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Manchester United vs. Manchester City Expert Pick – March 3, 2024

Manchester United vs. Manchester City Expert Pick and Prediction – March 3, 2024 

MANCHESTER UNITED VS. MANCHESTER CITY EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – March 3, 2024 — It’s not often that you see Manchester City and Manchester United downplaying their matchup, but that’s exactly what we’ve got here. On paper, both sides have plenty at stake here, given that City sit one point back of Liverpool for first in the Premier League and United trail Tottenham for a guaranteed Europa League spot.

But both seem to be looking past each other. United in particular has downplayed this match, with Erik ten Hag noting that the Red Devils will still have 11 other matches following this one. Of course, that’s in part because United has major selection issues that could see them struggling to put forth a top side.

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Ten players are projected to miss time, which could have United playing a defensive match. Whether that’s going to be enough to stop the sky blue juggernaut remains to be seen. So far, it hasn’t worked out very well: four of the past five Premier League meetings have gone to City, including a 3-0 decision at Old Trafford earlier this year. In fact, none of City’s four wins over United have been close: they’ve all been decided by at least two markers.

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When: Sunday, March 3 at 10:30 a.m. EST

Where: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, United Kingdom

TV: Peacock

Spread: Manchester United +1.5/Manchester City -1.5

Moneyline: Manchester United +900/Manchester City -375/Draw +550

Totals: Over 3.5 (+100)/Under 3.5 (-120)

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of February 28th, 2024 

Scouting Manchester United

The defense let down in the final minutes against Fulham, and United paid the price. The Red Devils ended up conceding seven minutes into stoppage time, ending up with a 2-1 loss that represented crucial points dropped. United had won four straight going into the Fulham match, but it hasn’t really looked like a European caliber side.

The biggest issue for the Red Devils is the defense, as shown by the fact that they’ve given up a goal in eight of their past nine matches. In the match with Luton, United gave up 22 looks at the net, surviving only because they were able to generate 21 shots of their own.

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Here’s the problem: that only works when you’re at full strength. And with second-leading scorer Rasmus Hojlund out and Harry Maguire doubtful, the Red Devils just can’t count on that against Manchester City. United got outshot 21-7 that day, and this one might be more of the same.

Scouting Manchester City

Only Jack Grealish is down for City, which should give the Sky Blues the foundation they need to get themselves back on track. Manchester City has been winning, but it hasn’t been putting up huge performances. The Sky Blues seem to have been deciding that one goal is all they need, as they have kept three clean sheets in their past four matches.

Erling Haaland was part of the City group that buried Luton in the FA Cup, and the Sky Blues could really use a repeat performance here. They’ve lived on a knife’s edge a bit in their past few games, as they’ve picked up a pair of one-goal wins and settled for a draw with Chelsea. Haaland’s partnership with Kevin deBruyne really went to another level against Luton in the FA Cup, as the striker hit the mesh five times. Nobody expects that in a Premier League match, but having him continue the surge would be helpful.

The only match where City both came up with an attack and spread it around was the Champions League match with Copenhagen. If City only comes up big in the big moments, this would be among them.

Best Bets

Manchester City -1.5: The Red Devils have been fairly listless when facing the top sides. They have selection issues, and Ten Hag sounds more concerned with keeping his job than rescuing his team. City should be able to dictate flow and tempo, which should help the Sky Blues get the offense on the same page.

Over 3.5 Goals: United hasn’t been completely helpless on offense. The Red Devils do score as many goals as they give up, and their recent showings say they’re good for a goal here.

Manchester City 3-1 (+750): Backing the Sky Blues to win by multiple goals makes sense, but so does the possibility of a United goal. With all of that in play, this is where the opportunity on the correct score comes into play.

Dan’s Picks 

 Manchester City -1.5 

 Over 3.5

 Manchester City 3-1


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