|The Manchester Derby offers promises, City must win to heap pressure on Chelsea, United must win to avoid falling far off the title race... Who wants it more?|
Manchester United vs Manchester CityOld Trafford1:30pm
The Manchester derby is here, a game of huge significance at the top of the table, a huge opportunity for the home side to prove they’re not a spent force, the visitors also have a chance to heap pressure on Chelsea at the top before the Blues play later on, it will be fun.
The international break is here again, one we dread because of lack of activities and the likelihood of our favorite players getting injured, but for these players they know bad results will hover around for two weeks before they get the opportunity to make it right, no one wants to lose at this time.
It’s a difficult time for the red half of Manchester, once again they had to depend on their veteran Cristiano Ronaldo to avoid an embarrassing defeat away at Atalanta in the champions league with defeat staring them in the face.
Ronaldo struck deep into added time to hand United a point that meant they would be well placed to advance to the next phase of the elite tournament but you can tell the Portuguese is just helping them to paper cracks.
Manchester City have problems of their own but they’re up to it, they lost to Crystal Palace right on their own ground last weekend and made things right with a 4-1 win at Club Brugge; City are now top of their champions league group ahead of PSG.
The Manchester derby has its own story, it’s not a game any side wants to lose, ex players and managers have had their say and as it stands it’s delicately poised, partly because of bragging rights but largely because United have found ways to best their rivals in recent fixtures.
You look at the table, their form and eye test and you might be tempted to hand this to the visitors but United beat high flying City home and away last season, leaving us wondering if they will do it again this term, and to put it into context, the Red Devils won those games at times they were really low.
There’s something seemingly predictable to City’s game these days and their body language as well suggest they’re bored, the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling are struggling and the midfield is being ferried by Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva.
There’s no striker of note for City to rely on but even their defenders score, United will depend on the magic of Ronaldo again and some element of luck, they will be happy to concede the ball and wait on the counter, will Ole Gunnar Solkskaer stick to his new found formation or bring back Mason Greenwood?
City will set up to dominate as always, keep possession and tease United till they succumb, but with Bruno Fernandes running in the hole and Paul Pogba unavailable due to his straight red against Liverpool, City must be wary of counter attacks.