Sport

Derby betting: Manchester United triumph good value after short-priced City’s Champions League struggles

By Jeremy Culley

Derisively labelled as ‘our little brother’ by United legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the build-up to Sunday’s clash, Manchester City represent poor value with the bookies to replicate their derby success of last season.

It is cheeky of the Norwegian to dismiss City – they are the Champions, are unbeaten in the league this term and, of course, scored six to humiliate United last October.

But given their disasters in Europe –becoming the first English team not to win a Champions League group game by losing in Dortmund on Tuesday – odds of 5/4 with most bookies on a City derby win are poor.

For those looking to place high stakes on the outright win, United’s value of 11/5 is far more appealing.

Reds fans still stung by City’s 6-1 win at Old Trafford may be looking for revenge – and Paddy Power will give you 500/1 on that score in United’s favour on Sunday. 

There is certainly value out there for those hoping for a goalfest. Ladbrokes offer 100/1 on a 3-2 City win, with ex-United striker Carlos Tevez netting first.

This seems tempting given United’s midfield constraints – with Tom Cleverley and Anderson ruled out, Sir Alex Ferguson will be relying on at least one of veterans Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes to start.

Neither looked convincing in defeat to Romanian minnows CFR Cluj on Wednesday.

However, with United boasting a three-point Premier League lead over City and with the memories of some recent defensive horror shows still vivid, Fergie will probably play it safe and look for a point.

A scoreless draw is therefore tempting, and Bet Victor provide a liberal 15/1 on a blank, but remember this TOP TIP.

Always back no goalscorer bets rather than the 0-0 scoreline. The price is the same and the bet still wins if an own goal is scored.

If you remain committed to picking a winner, 1-0 United with Jonny Evans opening the scoring warrants 250/1 at Ladbrokes – good value providing Nemanja Vidic makes no surprise return from injury to take the Northern Irishman’s starting berth.

Alternatively, draw half-time/United full-time – possibly with a late winner reminiscent of the one snatched by Scholes at the Etihad Stadium in 2010 – is 8/1 with Bet Victor.

Added intrigue will be provided by Tevez, again playing against his former club. Most outlets will give you 6/1 on the Argentine scoring first.

Coral and William Hill offer 40/1 on him really rubbing salt into United’s wounds with a hat-trick, while an unlikely Wayne Rooney treble is an incredible 100/1 with Bwin.

Dramatic comebacks are best catered for by the turnaround market. United to lead at half-time with City winning the match is commonly available at 25/1, with the reverse priced at 33/1. 

A quirky side note is, as ever, provided by maverick City forward Mario Balotelli.

The Italian became a father on Thursday, and odds of a goal anytime on Sunday to dedicate to baby daughter Pia are 12/5 with Sky Bet.

Of course, if these tips bear no fruit, Paddy Power’s Money-Back Specials can provide some solace – this time all losing scorecast and first goalscorer bets will be refunded if Robin Van Persie scores anytime.

Picture courtesy of Yahoo UK, with thanks.

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