Going into the latest International break, the two Manchester clubs are neck and neck in the Premier League table, and this season’s championship race seems to be between these two clubs.
Favourites are Manchester City, and if anyone was in any doubts about their title credentials, they need look no further back than to the Light Blues’ 1-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last weekend.
Chelsea were coming off the back of one of their best wins in recent years, an away 2-1 victory over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, so confidence would have been high. In contrast City were rocked by injuries to Benjamin Mendy and Sergio Agüero in the build up to the match.
Despite all of this, it was as comprehensive a 1-0 victory as you could get, as City demonstrated their class and also showed the rest of the Premier League that they are capable of keeping a clean sheet, further underlining why they are the bookmaker’s 4/6 favourites in the Premier League Betting this year.
The other Manchester club, United, are putting mid table teams to the sword this year, with new striker, Romelu Lukaku, leading the way.
The matches they struggled with last season, such as against the likes of Southampton (lost 1-0) and Burnley (drew 1-1), they are winning with ease this season, as best demonstrated with the ruthless 4-0 thrashings of West Ham and Everton.
Anybody with any industry insight knows that these are the sort of matches United need to be winning if they are to win the league this year, and so far so good. They are dispatching mid table teams with ease so far this season, and this is why they are the bookmakers second favourites for the league title at 7/2.
United are greatly helped by the aforementioned Romelu Lukaku. So far this season, his 7 Premier League goals see him as the league’s top scorer, and he can currently be backed at 11/4 to be this season’s Golden Boot winner. Incredibly, he’s the second favourite behind Harry Kane, which just goes to show how well the Spurs front man is doing.
For City to win the league, I believe it’s imperative they don’t allow United to open up a gap at the top. We’ve all seen how tactically astute Mourinho is, and I believe if his United team can get a lead, it will be incredibly hard for City to catch them.
United don’t look like dropping points against the teams outside the top 6, and if United go into the Manchester Derbies with a points lead, Mourinho will just use his nullifying tactics to kill the game, and ensure that the status quo is maintained by playing for (and most probably getting) a draw.
The acid test is yet to really come for United though, as they have tricky away fixtures coming up at Liverpool and Tottenham.
The Liverpool fixture is United’s first match back after the international break, kicking off at 12.30pm on Saturday 14th October. Liverpool are slight favourites at 8/5, given home advantage. Mourinho’s United are 17/10, with the draw at 23/10.
City have a far easier task that same weekend, at least on paper anyway, they are at home to Stoke. Guardiola’s team are 1/6, with the draw at 7/1, and unlikely Stoke win is 16/1.