This Saturday Manchester United host Manchester City with a chance to go level on points with a win. Manchester United re coming into the match with momentum following a comfortable win over Tottenham Hotspur and thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo’s heroics a draw at Atalanta. Meanwhile, Manchester City were held scoreless in back to back games before a win over Club Brugge.
Manchester Derby Gives City Chance to Bounce Back
Lack of Striker Leaves City Struggling Up Front
At times Manchester City struggle to score because they don’t have a recognised striker and need to change that in the transfer window. Despite all the great players they still have at their disposal none of them are world class finishers and this was evident in the 2-0 loss to Crystal Palace and loss on penalties to West Ham United in the Carabao Cup.
Converting opportunities into goals is becoming a cause for concern for Guardiola none more so demonstrated than in the loss to West Ham when they had 25 shots and 7 on target but no goals to show for their efforts. With a recognised striker they would surely have turned more chances into goals. It is concerning in the long term because it can happen during the biggest games of the season as it did last season in the Champions League Final a defeat to Chelsea. They had Sergio Aguero but he was not fully fit and played for only the last fifteen minutes. A fully fit Aguero could well have made a huge difference in that game and he historically has Chelsea’s number scoring 15 goals against them.
Manchester City do have a tendency to step up for huge matches in the Premier League and one of the best wins of the season so far was the 1-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge that was a defensive master class. The 2-2 draw at Liverpool was a huge result aided by a sensational block from Rodri. However, they have not won the Manchester Derby in over two years with three losses and one draw in the Premier League.
Pep Guardiola needs to play his best team in order to win this game and Phil Foden, Gabriel Jesus and Riyad Mahrez need to lead from the front and if needs be, Raheem Sterling can come off the bench. Aymeric Laporte is suspended for the game after his red card against Crystal Palace and Ederson will need to improve his shot stopping with Ronaldo is always being a threat.
Manchester United Look to Build on Tottenham Win
Ronaldo is one of those players who can win games but he will need his team mates to step up and be at their best as he can’t do everything on his own but with Ronaldo there is always a chance as was evident in their draw at Atalanta in a game they trailed twice and both goals were scored by Ronaldo as United once again came back from falling behind. Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood are other attacking options that can give Manchester City problems and can take focus away from Ronaldo.
Harry Maguire will be needing a much improved performance as he has struggled against Liverpool and was woeful against Atalanta although he has performed well in recent derby matches. To make things harder he will be without the impressive Raphael Varane. Although David De Gea isn’t in his prime he is still arguably a better shot stopper than Ederson and United head into the game with a quiet confidence of grabbing another win to put their faltering season back on track.
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