YOU DON’T win the league on one result, but a big loss can see the wheels soon fall of a title challenge.
It was a 5-0 defeat to Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona that put the writing on the wall for Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid in 2010/11, and the Special One has been smarting ever since.
The two managers continue their rivalry in Saturday’s hugely pressurised Manchester derby, and I see this being a nervy, cagey affair.
That huge loss to Guardiola aside, Mourinho isn’t known for tactical clangers. He will use all of his nous to negate City, who have been free-scoring so far.
With both teams on maximum points, something will have to give, but a draw could well suit both sides at this early stage of the season.
All signs are pointing to a two-horse race between the league’s biggest summer spenders, and a loss could have huge psychological repercussions for both the players and the managers.
I’ll be taking Betway’s generous 9/4 on the draw. Plus, while City have been scoring, United have been running a tight ship.
Goalkeeper David de Gea has only had to pick the ball out of his net once in three matches. I’m not so sure he’ll have to do it for a second time on Saturday lunchtime, either.
Mourinho likes to keep it compact against his biggest rivals, then take the points on offer against lesser teams.
When he last won the league, in 2014/15 with Chelsea, his six matches against the other Champions League qualifiers (Arsenal, United and City) averaged just 1.5 goals a game.
That’s almost a clear goal less than the 2.4-2.6 that Sporting Index are predicting on the total goals market. I’d say it’s a seller’s market and I’ll certainly be doing so.
It’s also worth noting that four of those matches were draws. There’s value to be had, but if it’s goals galore you’re after, then look away now.
Draw 9/4 Betway
Sell total goals 2.4S porting Index