Ahead of this Sunday’s eagerly awaited derby clash, bookmakers Paddy Power have already taken the bold decision to pay out on City winning the title.
With an eight point lead at the top of the table, many pundits believe that a City victory at Old Trafford on Sunday will all but end the title race, however Mourinho’s United side come into the game of the back of four victories and are unlikely to go out without a fight.
The payout will cost them in excess of £500,000, even if City go onto fluff their lines at the top of the table.
Before the season, the Blues were 15/8 to top the league – but are now 1/9, odds which will only shorten with a victory at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Mourinho’s United are distant 9/1 second favourites – while City are 22/1 to clinch a treble (Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League), and just 50/1 to win an unprecedented quadruple (as the treble, but with the Carabao Cup).
They’re already short odds to score more than 100 goals in the league this season (1/3), to break the Premier League points record of 95 (Evens), and to go unbeaten for the whole campaign (7/1).
Paddy Power brand ambassador and former Manchester United player Paul Ince said: “It’s both brave and stupid of Paddy Power to pay out – we’re not even half-way through the season yet. It’s crazy to rule out Manchester United, and even Chelsea.
“It’s great for those who backed City, of course, but it could all change – and Paddy Power could end up with a lot of very expensive egg on their face.”
But the bookies seem confident – at 12/5, United are the biggest price they have been to win a Manchester derby at home since David Moyes’ reign of terror in 2014. City went on to win that game 3-0.
A Spokesman for Paddy Power commented: “We hold our hands up, we’ve fully bought into the hype and can’t see who will come close to Pep’s lads this season.
“If you ignore the sky blue shirts, empty seats and Manc accents, being at the Etihad feels like watching a Guardiola Barcelona side. So we’re rewarding the shrewd punters that knew they’d walk it this year.
“Then again, if some of our previous pay-outs are anything to go by, Mourinho can rest easy yet. We paid out over $1m on Hilary Clinton to be president and look where that left us.”