It’s been a strange title race. At the beginning of last month, Mario Balotelli was the hero against Bolton, scoring to briefly take Manchester City five points clear of rivals Manchester United. A month later, Balotelli was the villain after his red card at Arsenal and City were eight points adrift.
And just when everyone thought they knew the narrative of this season, United slipped up and City can once again claim top spot with a derby win at the Etihad Stadium on Monday night.
The omens are good for the home side. Not only is momentum with them but City’s home record is phenomenal – undefeated with 16 wins, they are the top scorers on home soil and have the best defensive record in the Premier League in front of their own fans.
There’s also the small matter of the 6-1 win they recorded in the reverse fixture back in October.
City can be backed to claim the three points they need at 6/5 (2.2) with Bet365.
But beware United. No other side has won more than nine games away from home in the Premier League this season - United have won 12. A 13th here would leave them needing just a solitary point from their final two games to clinch a 20th title.
United are 9/4 (3.25) with Bet365 to inflict City’s first home league defeat of the season. The draw is available at 12/5 (3.4).
In the goalscorer markets, Carlos Tevez is 7/1 (8.0) to score against his former club.
That will intrigue those with a taste for the theatrical but taking the same price for Sergio Aguero would surely be the better option – the Argentine striker has opened the scoring eight times in 28 Premier League starts this season.
United’s Wayne Rooney has been the champions’ first scorer in eight of their last 12 Premier League games and is the favourite to net first here at 13/2 (7.5) with Bet365.
In the other markets, expect goals in this one. The fact United will be happy with a draw should not sway the punter – City have scored three goals or more in 13 of their 17 league games at home.
Couple that with the fact United have only failed to score twice in 35 Premier Leagues this season, it would be a major surprise if either team fails to find the net in this one.
The bet of the day is for both teams to score and it’s available at 4/7 (1.57) with Bet365.
They’re offering a matched bet on the in-play market up to £50 – simply place any bet before kick-off and you'll be entitled to a in:play bet of the same value (up to £50) which will be refunded if your first in:play bet loses. You can effectively double your stake by backing the same selection or try something different like cards or corners.
|Both teams to score at 4/7 (1.57) with Bet365
||Aguero to score first at 7/1 (8.0) with Bet365
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Adam Bate is a professional freelance journalist who specialises in football and betting. He is editor of GhostGoal which can be found here - you can also follow Adam on Twitter