Football News

Will the Manchester Derby be won and lost in Portugal?

By Andrew Francis

Published: 17:30, 5 March 2022

Manchester United make the short trip across the city to face their bitter rivals, Manchester City on Sunday. Both sides have an influential Portuguese contingent – we examine if they will be the difference makers in the final Manchester Derby of the season. 

The stage is set for both sets of players, with Manchester City leading the race for the title whilst the red side of Manchester are focused more on securing a top four finish. There is plenty riding on the game and Betfred have a great offer that could see you really profit if one of the Portuguese players on show at the Etihad Stadium take centre stage.

With a host of talent from Portugal on display, let’s see who might make it a profitable weekend for you with Betfred:

Betfred offer:

CLICK HERE. Applies to customers that place a pre-match single bet (at odds of 1/2 or greater) of £10 or more on Man City v Man Utd played on 06/03/22. £5 in Free Bets awarded if a Portuguese player scores first, paid by 12pm 07/03/22 and removed by 9am 08/03/22 if not used. Full T&Cs apply.

Can Ronaldo turn Manchester red?

There aren’t many players with more of the spotlight on them than Cristiano Ronaldo this weekend, with Manchester United fans hoping for a masterclass from their talisman against their biggest rivals. Ronaldo has scored nine goals so far this campaign, roughly a goal every 2.5 games. As we can see from his radar below, he’s certainly one of the more productive attacking players in the Premier League this season and it’s wise to never write off the legendary attacker.

Back Bruno to blaze the way?

Bruno Fernandes has quietly gone about his business this season, matching Ronaldo for goals scored and having the sixth-most shots of any player in the Premier League. Penalty duties for The Red Devils will fall to either Fernandes or Ronaldo, further increasing the chances that a Portuguese player opens the scoring in this weekend’s crunch tie on Sunday. From Fernandes’ shot map below, it’s easy to see that he’s had plenty of opportunities this season, and it’s not out of the question that he could have a huge impact on the tie this weekend.

Will Silva take the gold?

Bernardo Silva has been in blistering form this season, solidifying him as one of the leading midfielders in world football. He’s scored 10 goals in all competitions for Man City this season, seven of those coming in the Premier League, and has been linked with a big money move to Real Madrid off the back of his sensational season campaign. Silva has played seven times against Man United, whilst wearing the blue of Manchester City and has scored in two of those games, including in the meeting between the sides earlier this season. Whilst deployed as a central midfielder, Silva has been pushing higher up the pitch into a more attacking role, as evidenced in his heat map below.

Could Cancelo decide the derby?

One of the least likely options to open the scoring, at least at first glance, is Joao Cancelo. A little bit of digging shows that he might not be such an outsider to net the opening goal of the game. The full back has has more shots than any other defender, having 58 attempts at goal so far. This is 21 more than the defender (Trent Alexander-Arnold) with the next highest output when it comes to shots and the tenth highest number of shots taken by any player in the Premier League this season, regardless of position. The shot map below gives a great visual of just how any attempts Cancelo has had this season and where he’s most likely to have an effort from.