Pete Nordsted: Don’t expect goals in Sunday’s Manchester derby

This Sunday sees one of the matches of the season when Manchester City take on neighbours Manchester United in a vital top of the table clash.

Both sides are coming into this match on the back of midweek Champions League defeats, and despite their European failure, Roberto Mancini’s side have an excellent home record domestically and are yet to be defeated this season.

When facing the Premier League elite, their recent home record reads won five, drawn three and lost two.

Despite that impressive run, it is Sir Alex Ferguson’s side who are at the top of the table and their record away to teams of City’s stature reads won four, drawn two and lost four.

The match odds look correctly priced but what is interesting, and a very strong trend, is the lack of goals in the recent head-to-head meetings at the Etihad Stadium.

When looking at the last five seasons at this venue, none of those Manchester clashes in the league saw over 1.5 goals, and both teams did not find the net in any of these matches.  

When taking into consideration the above stats, there is some very good value in backing Under 2.5 goals at 23/20 (2.15) along with the “No” on both teams to score which is priced at 5/4 (2.25).  There’s every chance that this could be quite a tight affair containing two or less goals.

In another of Sunday’s matches West Ham take on Liverpool at Upton Park and striker Luis Suarez is suspended for this game. 

Worryingly for the Reds, the Uruguayan has scored 10 of the 19 Liverpool goals this season, and there is no question they are nowhere near as potent without the influential forward.

On a more positive note, midfielder Lucas has now returned from injury and he is a very important cog in the Liverpool midfield.

West Ham are coming off a great victory last weekend against European champions Chelsea and I believe they are good enough to avoid defeat.

The Hammers can be backed on the Asian Handicap +0.25 goals at 4/5 (1.80) which means that should the game end a draw, then you receive half of your odds.

Manchester City v Manchester United
West Ham v Liverpool

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You can follow Pete on Twitter @petenordsted

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