For football fans across the UK and indeed the world, this weekend is a big one. Manchester City will take on Manchester United at the Red Devils' home ground of Old Trafford this Saturday, and with plenty of changes in both teams' dressing rooms since they last met, the stakes and anticipation are both high.
Here at Profit Accumulator, we believe that high-profile sporting events such as the Manchester derby represent perfect opportunities to take advantage of matched betting, so we thought we would have a closer look at some of the facts behind this weekend's massive fixture.
Both teams have a strong track record
When it comes to predicting the result of this weekend's derby, it really is anyone's guess. The all-time record shows that United have emerged victorious in 71 of these contests, City 49, while there have been 51 draws since the teams first met - as West Gorton (City) and Newton Heath (United) - in 1881.
United do have the psychological advantage, however, of having won two of the most recent Manchester derbies, in April 2015 and March this year. Only time will tell whether United's winning momentum continues into this weekend's clash.
The game will be football's most expensive ever
This weekend's United v City game is set to become the most expensive game in the history of football, with the two clubs putting forward players worth a total of more than £600 million. Recent splurges on such talent as Paul Pogba and John Stones is helping to catapult this game to the biggest of the season so far – but who will come out victorious?
Managers Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola are both prepared to splash the cash and find the biggest names for their squads, but with the pair having a colourful history, it won't be sheer numbers but instead sheer passion and skill that will likely make this weekend's matchup so memorable.
Ibrahimovic is the player to watch
Perhaps the most exciting thing about this weekend's derby is the history between Mourinho and Guardiola. During the Champions League semi-final between Inter Milan and Barcelona in 2010, then-Inter boss Mourinho was seen whispering in Barcelona counterpart Guardiola's ear. While the exact subject of the exchange was never publicly revealed, it was thought to have something to do with then-Barca forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who had earlier been one of the Portuguese coach's greatest servants at the Italian club.
Now a United player under Mourinho, if Ibrahimovic does make it into this weekend's team, all eyes will be on him. He could be a crucial part of United's success on derby day - and it simply adds to the spice that he has had a difficult relationship with the Spaniard himself down the years.
Newcomers are expected to play key roles
Although there's always a decent turnover of players in the squads of these usually title-challenging teams, there will be particular interest in their latest acquisitions this time around. Centre-back Eric Bailly, for example, is expected to be in United's team after he was declared the club's Player of the Month for August.
This weekend will be Bailly's biggest professional test so far. With menacing City striker Sergio Aguero out injured, Bailly will have much responsibility on his shoulders. As a young defender in a new league, Bailly has impressed with his quick and responsive performances, but when faced with top-class opponents, his positioning may leave room for improvement – inevitable, perhaps, for a young defender in a new league.
Over in the blue corner, Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo will make his debut on one of the world's biggest stages. Despite success in La Liga for Barcelona, Bravo will need to prove that he can perform in a very different, much more notoriously physical league. Famed for his strong distribution, Bravo is one of the most expensive goalkeeper transfers of all time, so expectations are high for his first City appearance.
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