Manchester United v Manchester City preview: Rooney set to return for United

Manchester United v Manchester City Premier League match and betting odds preview.

manchester-unitedManchester United v Manchester Citymanchester-city

Old Trafford, Monday April 8th; kick-off 20:00.  Ref: Mike Dean.
Live on Sky Sports 1

Wayne Rooney should return for the big derby clash with City on Monday, while Scholes (knee) and Fletcher (bowel condition) are ruled out.  For the visitors, Maicon, Richards (knee) and Rodwell (hamstring) are also out of contention.

Although still mathematically possible that United could be pipped to the Premier League title by City again, this is the game that City simply must win to keep any faint back-to-back title hopes alive.  But it would be some feat.  Manchester United will be aiming to keep their seventh Premier League clean sheet in a row, having not conceded for an impressive 627 minutes.  It seems Fergie’s warning about never again losing the title on goal difference was heard loud and clear.

And with United having dropped only 3 points from a possible 51 against bottom-half opposition this season, it’s clear to see how they’ve got so far ahead of the chasing pack.

For City, they have to go for it, so expect to see an attacking game with United looking for opportunities on the counter.  David Silva is a key man, having created more chances per match than any other player in the Premier League this season (3.3). A City win would certainly make for an interesting finish to the season – and for better returns on against the bookies.

Prediction: Manchester United 2 Manchester City 3
Betting odds on full time result: Man Utd win 2.20, Draw 3.40  Man City win 3.25
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Probable team line-ups:
Manchester United (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Jones, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Carrick, Anderson; Valencia, Kagawa, Young; Van Persie.
Manchester City (4-2-3-1): Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, K Toure, Clicky; Y Toure, Barry; Silva, Tevez, Nasri; Aguero.