Before the Manchester derby on Monday evening we have a couple of standout games that have huge ramifications at the other end of the table. The two games in focus are Reading’s home clash with Southampton and QPR’s game with Wigan.

Southampton have beaten Liverpool and Chelsea in the past two games to put daylight between themselves and the relegation places. There were plenty of eyebrows raised when Mauricio Pochettino took over from Nigel Adkins, but it’s hard to argue against the appointment now.

Adkins is now at Reading and he looks powerless to stop the Royals going down. They are bottom on the back of their 4-1 defeat to Arsenal and I cannot see them getting anything against the Saints. Southampton know another win here would put them in an excellent position and I expect an away win.

Wigan are also flying and have Arouna Kone to thank. He has been a revelation since Roberto Martinez recruited him, as his two winners against Newcastle and Norwich can testify to. The Latics have won three on the spin in all competitions and have an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley to prepare for.

It’s key Wigan don’t take their eye off the league ahead of the trip to Wembley otherwise QPR could drag them back into the bottom three.

QPR were appalling against Fulham and Harry Redknapp knows another performance like that will mean curtains for them. Loic Remy and Bobby Zamora are forming a decent partnership at the other end and the bet for me is to back both sides to score at 1.73 on BETDAQ.

Even with the Premier League title all but confirmed, I’m really looking forward to Monday’s Manchester derby. Night games always make for a special atmosphere and the rivalry between the clubs will only add to that.

I’ve been really disappointed with Roberto Mancini’s side this year as they have failed to show much fight in their title defence. There have been constant in-house arguments and United’s team spirit has been the difference.

Sir Alex Ferguson will be gutted with the recent exits from Europe and the FA Cup. A win would hammer home the dominance United have had this season and they are a good thing to do just that. It will be lower scoring than the 3-2 win at City, but three points all the same.

Betting on BETDAQ – Alan’s Punts:
Reading v Southampton – Back Southampton at 2.32
QPR v Wigan – Back both teams to score at 1.73
Man United v Man City – Back Man United at 2.29

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