A Premier League match is won by the away side roughly 30 percent of the time. In a game among two of the big six clubs, that rate drops to about 22 percent.
So how the hell has the away side won six of the last seven Manchester derbies? Especially when one of those is teams is the current Manchester United?
There must be something in the Manchester water. Either that, or Newton and Ridley’s beer. Anyway, both legs of the recent Carabao Cup semi-final were won by the visiting team, and United also won in the league at the Etihad back in December.
Pep Guardiola’s team have won this league fixture in the past three seasons too, and could become the first visiting side to win four in a row at Old Trafford since City themselves did so in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s.
United only have one home league derby win in the last nine years, and Paddy expects that trend to continue. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are 4/1 to prevail, with the draw 16/5 and City odds-on at 4/7.
The underlying numbers are keener on United, but they’ve rarely dominated the stats when hosting another big club in recent years. Perhaps the only thing in their favour is they need the points more than City.
The champions go into the weekend 22 points adrift of Liverpool but seven clear of Leicester. United are fifth now, but could be eighth by the time this match kicks off. With the visitors having had an extra day to prepare, they should have too much.
Betting on whether a penalty is going to be awarded might seem like a crazy idea. How can you possibly know? Obviously you don’t, but if ever a match seemed like it was nailed on, this might be it.
Over a quarter of the spot kicks in the 2019/20 Premier League have been awarded to the Manchester clubs, who are first and second in the penalty chart.
Add in everyone’s favourite dramatic uncle, Mike Dean, and just see what happens. Dean points to the spot more often than any other ref, and he has given City a penalty in all four of their league matches he has taken charge of this season.
LiVARpool must be livid.
Even if there is a penalty, it won’t guarantee goals, as over half the misses in the Premier League this season have been by these teams. And while Paddy expects both teams to get on the score sheet, I’m not convinced.
Prior to their score draw at Goodison Park, at least one team had failed to score in United’s previous eight league games. It’s a similar story for City in big away games, as only one of their last eight league trips to face another top side – their 3-1 loss at Anfield in November – has seen both teams net.
Since the start of 2017/18 United have scored 19 goals in their 14 home games against other sides from the big six, and Marcus Rashford has eight of them.
Sadly for Solskjaer he’s not available, leaving him only two players who’ve bagged more than one goal across the aforementioned 14 matches: Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard. Sorry, JLINGZ, we may have to look elsewhere.
Martial is the home side’s shortest priced player to score, at 23/10. He’s a sensible option but has been more effective on the road in big games, rather than at Old Trafford.
Bruno Fernandes is in form, with goals in his last three appearances, and he should be on penalties too. For slightly more value, he’s the man.
Manchester City players occupy the top five spots in the goal scorer markets. Their last seven league goals at United have all been scored by different players too, so who do you pick?
The value choice is Bernardo Silva, at 13/5, as he has scored in their last two visits to Old Trafford, and has more ‘big six’ goals on the road than any other City player in the last three seasons.
It’s about time Raheem Sterling got back on the goal trail though. Sterling, who puts the H and M into Raheem, hasn’t scored in his last 10 appearances, but has been racking up expected goals along the way. Time to turn expected into actual, mate.