Manchester United hosts Manchester City tonight, with bookies favoring the Citizens, but manager Pellegrini being cautious.
Manchester City may look like the favorites to win this year’s Premier League with 6 points behind the first-placed Chelsea, but with 3 games to catch up to the Blues. However, their manager, Manuel Pellegrini, said the land-based and online sportsbooks in the United Kingdom are wrong giving the Citizens more favorable odds.
The team is heading to Old Trafford today and Manchester United fans are worried Man City will provide another beating for their Red Devils and David Moyes. The wounds are still open since Liverpool beat Man United 3-0 at Old Trafford, and no one wants a repeat.
Manchester City already have a whopping 12-point advantage over their arch-rivals and another 2 games in the bag. Should they win tonight it will move them even closer to claiming another Premier League title, while sending the Red Devils further away from it, not like anyone expects Man United to defend the title this year anyway.
Pellegrini is not backing those bookies, who operate under British gambling laws, and suggest Man City are huge favorites for tonight’s game. Even though City has crushed United 4-1 at the Etihad Stadium back in September. The manager is cautious to name his team as the strongest one in the city, maybe that’s the reason he is liked by so many fans and experts.
British gambling news quoted Pellegrini saying: “I don’t think we are favorites in any game. We are in a good moment but we are playing against a big team in their own stadium, so I don’t think we are the favorites.”
He went on to add: “Of course we always expect to go and win every game but, I repeat, just because Manchester United have had a difficult season it does not mean we are going to win. We have to go there and play a very good game.”
What happened on the weekend
Manchester City have humiliated Fulham 5-0 on Saturday, and moved back into third place 6 points behind the leaders and three games in hand. But then again Fulham are bottom of the table, and it was Arsenal’s 0-6 loss to Chelsea that allowed City to move up, poor Arsene Wenger and his 1000th game as manager in Premier League.
On a more upbeat note, Vincent Kompany is back to Pellegrini’s rooster after serving his 1-match suspension for the red card against Hull. This year Pellegrini is careful to avoid all the rumors of mind-games, which were frequent in times of Sir Alex Ferguson taking on “noisy neighbors” as he called Man City.
Pellegrini continued to shed light on the upcoming game speaking about the September match between the two teams: “Of course it is a special match for the fans because they love winning against Manchester United, but for me all the games are special because you have to get three points. It is not my duty to analyze what David Moyes has done at Manchester United. I think everyone knows it was always going to be difficult for him to replace Sir Alex Ferguson, but I don’t analyze what he’s done.”
Manchester United v Manchester City derby analysis and comments
• The biggest Premier League derby takes place tonight
• Online sportsbooks in United Kingdom favor Manchester City despite them playing away
• Pellegrini is cautious about bookies’ predictions
Man United are entering the biggest Premier League derby in upbeat spirits after going through to the quarters in Champions League with a 3-0 home win against Olympiacos and beating West Ham on the weekend.
Pellegrini, however, was quick to note that the Citizens had a very bad period falling against Wigan in the FA Cup and failing to overcome the mighty Barcelona in the Champions League. According to the manager this could very well play against his team’s chances. But on the other hand, could play to their advantage.
Pellegrini added: “All of us want to stay in every competition but when you are eliminated one of the positive things – if you can find a positive thing – is that we are now just focusing on the Premier League. You don’t have problems in that sense, mentally or physically. We are just trying to fight for the title. I know we must go game by game and we just have to win on Tuesday and then at Arsenal on Saturday after that.”
The betting odds for tonight
According to most online sportsbooks Manchester City are the favorites in tonight’s derby with a line of 2.15 compared to 3.30 odds for Manchester United. The draw will pay at 3.30 as well. 1-1, however, is the most expected result, paying at 7.00. Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko lead the way when it comes to First Goalscorer odds with a line of 6.00 each, followed by Wayne Rooney and Yaya Toure at 7.00 odds each.