The fact that Cristiano Ronaldo is 200/1 at Betfred to score a hat-trick in the Manchester derby on Sunday says it all.
Contrast that to Raheem Sterling at 40/1 and we have the differing fortunes of a superstar player who so normally can’t miss against someone who still hasn’t got enough composure in front of goal.
On Ronaldo, I just wish he would sort out his body language and cut out all the constant moaning to referees.
The fact is that one of my all-time favourite players is struggling for form at the veteran stage of his career – and but for his name and the reaction it would cause I cannot fathom why he isn’t substituted more often.
As for the big clash at the Etihad tomorrow, just this once it’s a splinter job for me because I’m sitting firmly on the fence!
It should be a cracker, with plenty more than just bragging rights on offer for both teams.
My prediction is a score draw. That’s 6/1 at Betfred – and if you want to be specific, we’re 18/1 that the most eagerly-awaited derby for years ends 2-2.
Betfred make City 6/4 to win to-nil and pick up all three points to maintain their lead over Liverpool, who have a relatively straight-forward game against West Ham at Anfield this evening.
But remember, it’s a one-off game and United – still well in the frame for a top-four finish – are a huge 7/1 to win it.
Ralf Rangnick’s side are 9/4 behind Chelsea and Arsenal for a top-four finish, which although won’t in any way represent a successful season is realistically all we can expect with the Champions League a tall order.
Premier League Betting Odds
The most common scoreline bet ahead of the derby is 3-1 to the Blues which is available at 11/1.
City players dominate the first goalscorer betting, with Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden both 11/2 – while Riyad Mahrez and Kevin De Bruyne are 5/1 and 6/1 respectively.
Ronaldo, despite his dip in form, is 9/1 to score the opener – while fellow moan-a-lot Bruno Fernandes is 12/1 and Jadon Sancho 16/1.
So why as a big Red do I think a score draw is possible? Well, both teams are proving inconsistent of late – although admittedly things aren’t as bad at City. At the end of the day, it’s a one-off game which to so many fans is like a cup final.
Marcus Rashford’s place in Rangnick’s starting XI is now under pressure from both in-form starlets Sancho and Elanga so we’re due a decent performance from him.
It was heart-breaking to pay out to the tune of £750,000 on City retaining the title before Christmas, but it was the right thing to do and I don’t regret that decision at all.
Despite the Blues’ slight dip in form and Liverpool going on a run, I remain supremely confident City will be champions.
The bottom line is they have the best manager and one of the best squads in the world.
They walloped us at Old Trafford, but I’m convinced that won’t happen tomorrow – but is that my heart ruling my head?
Football Betting Odds