He’s been involved in some memorable Manchester derby matches over the years – the league game settled by Wayne Rooney’s overhead kick in February 2011 immediately springs to mind, not to mention the 6-1 massacre at Old Trafford last October – but there’s no doubt in Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand’s mind about which is has favourite.
Speaking to bwin in an exclusive interview ahead of his side’s crucial showdown with Manchester City on Sunday, Ferdinand unhesitatingly picked Michael Owen’s winner in a 4-3 league win for United in September 2009 when asked to name his best derby moment.
For Ferdinand, the dramatic nature of the goal – it came in the sixth minute of injury time – was only half the story, for Owen’s strike helped to deflect attention away from a mistake by the former West Ham and Leeds player earlier in the game which allowed the Citizens to equalise.
The 34-year-old will be hoping to be put in an error-free performance this weekend given the magnitude of a game.
For as well as settling bragging rights in the city, the match could also go a long way to deciding the destination of this year’s title.
The two Manchester clubs are out in front at the top of the table, with leaders United three points ahead of second-placed City and the Citizens seven points better off than third-placed Chelsea.
But while Roberto Mancini’s men are playing second fiddle to their biggest rivals in the table, home advantage means they go into the match as 23/20 favourites in bwin’s 3Way football betting market.
This leaves both the draw and a win for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side at 23/10.
The good news for United fans is that even though Ferdinand’s trophy haul includes five Premier League titles, a Champions League trophy and two League Cups, he remains as determined as ever to ensure his side come out on top both on Sunday and at the end of the season.
“I don’t really rest and sit on my laurels and look back on what I’ve won. I’m more about what’s next and what can I win and keep continuing and adding to the trophies that I’ve got,” he said in the latest bwin Players Forecast.
“You look to people like Paul Scholes and the manager – they’ve won so many things so you’ve got to still have that burning desire.”
Manchester United are 4/5 favourites to win the 2012/12 Premier League title going into the Manchester derby, with defending champions Manchester City priced at 13/10.
New customers to bwin qualify for a free £20 bet and placing this on Man Utd to win the Premier League title will return £36 if the Red Devils come out on top at the end of the season.