Will Manchester United Win The Derby And Start To Catch Manchester City?

Posted: December 5, 2017 in Arsenal, Chelsea, European Football, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, The World Cup
Tags: , , ,

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The Manchester Derby this weekend won’t actually tell us very much with regards to where the title is going to end up unless Manchester City win.

A United win would reduce City’s lead to five points, meaning that City would still need to lose another two games and United continue winning for them to overtake their neighbours.

Obviously, a draw would mean that everything stays the same and only Chelsea, providing they win, would really benefit.

If City were to lose one and draw a couple while United were winning then the points would be level but City’s goal difference is so superior to that of United that it is worth an extra point on it’s own!

A City win would give them an unassailable lead over United of eleven points and that is the one result which could have a very big bearing on the title race.

The nearest challengers after United, as previously mentioned, are Chelsea who are already eleven points behind City and would obviously remain at least that far behind if City were to win.

Expectations of the teams

So what can we expect? Well, similar to the Arsenal game, José Mourinho knows that he really needs to win this one and will set his team out to try and do so.

Pep Guardiola, whilst not necessarily needing to win would, therefore, be quite happy with a draw. The problem for United is that Pep has no idea how to set his team up to do anything other than win so they will attack United and it will be the home team looking to counter.

As we said, this could suit United as it did in the recent game against Arsenal where they weathered a storm for most of the game but still managed to score three times.

They were fortunate to have David De Gea in that game and may find themselves in a similar situation this weekend. The defence, despite only conceding once actually looked very shaky at times and Arséne Wenger, whilst rightly criticising his defence, was also correct in ruing the number of chances missed by his FIVE strikers!

It is unlikely that the City forwards will waste so many opportunities so, to put it bluntly, United will have to defend better if they are to get anything from the game.

At the other end, Lukaku should always be a threat but he hasn’t been just lately. This might be a game for him to start on the bench with Zlatan Ibrahimovivć given the striking role.

The absence of Paul Pogba also plays right into the hands of Manchester City and United don’t have a direct replacement. Herrera is combative like Pogba, but not as strong. Mata is a good passer of the ball like Pogba, but not as good. Fellaini just isn’t Pogba in any way shape or form so there is a problem to be solved. Hopefully José will have an answer, he usually does.

City don’t appear to have any injury worries and were even able to rest two players against West Ham in midweek. Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho probably didn’t need the rest but the possibility of them missing the derby, which they would had either of them picked up a yellow card, made them come over all tired and Pep was happy to wrap them in a blanket together on the bench.

Likely result

Our gut feeling on this one is that United will win. Why? Well for two reasons. Firstly, because they have to, and secondly, because City haven’t really been playing that well recently and have struggled to beat West Ham and Southampton at home.

The problem is that form, league position and title odds all go out of the window in a derby game. Particularly in this one which is now the biggest in Europe.

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