Manchester City v Manchester United Spread Preview

Cards Galore Once More in Manchester Derby?

This time last season, an entire nation was gearing up for a Manchester derby that many believed would decide the destination of the Premier League title. With City running out 2-1 victors in the first of last season's Mancunian matchups, that ultimately proved to be the case, but the eventual margin of supremacy still came as a shock.

Flash forward eleven months, and the situation is very different for the red half of Manchester. Still marooned outside the top six, Jose Mourinho¿s Manchester United squad is in dire need of a confidence boost. The Red Devils come into this clash after two hard-fought Premier League wins, both by a 2-1 scoreline, with the first of them - over Everton on 28th October - having a very real hint of fortune about it.

By contrast, Manchester City have continued producing five-star performances, and knocking weaker teams for six with disquieting regularity. Most recently, Pep Guardiola's men tore Shakhtar Donetsk to shreds in a 6-0 Champions League mauling, just days after having thrashed Southampton 6-1 in an effortless display of sheer ruthlessness backing up their credentials as long-standing favourites in the Premier League spread betting outright market.

Cards Imminent?

While both sides are capable of getting results without resorting to foul play and time-wasting, the context of playing for local pride means that cards are inevitable. No matter how much a club may lose its original sense of identity in modern, money-driven times, playing for the badge will always be the undying ideal, and this passion was certainly in evidence during April’s derby.

That was particularly evident in the second half, in which City took all six of their cards. Collectively, United were no angels themselves, taking three yellows – two of which came in the first half. Late bookings have also been a common feature in Manchester derbies, with five of the last six (in all competitions) seeing at least one booking after the 80-minute mark.

Sporting Index offer a number of spreads focused on bookings and cards which you can find for this fixture on the Manchester City v Manchester United spread betting markets page. In the yellow and red cards market, yellow cards are worth 10 points, while reds are worth 25. Ahead of every match, Sporting Index makes a prediction of how many points will be tallied, and then create a spread based on that prediction. Using this game as the example, the points spread is 50 to 54.

Sell for a Well-disciplined Affair...

If it turned out to be a low-key match, with only three yellow cards in total and no reds, then the market would settle on 30 points (3 yellows x 10 points = 30 total). The point tally is then deducted from the sell price, so were you to sell at 50 you’d win twenty times your wager (50-30= 20). If the initial wager was £5, that’s a £100 return.

However, if there were three more yellow cards in the game, you would have lost 10x your stake. This is because the three extra bookings would see the market settle at 60 points (6 yellows x 10 points) which is 10 points above the 50 point sell price.

...Buy for a Feisty, Furious Fight

In wagering £5 on the buy price of 54 points you’d be hoping for a lively affair with more cards than the Vegas strip. If the tally of nine yellow cards seen in the last Manchester derby was to be repeated here the market would settle at 90 points (9 x 10 points). Thus, you’d win 36 times your stake as payout, and using the £5 staked example, that’s £180 returned.

Of course, it’s another story if the match turns out to be a tame affair. Were only 4 cards shown and you’d staked £5 on the buy price (54 points), the market would settle at 40 points (14 below the buy price), meaning a loss of fourteen times your stake (£70).

Mourinho Looking to Silence Critics

While City are favourites ahead of this weekend's clash, Mourinho will be secretly glad that his side aren’t fancied. Whilst for most teams these days there’s no shame in being beaten at Manchester City, only a win will truly silence the naysayers in the Stretford End, who are only too ready to proclaim the Special One finished.

While some would say that City had already wrapped up the title at the time of United’s 3-2 revenge win at the Etihad in April, it would be unfair to suggest the result didn’t matter. Though perhaps fatigued by midweek action in the Champions League, City gave their all, with every intention of sealing the title via victory over their neighbours.

Even a lagging, leggy Manchester City squad is still more than a match for most fully-fit Premier League sides, and it takes a special kind of ingenuity to come back from 2-0 down and win at the home of the champions-elect. With United now unbeaten in their last three matches at the Etihad, there can be no guarantees when it comes to this weekend’s derby.

Additionally, City’s home wins over United in the era of Sheikh Mansour’s ownership have generally been narrow, hard-fought affairs settled by a single goal, which further hints at a wariness of what United can still do, even in the post-Fergie era.

Will Manchester City honour their status as favourites and avenge April's defeat? Place your bets on Man City v Man Utd with Sporting Index.

Please note: Spread Betting involves risk. Losses may exceed deposits.

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