Preview: Manchester Derby Set To Give Early Indications In The Title Race

Preview: Manchester Derby Set To Give Early Indications In The Title Race
Sep 9, 2016

Manchester City Manchester United


With the international break drawing to a far from reluctant close, we can now concentrate on some proper football, and there’s no better way to announce the return of the Premier League than the Manchester Derby. A derby associated with titles and big money almost as much as its local rivalry in recent years. United surely have the pedigree and the history, but their shortcomings compared to the Bluer, more successful side of Manchester over the last seasons will surely have their appetites for vengeance well and truly wettened. Looking to wipe that depressing 5-1 defeat well and truly from their dampened memories.

We’re expecting to see two high-performing clubs with high-class players battling it out to get an early one-up on their title and local rivals. Both teams will want to stamp down their title credentials hard to show their opponents, and other title competitors what they’re really intending for this season.

Both clubs have boasted their spending power during the window, both spending well over 150 million pounds. The Red Side of Manchester has arguably had the better of the two transfer windows, adding already performing Paul Pogba, Eric Bailly, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Henrikh Mikhitaryan’s first team credentials have yet to be seen in a Red Devil’s shirt, however, there is no doubt that his career has been glistened in quality and pedigree at Dortmund, further adding to the notion that he will eventually come good.

Both City and United have 100% win records until this point, so it’ll be an interesting battle to see who can retain that stat, as both will almost certainly be looking for the win.

As the stat suggests, both clubs have been doing very well up to this point. Pogba, Ibrahimovic, and Bailly have all been highlights of a solid side who don’t seem to be weak in any area. Whilst City have struggled in the first game against bottom-dwellers Sunderland, they also look to be ramping up the class with their recent 3-1 win against West Ham, and their 4-1 win against Stoke the week before where Sterling and suspended Aguero have shined. But keep in mind, they’re yet to keep a clean sheet in the league, United have only conceded one goal in the Premier League as yet. It’ll be an interesting battle in that regard.

In the last time the two met, the reds won 1-0, following a draw, and then a double of Manchester United wins against them counting at 3-2 and 4-2, they will be expecting to elaborate on that, further trying to prove they are an immovable force in the history of Manchester football.

Before that game, however, City had won 4 games on the trot against their rivals, winning 1-0, 3-0, 4-1 and 2-1, further cementing the opinion that they have been the most dominant club over the past few years. They will look to maintain their upward trend and cement themselves as the better of the two clubs.

Marcus Rashford will yet again want to impress his new boss Jose Mourinho, who has since played him off the sidelines. His spell-binding 3 goals for the England Under-21’s in the International break, however, may spur the Portuguese manager to give him more game time, keep an eye on the young striker.

The blue side of Manchester hasn’t yet been able to show off their star players, with Ilkay Gundogan and Leroy Sane yet to be fit. But with them, and new incomings goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, young striker Gabriel Jesus, who will join City in January, and John Stones along with Nolito ever improving, they certainly have a side to compete.

With Aguero suspended for a mischievous elbow in his last game last game and City lacking in striking options to back him up, I can see them struggling to put chances away up-top. Nolito or Iheanacho may relish the chance to play down the middle and could give us all a performance to admire. But who knows?

Surely in these cases this game cannot simply be a bore draw, with such quality on each half of the pitch, surely the players will step up and perform in such a way we can all gawp at. But then again, this is football and nothing is certain.

There’s no doubt it could be an interesting competition, so make sure you leave your comments and tweet at the FTS twitter page your predictions on the game.

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