Manchester City v Manchester United Saturday 7th April, 17:30 Live on BT Sport
Man City reeling from Champions League loss
For the second time this term, Man City were made to suffer in the face of Liverpool's pressing, aggression and potent attack at Anfield. At the scene of the Citizens' sole Premier League defeat, Pep Guardiola's men were torn apart by a three-goal burst in the first 31 minutes of their Champions League meeting.
It was a rare night when Guardiola's tactics went awry and his team selection was questionable. Aymeric Laporte's selection on the left side of City's defence was always heavily laden with risk but most contentious of all was the exclusion of Raheem Sterling, in such wonderful form, to accommodate Ilkay Gundogan.
The Citizens supremo will no doubt ponder changes ahead of Saturday's derby encounter with the return Champions League leg on Tuesday to also consider. Sergio Aguero is expected to be passed fit, while Sterling, John Stones and Fabian Delph will all hope to be promoted from the bench.
Man Utd strengthen their grip on second
Romelu Lukaku scored his 100th Premier League goal as Manchester United threw off the shackles to comfortably see off Swansea last Saturday and strengthen their grip on second place. Alexis Sanchez doubled the Red Devils advantage in a dominating performance from Jose Mourinho's men.
The Swans improved after the break but United were always in control. Having started the game at a high tempo, and getting ahead early on, the Red Devils never looked like relinquishing. Indeed, the hosts played the attacking football craved by the Old Trafford crowd as they created numerous scoring chances.
Mourinho described United's first-half performance as "perfect" and so might be reluctant to make too many changes to his XI. Therefore, Anthony Martial, Scott McTominay and Marcus Rashford may all have start from the substitutes bench, whilst Phil Jones and Marcus Rojoare also fit enough to return to the fold.
City's inflated price too big to ignore
Victory for Manchester City will see them crowned champions and should the Citizens seal their title triumph on Saturday, they'll have done so with more games to spare than any side in English top-flight history.
The Citizens have W8-D2-L3 in their past 13 Premier League fixtures with the Red Devils and boast a W22-D5-L0 record at the Etihad in league matches. That 27-game streak includes 14 successive victories on home soil for Pep Guardiola's group, making City solid 1.97favourites.
There are question marks: how much has Wednesday taken out of the team, knocked their confidence and provoked potential changes to their XI with a crunch Champions League tie awaiting only three days later? City have W7-D0-L0 by an aggregate 19-3 in Premier League games immediately after continental duty this season, including wins at Chelsea, United and at home to Arsenal.
Manchester United have managed W1-D3-L5 when travelling to the Big Six under Jose Mourinho, firing blanks on seven occasions. Their solitary success came at Arsenal earlier this campaign when David De Gea produced an outstanding performance.
In the Red Devils' four trips to the Big Six this term, they've been out-shot 92-30 and lost the shots on-target count 34-10 so it's difficult to justify a punt on the guests, even at their inflated 4.10 odds for this encounter. With the odds too big to ignore, I'm comfortable investing my faith in a home win here.
Go against the goals grain
The past three meetings between the Manchester giants at the Etihad since 2014/15 have all produced Under 2.5 Goals winners and with the same selection providing profit in six of United's nine trips to the Big Six under Jose Mourinho, it might be worth going against the goals grain on Saturday.
Despite their obvious flaws, the two teams have cumulatively kept 31 clean sheets this campaign and conceded a combined average of just 0.71 goals per-game, making the Under 2.5 Goals a fair angle of attack at 2.04.
Back Manchester City to win v Manchester United @ 1.97
Back Under 2.5 Goals in Manchester City v Manchester United @ 2.04