Manchester United produced a fine home performance to collect a victory over Spurs at Old Trafford in midweek. They are the only side to have taken points of Liverpool as well in this campaign. So will they be able to stop Man City at the Etihad? There have been wobbles by Pep Guardiola’s men this season, but they were back on form in midweek with a thumping of Burnley. Read our Manchester City vs Manchester United betting tips for more.
Man City at 3/10
Man Utd 9/1
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on December 4th, 2019 at 11:18 a.m.)
Manchester City had a little hiccup with a 2-2 draw at Newcastle last weekend. But they showed their character and quality in midweek when they had to go to and face Burnley at Turf Moor. The Citizens romped to a 4-1 success there, looking far more like their usual selves. At home, this season City have won five of seven league games (D1 L1) and they have won each of their last three there. Their last home game saw them produce a 2-1 success over Chelsea after having fallen behind.
It is their scoring threat which is going to trouble Manchester United, who are poor at the back. The Citizens are averaging three goals per home fixture this season in the league and across their 7 home fixtures, have conceded just the 6 goals. So it hasn’t been dreadful defensively from them at home. 8 of City’s 10 league wins this season have been by a margin of at least two goals. They have also opened the scoring in 10 of 15 league fixtures, firing off at least two goals in each of their last three at the Etihad.
Man City won both league meetings last season by a 2 goal margin
Man Utd have lost only one of their last four trips to the Etihad (W2 D1 D1)
Both teams have scored in three of the last four league meetings
Manchester United actually put in a good, strong energetic performance to beat Spurs 2-1 at home in midweek. Where that commitment and intensity has been for the rest of the season is anyone’s guess. It is a four-match undefeated streak of form that they are now on and they have suffered one defeat in their last seven (W3 D3). So that is showing signs of consistency, but it’s not been good enough by their standards and they look weak in defence.
Away from home, it has been a really poor effort from them. It is a W1 D3 L3 record that they have taken on the road. The one win that they got away from Old Trafford was against Norwich, who are lodged in the relegation zone. That’s their only win in their last eleven road games in the EPL. Despite their lack of wins, this will be their first game away from home against one of the so-called Big Six in the Premier League this season. It has only been 8 goals in 7 away games from United. That’s not the strike rate to realistically challenge City. The Red Devils have not scored an away clean sheet in this campaign either.
You just don’t know what you are going to get from United. They have raised their game in some of their bigger games, but have fallen flat so many times with energy levels. There is going to be a lot of ball chasing in the game by them and they should fade away. Manchester City can get their three points thanks to their superior quality up front.
Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho will be heading back to his old stomping ground on Wednesday night. That adds a nice extra factor to this contest. Spurs have won back to back league games under Mourinho and will be looking for a big away three points. Manchester United were left frustrated at home against Aston Villa on the weekend only managing a point. Will Tottenham’s improved scoring under Mourinho be enough to take down the Red Devils? The odds on Tottenham to beat Man Utd are at 13/8* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on November 30th, 2019 at 11:49 p.m.). Read our Manchester United vs Tottenham betting tips for more.
Man Utd 6/4
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on November 30th, 2019 at 11:49 p.m.)
Jose Mourinho has guided Spurs to consecutive wins in the league on his return. They have both been 3-2 wins. They have both been games in which Spurs have raced out to 3-0 leads only to have been pegged back. That should suggest that they can go and raise Man Utd some problems at Old Trafford in midweek. Their goal-scoring output will certainly be pleasing the new boss, while their defence still needs a lot of work.
Spurs are unbeaten in their last four league games, and home and away have lost just one of their last six (at Liverpool). Yes, it has been a poor W1 D3 L3 record that Spurs have taken away from home this season, but they seem to have been lifted since the change of manager. Especially Dele Alli who has hit some form. Spurs have been leading at half time in four of their seven road games, and you wonder if the Lilywhites can get out to a positive start if it will take much for the heads of the United players to drop.
Man Utd and Spurs traded away wins last season to nil
Spurs have won three of the last five league meetings (L2)
United have won five of their last six home games against Spurs
Both teams have scored in just one of the last eight league meetings
Manchester United laboured to a 2-2 home draw against Aston Villa on Sunday. It has only been one defeat in their last six, but that’s a total of five goals given up in their last two games. It has been back to back draws by them against Sheffield United and Aston Villa and the Red Devils found themselves trailing in both of those fixtures. There has been no clean sheet by United in any of their last eight and they are struggling in defence. It was overall, another flat and uninspired performance by them on the weekend.
One thing United have going for them is that they are getting goals on the board. They have netted at least 2 goals in four of their last five. But with just two wins in their last nine games home and away in the top flight, how much will punters trust them? There hasn’t been a clean sheet from them in any of their last four at Old Trafford. The Devils have conceded the opening goal in three of their last four league outings (home and away) and if they allow a quality side like Spurs to get up a head of steam, there could be along even ahead for the Red Devils.
Tottenham are worth a little flutter here. Who would put it past Jose Mourinho coming up with a plan to win back at Old Trafford? Spurs look the better of the two sides in attack without question. There are two suspect defences on show here, but that extra attacking quality of the visitors can win the day.
Manchester United played out a thrilling 3-3 draw at Sheffield United last weekend. They were on the ropes in that game, falling behind 2-0 and not looking like turning it around. But they scrapped their way back as the Blades fell apart and got themselves a point. The Red Devils will be favourites at home this weekend as they face Villa. The odds on Manchester United to beat Aston Villa have the home side at 9/20 odds-on* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on November 29th, 2019 at 3:35 p.m.). Read our Manchester United vs Aston Villa betting tips for more.
Man Utd 9/20
Aston Villa 6/1
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on November 29th, 2019 at 3:35 p.m.)
One defeat in their last five league games (W2 D2) can be seen as progress by Manchester United. They were lucky to get out of last weekend’s trip to Bramall Lane against Sheffield United with something. They had been 2-0 down with 20 minutes to play and ended up drawing 3-3. But they have been strong in defence at home, conceding just the five against them on the Old Trafford Tuf. United are undefeated in their last four at home in the top flight with a W2 D2 record.
Overall this season they have put up a W3 D2 L1 record there. United have only managed to score more than one goal in two of their six home games. But they have scored exactly three goals in all but one of their last four played home and away. So that’s better signs for them there. United average of 1.8 goals per home game. The Red Devils have been winning at both half time and full time in their last 6 home matches against Aston Villa in all competitions.
This is the first meeting since the 2015/16 EPL season
The Red Devils are on a three-match league winning streak against Villa
Both teams have scored in three of the last five league meetings
Aston Villa have lost their last six league trips to Old Trafford
Villa got themselves a great three points at home against Newcastle last weekend. That was a comfortable three points for them too. They badly needed that did the Villains as they had lost their previous three league outings. But their away record is terrible at W1 L5. They have had some positive moments, but Dean Smith’s men have struggled to close out games. Smith incidentally, just signed a contract extension this week. Villa are averaging 1.5 goals per away game, which isn’t bad.
But they have conceded at over two goals per away game and that has helped 83% of Villa’s road games go over 2.5 goals. The Villains have conceded five goals in their last two away games, scoring just one. Only two of the league defeats that Villa have suffered this season have been by a margin of at least two goals. So they may well get into the thick of it at Old Trafford. But their ability to stay the course over 90 minutes is lacking. Six of the twelve away goals they have conceded have been in the final fifteen minutes of fixtures.
Villa have shown in patches on the road this season that they can be competitive. because of that it is worth considering backing them to get on the scoresheet on the weekend. As for the win, that would be an upset, and the recent goalscoring exploits of the Red Devils suggests that they can do enough at home to get the three points.
This will be Manchester United’s longest European trip to the tune of 4,800km. That’s some trek to undertake ahead of the Premier League weekend. The Red Devils are already assured of a place in the next round of the competition, while they will lock down the top spot with a game to spare if they win on Thursday. Astana have failed to get a point on the board so far. Read our Astana vs Manchester United betting tips for more.
Man Utd 11/8
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on November 26th, 2019 at 8:35 p.m.)
It has been a steady campaign from Manchester United, if not spectacular. Manchester United were under some pressure at home against Astana in the first meeting and it was only a second-half strike from Mason Greenwood that gave United a narrow 1-0 win. It was never expected to be that tight. But Manchester United have not given up a goal in this group and are facing a team who have lost all four of their fixtures so the odds on Manchester United to beat Astana look reasonable enough* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on November 26th, 2019 at 8:35 p.m.).
So it has been a fruitless campaign for Kazakhstan side Astana in this group. They have no chance of qualification and are simply trying to add a bit of home cheer. Their first two games of this campaign ended in one-goal margin losses for them. But then things got a whole lot worse for them as they were beaten 6-0 by AZ Alkmaar and then 5-0 back at home against them.
Those were Astana heaviest ever European away and home defeats. Astana won all four of their home qualifiers in this campaign, and have won 9 of their last 13 European home fixtures (L4). They have earned a W4 D3 L4 record at home in the group stage of the Europa League, but are on a three match losing streak currently in such fixtures.
The meeting at Old Trafford on Matchday One was the first meeting
That was United’s first-ever game against a team from Kazakhstan
It was Astana’s first meeting against an English side
While the Red Devils have posted a W3 D1 record in the group it has been quite ponderous progress by them. Their first two victories in the group were by a 1-0 scoreline only, and that sandwiched a 0-0 draw at AZ Alkmaar. They put a bit of shine on things with a 3-0 home success over Partizan on Matchday Four, however. This really should be a winnable match for them, even if they don’t send out the strongest side.
They have already booked a spot in the Round of 32. Manchester United are W5 D3 L5 in their previous 13 Europa League away games. They are undefeated in their last seven such fixtures (W4 D3). If you tally up home and away matches in the competition, United are unbeaten in 15, winning eleven of those. They have taken 11 clean sheets in their last 14 in the competition as well.
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on November 26th, 2019 at 8:35 p.m.)
This is probably not going to be an exciting thriller of a match. Manchester United have not really been on the front foot in this campaign, just doing enough to get by instead. With Astana struggling the odds on Manchester United to beat Astana by a 1-0 correct score may not be a bad option.
This is the only game on Sunday in the Premier League and it should be intriguing. Sheffield United have had a tremendous season so far and they have been so strong in defence. Chris Wilder’s men may well have a chance as they line up against the Red Devils who have been struggling for away goals.
A win for the Blades would send them four points clear of the Red devils. The odds on Sheffield United to beat Manchester United are at 5/2* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on November 19th, 2019 at 7:52 p.m.). Read our Sheffield United vs Manchester United betting tips for more.
Sheffield United 5/2
Manchester United 23/20
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on November 19th, 2019 at 7:52 p.m.)
Whichever way you cut it, the season by Sheffield United has been so impressive. Twelve games into the season and holding down fifth place is no mean feat by a newly promoted side. The Blades will be carrying a five-match unbeaten streak of form with them in the top flight and will be looking to improve on some excellent recent home form. Sheffield United have won their last two league outings at Bramall Lane.
They didn’t concede in either of those wins against Arsenal and Burnley, so everything again comes back to the defence of the Blades. Leicester are the only team in the top flight heading into the weekend, to have conceded fewer goals than what Sheffield United have done this season. Given that Manchester United have scored in just one of their last four top-flight away games, then the defence of the Blades could once again be the cornerstone of success. The odds on Sheffield United to beat Manchester United are at 5/2* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on November 19th, 2019 at 7:52 p.m.)
This season Sheffield United have taken a W3 L3 record at home. But they have tasted success in their last two and all three of their wins at Bramall Lane have happened with a clean sheet. It has only been four home goals conceded by the Blades this season and four of their six home games have ended under 2.5 goals. Given their defensive output, you wouldn’t expect them to fall apart against Mna Utd.
Sheffield United are not a prolific scoring side, even though they do like to press forward at home. With 13 goals in their 12 league games, they are the lowest scoring side in the top half of the table. But that is just another nod to their defence. Under 2.5 goals has happened in 7 of Sheffield United’s last 8 league games so that has to be a trend worth considering for Sunday’s EPL action. The longer that they keep the visitors off the scoreboard, the more their confidence will grow.
This is the first meeting since 2016 when United took a 1-0 home win in the FA Cup
The Red Devils are on a seven-match winning streak against the Blades
Sheffield United are W1 L5 from the six previous EPL meetings
Both teams have scored in just one of the last seven Premier League fixtures
It is a W1 D2 L3 away record that Mancehstser United have recorded this season. The three defeats in that sequence have happened in their last four away games and United didn’t score in any of them. The losses were at West Ham, Newcastle and Bournemouth. Overall home and away it has only been two wins in their last seven Premier League outings.
While they have won two of their last three, both 3-1 successes over Brighton and Norwich, this is their first road game of the season against a side who are currently sitting above them in the table. United, to their credit, have played five games this season against fellow top-eight teams and have taken a W2 D3 record from that. But with only five away goals scored this season, will they have the punch to break one of the best defences in the league?
Backing Sheffield United to defend home territory is probably not going to be an off-putting thought. Chris Wilder’s men have been superb at the back and can hold off the challenge of the visiting Red Devils. Given their recent home form, they could nick the win as well. The odds on Sheffield United to beat has appeal.
It says a great deal about the situation of Manchester United when they are kicking off at 4/1 underdogs in a league game against Liverpool* (betting odds taken from Ladbrokes on October 17th, 2019 at 23:48). But such as the struggles have been for the Red Devils this season, will they be able to raise their game in such a difficult fixture to get one over their old rivals? If they do, United will derby Liverpool equaling Manchester City’s record of 18 straight Premier League wins.
There wouldn’t be a better time for Manchester United fans to see their side produce a good performance than at home against Liverpool, who are striving to equal a Premier League record. A home win would fully be defying some huge odds, but the key to United digging in there and coming up with the goods could be all in their defence.
All of the criticism thrown at United this season has been towards their lack of creativity and indeed, lack of goal-scoring output. That’s justifiable. They have scored more than one goal in just one league fixture this season. That happened in their opening game for the season as well. But United have the third joint-best defensive output among the top twelve teams in the current standings ahead of the ninth-round of action.
Liverpool may be showing up at Old Trafford without Mo Salah who took a heavy, heavy knock against Leicester just before the international break. So that could improve United’s chances. If then summer signing Harry Maguire can produce a near-perfect performance to try and shut down Liverpool’s other key attacker, Sadio Mane, then United may be in with a chance.
The Red Devils aren’t likely to go turn on a brilliant show of attacking power. United will most likely have to sit back and look for the likes of Marcus Rashford on the counter-attack. The Red Devils don’t have the scoring threats in their sides like Liverpool have, so this is one occasion where they could be forgiven for putting out an unadventurous performance. A solid tactical counter-attacking game could get them in this.
Liverpool have won all of their league games this season. They are the runaway leaders at the top of the pile and yet they haven’t looked as good as there were last season. The Reds have taken only two clean sheets in league action this season. Three of their four away wins have been by a one-goal margin only and so they have been challenged. They have not been tearing teams apart on their travels.
For example in their last away game, Liverpool were being kept well at bay by Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, and it was only a mistake that gave Liverpool the 1-0 success in the match. Manchester United can look at how well the Blades contained Liverpool in that match and apply some of the same tactics. The fact is, Liverpool have chinks in their defensive armour and set plays, with the aerial threat of Harry Maguire, could be a way forward for United.
Manchester United played out a 0-0 draw at home against Liverpool last season. They are now undefeated in their last six games at Old Trafford against the Reds in all competitions. That’s a pretty decent record and eight of the last nine meetings between the two giants of English football has ended under 1.5 goals.
A low scoring game would suit Manchester United well because it will mean that they are doing a good job in shutting down the Liverpool attack. The Red Devils too have only lost one of their last seven played against Liverpool in all competitions as well (W1 D5) and you take into consideration that it’s been a long time since Manchester United have looked a title contender, then they have found ways to frustrate Liverpool.
The Red Devils must show some strength in this one. They have to. They have to show some big fight, be prepared to get their hands dirty and run themselves into the ground. They have a huge list of injury problems and key midfielder Paul Pogba isn’t fit to make his return. Keeper David de Gea had a hamstring problem on international duty for Spain and is being assessed.
That’s the kind of thing that should make the starting eleven work all that much harder. Liverpool are on a 17 match winning streak at the moment. It has been a phenomenal run, but that will have to come to an end at some point. Will it happen in fairly unlikely circumstances at Old Trafford?