Man United v Man City: A couple of Tuesday night same-game multi-bets
The hosts avoiding defeat and putting up a good fight on the corner handicap market is the first of Jamie Pacheco's two same-game multi-bets ahead of the semi-final first leg...
Manchester United v Manchester City Tuesday January 7, 20:00 Live on Sky Sports Football
Hosts won't lose, corner count could be tight
Manchester City are 13/20 to win the game and that has to be considered prohibitively short. I'm not the only one who thinks that.
City have been much better of late winning seven of their last eight in all competitions and that one defeat away at Wolves coming after they had Ederson sent off very early on. But who did they lose to prior to starting that run? Manchester United, in that 2-1 win at the Etihad where City dominated the game but where United gave them a lesson in soaking up pressure and taking risks on the break.
Curiously, there's been a trend for the away side having the upper hand in this fixture with the last five between these two yielding two away wins each and one home win for City. But for me that's more coincidence than anything and what it says more is that these sides are pretty evenly matched when they play each other. Unsurprisingly there's a suspicion that even when they're not playing that well, United can really raise their game against their bitter rivals.
This competition may well be deemed United's best chance of winning something this season and I'm sure they'll field their strongest possible side. They've only lost once at home this season in all competitions in 15 games, a 2-1 loss against Palace. And though this is the hardest home game they've had bar that 1-1 draw with Liverpool, I'm going with them to avoid defeat on the Double Chance market at 6/5.
I'm also not sure about how the corner handicap market has been priced up. United are given a +3 start and only once in their 15 home matches would that not have been enough to have a winning bet, when they got three to Leicester's nine back in September, even though they won the game anyway.
In fact, in eight of their ten league games at Old Trafford they won the corners battle outright. Again, many of those opponents weren't in City's class but we have to hope those stats hold out once more. If United get more, the same or stay within two, it's a winner at 10/11 with the double coming to 5.19.
Not as many cards or goals as you'd think
Twenty-six out of 32 of City's game this season have had 50 points or less on the bookings odds market and 20 out of 31 of United's matches have had less than 50. Fifty points is less than five yellows or less than a straight red and three yellows.
It suggests that City in particular aren't involved in matches with lots of cards which in turn suggests that with one or two exceptions, their own players tend to keep their discipline.
Seven of the last 11 between the two Manchesters had less than 50 points with the slight fly in the ointment being that Mike Dean is in charge, who averages exactly 45 points as one of the stricter referees from among those who officiate in the Premier League. Of course, it's a gamble to go on the low side between rival clubs in a game that really matters but once again, the stats are in our favour. Under 50 points is 10/11.
I think the odds compilers are expecting more goals than the match might have. The 6/5 that the game has under 2.5 goals is decent enough but at an admittedly considerably shorter price, I'd favour 'no' on both teams scoring in the first half.
Played over two legs, there's no reason why both sides should go all guns blazing from the off here and this may actually be the archetypal slow-burner. With just two of the past 10 games between these two seeing both teams scoring before the break, we should be pretty safe at odds of 2/9. The double comes to 2.40.