This Manchester Derby bodes to be different than the last one. With both clubs sitting in first and second respectively, this game has the potential to be special. This is one of the biggest games of the season for Manchester United, as Manchester City is 14 points clear at the top of the table. Each team is on incredible runs. For United, they are currently unbeaten in 21 Premier League away games dating back to last season. For City, they have won 20 consecutive games in all competitions.
For Manchester United, this game is much bigger for. If United were to lose this weekend, the title race will pretty much be over. With City trying to widen the gap at the top to 17 points, this Derby is essentially a must win for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team. If the Reds want any chance to keep up in the title race, they must take all 3 points against City this weekend. What does United have going for them? Well, they are currently on a 21 game away from home unbeaten run.
Players to Watch
For United to have a chance in this game, Bruno Fernandes is going to have to be special. Not saying he has not been special this season, but he is going to have to be the best player on the pitch by a mile. Bruno needs to command the midfield, and help control the pace of the game. United do not want to get in a track meet with City, as City can counter with the best teams in Europe.
Also important for United is their goalkeeper. Dean Henderson will more than likely make the start, as David De Gea is back in Spain for the birth of his first child. Dean Henderson is fully capable of getting back to his Sheffield United form from last season.
Keys To Win the Manchester Derby
In order for United to win the Manchester derby, they need to keep the City attack at Bay. They need to be able to make life difficult for Sterling and company to operate around the penalty area. United will have to possess the ball and be able to break the City defense down. But they will also need to hit the counter-attack and make use of every opportunity that City presents because City does not give many opportunities to be exploited.
Where do we even begin with City. They have reeled off a very impressive 20 wins in all competitions. But what has been more impressive is their defensive performances. During this remarkable run, they have only conceded an astounding 7 goals, while scoring 42 themselves. In fact, they have scored first in all but one game, when they trailed 1-0 in the FA Cup to League Two side Cheltenham Town, before eventually scoring 3 goals in the final 10 minutes to win 3-1.
But City have also kept 19 clean sheets in 27 games, a span that stretches back to their 2-0 defeat to Tottenham in November.
Players To Watch
For Manchester City, their whole team is a must-watch. They are entertaining to watch, and play good football. But, arguably the most important player for the Citizens is Kevin De Bruyne. The team runs through De Bruyne. He controls the midfield for City, and is the engine of the team. If Kevin De Bruyne has a good day at the park, then City should extend their win streak to 21 in this weekends Manchester derby.
Keys To Win
For City, it’s pretty simple. If they can continue to defend the way they have been, they should be able to win this game. But they do need to start getting goals from their forwards. Of late, most of their goals have come from the midfield, or in their last game against West Ham, their two center-halves.
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