The Manchester Derby: City V United. A title deciding game?
It’s the Manchester Derby weekend. Old Trafford hosts a crucial tie as Manchester United welcome nemesis neighbours Manchester City in the much anticipated Premiership clash. With the teams placed first and second in the table, it promises to be an exciting ninety minutes.
United have won eleven of their fifteen games, with no shortage of goals, netting 4 against the likes of Everton, Swansea and Crystal Palace. Drawing with Stoke and Liverpool. Nursing the shock 2-1 loss to Premiership newcomers Huddersfield, and only a narrow home victory against Spurs, José Mourinho will perhaps be more anxious than his counterpart Pep Guardiola.
Manchester City have had an excellent start to the season, so far unbeaten and forced to a draw only with Everton. Also with a plethora of goals, wins of 7-2 over Stoke, with 5 and 6 over Palace and Watford respectively. The Citizens are flying high in the Premier League.
Who has the edge in the Manchester Derby?
It will not be easy to pick a winner going into the game. Manchester City will start as narrow favourites being so far unbeaten. Aptly nicknamed “Shark Team” this season, devouring all their opponents, they have had a near unblemished start to their Premier League Campaign.
The regular first eleven have all been announced available with the exception of David Silva.
Manchester City’s manager Pep Guardiola reported that Silva had sustained an injury in the final minutes of their game against West Ham, and is unsure if the midfielder will be available on Sunday.
Manchester United have been victorious in forty of their home matches under Mourinho’s rule. Their League campaign start has been largely a succeful one, with only David Wagner’s Huddersfield Town spoiling an impressive run.
With a commendable season start, and injuries only to Eric Bailey and Michael Carrick, José Mourinho has all options open. Matic has been suffering from an strain but Mourinho has assured the media that he will indeed start the match.
Manchester United looking for the home win
With both teams on a fairly even keel, a City win will probably decide the league title. However, if United should win, then it could blow the title race open once more.
If Guardiola’s team should win they would equal Arsenal’s 2002 record for the most wins in a row in an English Premier League season.
It would be rather ironic if Manchester City should pull off another “Fergie time”’ win against Man United at Old Trafford as they have been doing in their last few games.
It will be Pep Guardiola versus Jose Mourinho from El Clasico to Manchester Derby. These are old rivals with new teams, but the goal is the same.
Guardiola v Mourinho. Who will win?
Mourinho gave Pep an headache when he opted for pressing hard against Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey in 2012. Will he employ a similar plan? ‘Parking the bus’ for which United have become known this time out, may not be enough against the City strike force.
Jose Mourinho may need to employ new tactics for the derby. City’s goals have been thundering in this season. Not only have their attackers have been scoring, the midfielders have an equally impressive tally. With this said, Man United have not been short of goals either.
Will It Be Decided By The Keepers?
If this game should be decided by the goal keepers, then it will be a hectic one. Both goal keepers can impact the game. David de Gea has been having an awesome season. He has made some super saves and was magnificent their last game against Arsenal.
The United keeper has been said to have multiple hands and more than two feet. He has saved some brilliant shots and is a beast in goal. He doesn’t fall short in saving penalty kicks either.
Ederson is also a valiant goal keeper. He has proven himself in front of goal for the Citizens. He has saved some superb shots from difficult angles, with long arms and is quick on his feet.
Firm And Fair
Games of this magnitude call for excellent and exemplary referees. Both being powerful clubs with some marquee highly skilled players, and notoriously demanding managers.
The referee and his assistants will need to be fluid and firm. With valuable three points at stake, both teams will no doubt be using their gamesmanship skills alongside their football.
The controversial referee Michael Oliver has been appointed for this weekend’s game. Oliver was made famous for his 2014 sending off of Chris Smalling. He was brought back into the spotlight when he denied Man United a clear penalty last year.
No stranger to the Manchester Derby, Oliver has made calls against both teams, with his judgement is said to be fair. He will be looking to keep the tempo of the game going, reducing stoppages to a minimum.
This Manchester Derby will be exciting and telling. With both teams out in full force, there promises to be an enthralling ninety minutes, perhaps on and off the pitch. An exciting clash which could influence the standings at the end of the season.
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— Manchester City (@ManCity) December 7, 2017