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Goal Australia's betting expert Paul Gough expects the heavyweights to share the spoils in the first Manchester derby of the 2013-14 English Premier League season

Manchester City are set to go in as favourites ahead of the first Manchester derby of the season against United on Sunday but surely on the balance of probabilities these two sides are overdue to play out a draw.

Incredibly just one of the past 20 matches in all competitions between the great rivals has ended in a draw, dating back to 2005.

The past eight matches in all competitions have ended in four wins apiece and prior to that the two giants drew 0-0 in an EPL clash at Eastlands in November 2010 - the only drawn match between the two clubs in nearly a decade.

With home advantage in Sunday's game, City have been installed as the $2.20 favourites at bet365 while United are priced at $3.40, with the same odds on offer for a draw.

United look good value considering they won 3-2 at City last season - on the way to reclaiming the league title off their neighbours - while City also had to travel midweek to the Czech Republic to open their Champions League campaign while United had the luxury of a home game against Bayer Leverkusen.

But it's difficult to recommend either team with confidence.

City have scored six goals and conceded none in their two home games to date but those matches were against battlers Newcastle and Hull, while Manuel Pellegrini's team have looked ordinary in losing at Cardiff and drawing at Stoke.

United also have seven points after four games of the new season but have already lost at Liverpool and drawn at home with Chelsea and just don't appear to have the same aura of invincibility around

them now that David Moyes has taken over from Sir Alex Ferguson as manager.

So we would prefer to back the draw in this game and a high-scoring one at that given that the past eight meetings between these sides have produced a total of 30 goals.

A 1-1 draw is the favoured option in correct score betting markets at bet365 at $6 but we like the look of a 2-2 draw at double the odds at $12.

And we would certainly rather take the $1.80 on offer in the Total Goals market on there being more than 2.5 goals scored in the match than go for less than 2.5 goals at odds of $2.

As for the first goal-scorer market, it's always hard to go past United's prolific striker Robin Van Persie, who is the $6 favourite at bet365 and good value at $2.37 to score at any stage of the match.

City were the $3.50 title favourites heading into this round - just ahead of Chelsea at $3.75 and United at $4.50 - but this match is likely to have a huge impact on title betting in a season in which Arsenal [$8.50], Liverpool [$9] and Spurs [$13] are also shaping up as legitimate contenders.


Back Arsenal to beat Stoke.

Go for the draw in both the Man City-Man United and Cardiff-Spurs matches.

Arsenal should have few problems at home against Stoke in another of the four Sunday games on offer this weekend.

The Gunners are the shortest priced favourites of the day at $1.36 at bet365 compared to Stoke at $8.50.

However, Swansea and Tottenham look risky favourites in the other two games after playing in the Europa League on Thursday night.

Swansea are $2.30 away to relegation favourites Crystal Palace [$3.20 at bet365] but may find it hard get up for the game after the high of Thursday night's sensational Europa League win in Valencia.

And Spurs picked up a host of injuries in their 3-0 win over Tromso - particularly in defence - and look risky favourites at $1.85 away to Cardiff City at $4.20 in a game where we fancy the draw at $3.60.

*Note prices subject to change

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