The Manchester Derby is the highlight of this weekend’s Premier League programme.

Recommendations

Manchester United to beat Manchester City 13/8 BetVictor

Crystal Palace to beat Leicester Cty 23/10 BetVictor

Swansea City to beat Aston Villa 8/5 BetVictor

Manchester United v Manchester City

This should be an exciting game between teams 1st and 3rd in the table. City are msising Aguero and Silva but in De Bruyne and Sterling have two creative players in form. The side has scored 24 goals this season and taken bottom half sides apart. Meanwhile United have only conceded 8 goals in 9 games, with the improved fortunes of the team built on a very solid back line, now protected by two of Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger and Herrera

Something has got to give here and i expect Van Gaal’s side to be tactically set up to thwart Cty going forward, relying on Mata/Depay/Martial and Rooney to create just enough in the final third of the field against a City side that could be missing Kompany again.

The bookmakers have United 13/8 favourites with City 9/5 in a place. I like United to edge a game likely to be less attacking than many would expect

Leicester City v Crystal Palace

Two of this season’s success stories meet on Saturday with Leicester in 5th and Palace in 6th. Led by the goals of Jamie Vardy Leicester have scored 19 goals so far this season with a counter-attacking style and a lot of pace going forward. They have though conceded 17 goals, with an achilles heel at set pieces. Two centre backs aside they are one of the smallest teams in the league.

Under Pardew, Palace are a less gung-ho side than Leicester. They have scored 12 and conceded 10 but in attacking trio Zaha, Puncheon and Bolasie, playing behind a long striker and in front of Cabaye, they are a real threat too. What i like about their prospects in this game is their size across the pitch which really matches up well against Leicester. Iassume they will defend deep to guard against Leicester’s pace.

Palace are 23/10 best in a game where Leicester are as short as 13/10. Palace are clear value here.

Aston Villa v Swansea City

Two teams in poor form meet on Saturday. Villa have one win all season, sit in the bottom three with another manager under pressure. The task of integrating a large number of new players into the side late in the transfer window, without a pre-season to mould a style and minus the spine of last year’s team has so far proved beyond them. It is difficult to see their form turning around soon, there is simply no time in a crowded league season to develop as a unit, and no transfer wndow until January to bring in further reinforcements

Swansea themseleves are on a bad run, now in the bottom half with only two wins this season in the league and two points in their last five league games. There doesn’t appear to me to be the sort of structural problems afflicing the Villa side though.  Ashley Williams marshals a strong defence,  Jonjo Shelvey pulls the strings in midfield but up front the goals, especially from Gomis, have dried up temporarily. At 8/5 though I do like Swansea to return to form this weekend

Recommendations

Manchester United to beat Manchester City 13/8 BetVictor

Crystal Palace to beat Leicester Cty 23/10 BetVictor

Swansea City to beat Aston Villa 8/5 BetVictor