Manchester City vs Manchester United Prediction, Betting Lines & Picks

  • Manchester City look unstoppable and are favorites to continue their winning run
  • Manchester United’s title challenge has faded away dramatically in the last month
  • Pep Guardiola’s men should overcome their neighbors and could keep another clean sheet

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Manchester City vs Manchester United Predictions and Picks

Back Manchester City and No. Manchester United have been rather cautious in big games this term, but they will struggle to keep a clean sheet against the runaway Premier League leaders. City should score, though, so a home win to nil looks like the best selection for Sunday’s showdown.

Pick:

Manchester City to win ()

How to Watch Manchester City vs Manchester United

Manchester City vs Manchester United
What Manchester City vs Manchester United
Where The Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England
When Sunday, 7 March 2021, 11.30 AM EST
How to watch NBC Sports

Manchester City are in irresistible form right now. At the end of 2020 they were down in eighth place in the Premier League table, albeit with games in hand on most of the teams above them. Now, with 11 games left to play, Pep Guardiola’s side already have one hand on the Premier League trophy, having put together an extraordinary run of 15 wins on the bounce and 21 in all competitions.

City’s rock-solid defense was key to their victories early on in the sequence, and they have rediscovered their attacking firepower in recent weeks. Crucially, that has come without City losing any of their resolve at the back. Potent going forward and miserly in defense, back Guardiola’s men to beat Manchester United on Sunday without conceding a goal.

Manchester City Look to Be the Best Team in Europe Right Now

A 21-game winning streak would be impressive in any season, but it is particularly so given the unique conditions of the current campaign. The matches are coming particularly thick and fast this year, with European soccer having started a month later than usual due to the coronavirus pandemic. Moreover, City are still competing on four fronts: as well as the Premier League, they are seeking to win the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Champions League.

As mentioned above, City turned their form around by going back to basics. Aware that his team’s title tilt would be over unless they tightened up, Guardiola focused on making City harder to score against. Ruben Dias, a summer signing from Benfica, helped in that regard, while John Stones was brought in from the cold after coming close to leaving the club at the end of last season. Guardiola also improved City’s structure without the ball and their pressing after losing possession.

In the first nine league wins of this sequence, City kept eight clean sheets. As time has gone on they have also recaptured their attacking verve, hitting five past West Bromwich Albion and four against Crystal Palace, Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers, the last of which came on Tuesday. They are in ominous form ahead of the second Manchester derby of the campaign.


Editor’s pick:


No Longer Title Contenders, United Face a Fight for the Top Four

The first meeting between these two teams was a drab 0-0 draw at Old Trafford. That has been a familiar result for Manchester United in the biggest matches this term. Since the 6-1 home defeat by Tottenham Hotspur in early October, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has abandoned all ambition when his team have faced another member of the so-called big six. United have drawn 0-0 with City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea (twice) in 2020/21.

None of those results is bad in isolation, but they have collectively heaped more pressure on the smaller games; if a team is not going to win matches against the best, they need to be almost perfect against the rest. Unfortunately, that has not been the case for United of late. Wednesday’s 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace was just the latest example of Solskjaer’s side dropping needless points.

After beating Fulham 2-1 in the middle of January, United rose to the top of the table. Since then they have won just two of eight Premier League outings, failing to beat Sheffield United, Palace and West Brom as well as Arsenal, Everton and Chelsea. United seemed to lack belief at the very moment their confidence should have been at highest: namely when they were looking down on the rest of the division from the summit of the standings.

The Red Devils are now in danger of being dragged back into the top-four race. Defeat here would see them slip 17 points adrift of Manchester City in first place, but that is the least of their worries right now.

United Are Strong on the Road but That Will Not Be Enough

Wednesday’s stalemate at Selhurst Park was a disappointing result for United, but it did extend their unbeaten run away from home to 20 Premier League games. That is an excellent achievement, with Solskjaer’s side yet to taste defeat on their travels this term.

The main reason for that is United’s counter-attacking prowess, which comes to the fore away from Old Trafford. However, City are much-improved when it comes to stopping the quick breaks forward of their opponents, and United will have to be particularly precise if they are to create high-quality chances at the Etihad this weekend. They also face the tricky task of trying to take the ball off City, whose possession game is back to its best now that Kevin De Bruyne is fit and available again.

United may have kept back-to-back clean sheets at Chelsea and Palace in recent days, but a third shut-out on the bounce is improbable. City simply have too much firepower up top, and although they are unlikely to hit four goals past United as they did to Wolves in midweek, another win looks likely.

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Greg Lea

Expert on Soccer

Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]