It's not often you get the chance to back Manchester United at odds-against playing at home this season and on price alone I feel duty bound to make them a recommended bet for this Monday night special.
Yes, City are their nearest opponents in the league and, yes, this is a derby match.
But records don't get much stronger than United's at Old Trafford with 14 wins from 15 games and I don't buy the argument that City will win because they are the more motivated side.
Had Sir Alex Ferguson's team won in the FA Cup at Chelsea on Easter Monday, they could possibly have been excused a reserved performance from a weaker than expected lineup with Fergie looking to safeguard his best players for a potential double.
They didn't though, and there's no reason to think that the Sir Alex will not field his best XI, and massively motivated for a fixture with nothing but pride at stake.
Successful betting is built on taking value prices and, at 2.3411/8 to win, United are just that.
Old Trafford has been criticised for lacking atmosphere in recent times but there will be no lack of passion from a full house on Monday night. The capacity crowd and those watching at home will be expecting a cracking game from two of the most talented attacks in English football, but I feel it will be defences to the fore. The Opta stats back that up: City have kept the most clean sheets in the league this year (14) and United are next on the list with 11. David de Gea has not had to pick the ball out of his net in the last six league games.
With those stats on board I'm happy to take a chance on under 2.5 goals at odds-against. There have been plenty of goals in this game, but the equivalent fixture around this time last year finished 1-0 to City. Bold punters might take a chance on either team winning by a goal to nil at 10.09/1 for United and 13.012/1 for City.
Vincent Kompany scored the winner that night at the Etihad and his return is big for City. He scored against Newcastle as City romped to a 4-0 win and just having the captain back - both on the pitch and in the dressing room - will be huge. That just makes a tight game more likely and I don't think his return will be enough to steer City to victory. Robin van Persie may have gone cold - not that I find that of any great concern - and I just fancy United to hold sway over their Noisy Neighbours by the odd goal.
Back United to win @ 2.3411/8
Back Under 2.5 goals @ 2.166/5
Pick your Ultimate XI from the squads at Old Trafford and the Etihad here!