The Manchester Derby: Preview

Introduction

All the eyes of the football world will be on MANCHESTER as the first of the two Manchester Derby takes place. In the past 3, premier league games conceded goals earlier in the first half. Then make a second-half comeback to win games, is the story of Manchester United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The reds had a shaky start to the premier league as they won only 2 home games out of 5 played. This weekend Manchester United welcomes their noisy neighbor Manchester City to Old Trafford.

In the cold weather of Manchester in December. The Manchester derby will also be not exciting because no fans allowed into the stadium due to this pandemic. But the game will be exciting for sure. City who also has struggled at the start of the season is now getting better day by day will play against Ole’s Manchester United who is looking to win their 5th consecutive match and will try to improve their home record.

The Manchester Derby
The Manchester Derby

Derby Buildup

United have fared relatively well in the Manchester Derby. They have won exactly half of the 46 meetings between the two sides. With City winning 15 and there being 8 draws. Overall from 182 meetings with the Blue neighbors, the reds have won 76, drawn 52, and lost 54. This is going to be the 183rd Manchester Derby.

FORM GUIDE

Manchester United

While it was European frustration for the Reds. The league form has been excellent of late. Last weekend’s 3-1 win over West Ham United was a fourth successive victory in the competition. Ole’s Reds will be looking to build on that 1-0 triumph over West Bromwich Albion at the Theatre of Dreams last month and get some momentum rolling on home turf, by claiming the derby-day spoils.

Manchester City

Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola’s men have begun to strike up some form in the league too, picking up three points in both of their last two outings – against Burnley and Fulham – without conceding a goal. Those wins mean City go into the showdown just a point and a place behind United, as they occupy the seventh spot in the table after 10 games. 

MANAGERS COLUMN

Both the managers were optimistic about the derby with Pep saying that this match is not a knockout game. But a normal match for 3 points. Pep also confirmed that Aguero and Garcia and Ilkay Gundogan will not be available for the derby. He also said that he has no sympathy regarding Ole’s position at Manchester United because it is a harsh reality, when you win you are a genius and when you lose you are sacked.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær (Manchester United) and Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)
Ole Gunnar Solskjær (Manchester United) and Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)

Ole praised David de Gea who was in the spotlight after conceding 3rd goal from a stupid error made by him midweek. He also commented on Pogba that as he has stated earlier that he is their player and he is in touch with him regularly just like he is in touch with other players.

Stats

  • Manchester United won both Premier League meetings with Manchester City last season. They last won three in a row in the competition against their local rivals between November 2008-April 2010 (four wins).
  • Manchester City has won seven Premier League away games at Old Trafford, more than any other visiting side. Six of their seven such victories away to Manchester United coming in the previous nine seasons.
  • Just 21% of Manchester United’s Premier League points this season have been won in home games (4/19), the lowest share in the division so far this term.
  • Manchester United have won a league-high 15 points from losing positions this season. (all away from home) With their victory against West Ham last time outputting them top of this particular stat all-time for the Premier League (385 points).
  • City has lost five Premier League away games in 2020, last losing more in a single calendar year in the competition back in 2015 (7).
  • Manchester City has won their last two Premier League games by an aggregate score of 7-0. That’s as many goals as they’d netted in their previous seven league games combined. Also, they’re looking to keep three consecutive league clean sheets for the first time since a run of four in April/May 2019.
  • Of all managers to have faced Man City boss Pep Guardiola at least four times in all competitions. Man Utd’s Ole Gunnar Solskjær has the highest win rate against the Spaniard, with the Norwegian winning three of their five meetings (60%).

FORMATION AND TEAM

Manchester United

Ole can play 3-5-2 0r 3-4-1-2 formation. With 3 at the back being Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, and Victor Lindelof. With Aaron Wan Bissaka and Alex Telles playing as a wing-back. Fred was suspended for the champions league clash and was given rest against West Ham could return to partner Scott McTominay as a double pivot. With Bruno Fernandes just in front of them. With Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial who is returning from his injury as 2 strikers.

Predicted Lineup Manchester United
Predicted Lineup Manchester United

Manchester City

City will play with their usual formation of 4 -3-3. Ruben Dias and Laporte as their 2 center-back with Mendy either of Joao Cancelo or Walker as their 2 fullbacks. Then Rodri as their CDM. Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva will be playing in front of Rodri. Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez will be the two wingers and Gabriel Jesus will be their no.9.

Predicted Lineup Manchester City
Predicted Lineup Manchester City

Players to Watch out for

Manchester United

Aaron wan Bissaka
Aaron wan Bissaka

1. Aaron Wan Bissaka

Manchester United paid 50m to Crystal Palace for Engish Right back. His record against Raheem Sterling in derby is amazing as he was fantastic in both the derbies of last season. After conceding 2 goals from the Right-Hand side in the champions league, United fullback will be in alert mode against Manchester city and especially against Raheem Sterling.

2. Bruno Fernandes

Bruno Fernandes
Bruno Fernandes

The Portuguese Magnifico has been really amazing for Manchester United since he joined the team in January. He was the main player for United in the second half of the season. As he took the team to the champions league. This season too, this guy is playing very good football and is involved in almost every goal for Manchester United. He created 8 chances alone against West Ham in 2nd half which is the most chances created by a player in a match this season in the premier league. His work rate and his vision will be a big advantage to Manchester United and will be a big problem for Manchester City’s struggling defense.

Manchester City

3. Kevin de Bruyne

The Belgium international is one of the most popular attacking midfielder and an important player for Man City under Pep Guardiola. Out of 9 premier league start this season this guy is involved in 8 goals by scoring 2 of them and providing 6 assists. The Belgian now ranks second in this season’s Premier League assist charts behind only Tottenham Hotspurs’ Harry Kane (10). The vision and the pass accuracy of KDB can create a lot of problems for Manchester United’s defense who are really struggling a lot this season.

Kevin de Bruyne
Kevin de Bruyne

4. Gabriel Jesus

The Brazilian who is considered as a replacement for Sergio Aguero has played 5 premier league matches for the city. In which he scored two goals and provided 1 assist. The goal against Liverpool which earned the city a point clearly tells how dangerous city’s no.9 can be for Manchester United.

Gabriel Jesus
Gabriel Jesus

CONCLUSION

Though whatever the result will be of Manchester derby. One thing is for sure that this game is going to be one of the best games of the season. Where City will try to take their revenge of last season while Ole’s men in Red will be there to defend their castle and will try to punish them on a counterattack. Though 3 points are on the stake for both the teams, but we can also see lots of emotions on the field because it’s the Manchester derby as two juggernauts of Manchester are going against each other as it is Red Devils against Cityzens or Men in Red against Men in Blue.

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