Norwegian’s expected goals per 90 stands at 0.92 and he has been very unfortunate not to have scored more along the way.
Another attacking spark for Manchester City this season has been Julian Alvarez, who has found his consistent place in the team during the absence of Kevin de Bruyne. The Argentine has four goals and three assists so far and has shown his desire to get involved wherever he can across that frontline.
Alvarez is averaging an impressive 3.24 shots per 90 with 1.32 of those hitting the target, figures that aren’t too distant from the City number 9. He’s certainly found and maintained some very good form and his involvement could prove critical in this game. A price of 2.0 for Alvarez to score or assist reflects his impressive performances this season and could be enticing for high-odd bet builders.
Prediction: Erling Haaland to score anytime @ 1.83
Prediction: Julian Alvarez to score or assist @ 2.00
🛑 Man United defensive stats: Rain with a chance of yellow cards
The Manchester United defence has displayed some vulnerability this season, currently ranking 10th in the league in terms of defensive performances, lagging behind teams like Brentford, Nottingham Forest, and Crystal Palace. This concerning trend of conceding more goals than they’ve been able to score highlights the pressing need to address defensive issues.
With passion and tempers running high, there is a strong possibility of cards on this derby day. Manchester United have been fairly disciplined with their challenges this season, accumulating 20 yellows spread across 15 offenders – not too much consistency with certain players picking up cards. However, a more promising takeaway from this is their average of 2.22 cards per 90, which could highlight Manchester United card market picks with good value. The Red Devils to receive over 2.5 cards is an inviting pick to any bet builder.
For player markets, a key candidate for fouls here will be the Manchester United full back Diogo Dalot who is likely to have his hands full whoever starts on Sunday for City. Picking up just over a foul per 90 (1.10) and an equal number of tackles made, the Portuguese international definitely loves a clash, and up against the likes of Jeremy Doku and Phil Foden he is one to watch.
Prediction: Over 2.5 Man United cards @ 1.67
Prediction: Diogo Dalot to commit 1+ fouls @ 1.40
🛑 Man City defensive stats: Rodri back with a bang
With the return of Rodri in this Manchester City side, this midfield battle is definitely going to be taken up a notch. The Spaniard is a huge presence in that midfield, mentally and physically and is definitely no stranger to a challenge or two.
In his return against Brighton last week, he committed 2 fouls and picked up a yellow card, a very fitting appearance after seeing a straight red for grabbing Morgan Gibbs-White’s throat a few weeks ago. With the Manchester United midfield consisting of Bruno Fernandes and Casemiro, both of whom love to get stuck into challenges and cause drama, it’s very likely Rodri will get caught up in all of it. He’s picked up 3 yellows this season and averages 1.90 fouls per 90 minutes.
The Manchester City disciplinary record is only slightly better than United’s, picking up 19 yellows so far this year, alongside two red cards after Manuel Akanji earned himself a second yellow and was dismissed in the 95th minute last week against Brighton. Given that Man City average 2.11 cards per 90, this Manchester derby could be filled with fouls and cards – which surprisingly hasn’t always been the case in recent years.
Total cards markets could be a good approach here with over 2.5 cards looking like a good angle. A more risky, higher odds market could be the card match bet. It’s likely City will see a lot of the ball and control the tempo of the game on Sunday, likely drawing in the Manchester United players into making mistakes with their impatience off the ball. Manchester United to receive the most cards could be a great value pick.
Prediction: Rodri to commit 1+ fouls @ 1.16
Prediction: Over 2.5 cards @ 1.25
Prediction: Man United to receive the most cards @ 1.67
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* I recommend waiting for confirmed team line-ups before placing any bets.
* All odds displayed correct at the time of publishing.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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