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Rupert Wyman 7th Jan 2012 - 10:11

United they stood then divided they fell

Sir Alex Ferguson is in denial about the quality on offer at the Etihad stadium. Both clubs may have been knocked out of the Champions League but it was City's maiden season in the competition.  Man United are playing City on the back of two defeats and they have their weakest side in years.

City have recently lost to a resurgent Sunderland and they were unlucky against Chelsea but they proved in the 6-1 (250/1) win at OId Trafford, that they are a far superior side to United.

Man City to win at home has shortened during the week and is 11/10. The draw is 11/5 and the away win is 13/5. Rooney was disciplined by Ferguson last week after he became aware of the player going out on Boxing Day.

Not all is well in his relationship with Sir Alex and he was dropped for the clash against Blackburn. United are clearly the underdogs for the derby and they are coming into the match at the wrong time. If you fancy United, you are best off backing them at 6/4 draw no bet.

Over 2.5 goals is 10/11 and that looks a solid punt to me, City will want to put on a show in-front of the TV cameras. They are still aggrieved that United view their biggest fixtures of the season as the matches against Liverpool, they see themselves as United's greatest rivals now. They will attack from start to finish and United look ropey at the back.

You have the likes of Jones putting the ball into his own net, Ferdinand slow and unfit and Sir Alex facing yet another keeper crisis. Aguero is 11/2 to score first and Balotelli is 6/1. These two players can bang goals in for fun and Ferdinand will not relish this test.

It appears that United had enough problems in their recent home game against Blackburn with Yakubu. Dzeko, Balotelli and Aguero are all 40/1 to score a hat-trick and I fancy another mauling in the Manchester derby. Edin Dzeko has already scored three goals against Manchester United this season.

You can back City to win by four or more goals at 20/1 if you fancy a small flutter on the less obvious.

City have not conceded a goal in any of their last five FA Cup matches. They are 8/5 to keep a clean sheet. City's only major worry is that they look like they will be without the Toure brothers.

A red card in the match is 11/4 and it could be a dirty affair. Man United players will not want to suffer another embarrassing defeat and they are 21/20 to be awarded more cards than City. Neither side is that aggressive but with both teams out of the Champions League, this is another chance of getting a step closer to more silverware.

Rooney may have been quiet over the Christmas period but he will start the match and he is 6/1 to score the first goal. A match against United's fierce rivals may bring out the best in him.



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