A Draw In The Manchester Derby? Never! Well, Maybe Just This Time

Posted: November 8, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur
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So it’s nearly that time of the season again folks! Yes, it’s almost upon us. It’s that game that never decides the title, is rarely a classic yet still manages to attract a very large worldwide TV audience.

Maybe that would explain why Sky, (and, no doubt, other TV channels), build this game up as the best anyone is ever likely to see even if they do live to be 200. As we said, it usually isn’t and this one probably won’t be either.

Still it will be interesting to see if Pep Guardiola can continue his march to a second Premier League title in succession or will José put the brakes on it by beating his old foe?

When City host a mid-table team at The Etihad, (yes, Manchester United are a mid-table team), they are usually prohibitive favourites. In September, for example, City were 1/13 to beat Brighton who themselves were only 28/1 to get anything from the game.

For this game though, the line will be much closer as the unpredictability of a derby match comes into play. Even though United sit 10th in the table, (they were second when facing City last season), they will still bring with them a team of star players which, believe it or not, has actually been added to since last time, with Fred and Diogo Dalot now being available to them.

In The Etihad Manchester derby last season, United were 3/1 whilst their neighbours were 4/5 yet we all know what happened in that game!

So what can we expect this time around? Well, it appears that Guardiola only likes one way of playing so he will send his team out to win the game, particularly as they are at home. The only time he has changed his tactics recently, for any game home or away, was for the match at Anfield where he came away with a point which, in light of recent struggles against Liverpool, was a decent result.

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

Mourinho writes himself a memo to try and remember that his team needs to score in order to win

Mourinho is a relatively unknown quantity at present. Sometimes his team can play really attractive attacking football as they did at Stamford Bridge when they were unlucky not to take three points off Chelsea and other times they can be made to look very average as was the case when they lost to Juventus at Old Trafford recently.

Despite his remarks to the contrary United didn’t deserve anything from that game and were outplayed and out-thought by the Italians both on and off the pitch.

So we can probably expect Mourinho to set up his team in his usual dour way whereby his intention is to not lose the game. As with last season this could all change if United are losing at half-time.

On the other hand, City will be wary even if they go into the break leading by a goal or two. They know from experience what can happen if they switch off and that is definitely what they did last time out.

Guardiola will have them fully focused and he will expect that focus to remain for the whole 90 minutes, not just for the first half.

This remains a difficult one to predict and, nowadays, a drawn derby match is a less frequent occurrence than it used to be. At one stage a draw was the easiest and, in most cases, the correct result to forecast.

Having said all that we actually do think this one will end up level at full-time which will, no doubt, be good news for fans of three London clubs and one from Merseyside.

  1. pauleee says:

    Yes please! I would love nothing more than a draw here, as it’s a special day when City drop any points at all. Christmas, sadly, comes only once a year and so I fully expect City to take the win. United were thoroughly outplayed yesterday against Juventus (and yet managed all three points – what a strange, strange game this is) and I think it will be the same this weekend. United will just be slightly less lucky.


  2. pauleee says:

    Another day, another City win. I actually found myself rooting for them yesterday against my better interests (more to follow). The game really was never in doubt. Aguero with the winner (nice hair, Fabio!) Not unexpectedly, United were outclassed once again.

    To continue on a reoccurring theme here, I think we have established that Raheem Sterling is the handicap placed on City (self-imposed!) to make it more fair to the rest of the league. A quick look at the table, however, shows that this is clearly not working well enough. I propose that City be required to re-sign Yaya Toure and put him in the starting eleven each week. For parity’s sake. It’s not only fair, but it’s the right thing to do. This way City doesn’t clinch until Week 36 and we can pretend this season was really always going to be a horse race. Let’s make this happen #BringBackYaya.

    I recently moved and as of yet have neither cable nor internet access. So I decided to watch my first football at a not-so-local English pub. Watched the first half of the Chelsea match with about 40 like-minded individuals. And then the United fans started to roll in. The chanting started early. Yeah, I know. You’re a fan. A big fan. I get it. Believe me. Half the crap I buy has to be blue, because IT CAN’T BE RED!!! It’s stupid and we all fall into the trap, but the singing to me is going a little too far. We’ve adopted the EPL here in the States because it’s so damn good, but most of us have chosen a team for completely arbitrary reasons. We have no connection geographically or historically and certainly have no real reason to memorize a bunch of horrible little ditties. Also, I suspect there’s a lot lost in translation when a bunch of Yanks are singing them. You guys speak a completely different language over there. 😛

    (A roar from the other side of the room – Arsenal have just scored)

    So a bunch of red-clad goofballs are swearing like drunken sailors at 10 in the morning. (City fans sitting very politely, happily counting their newly acquired points) It all seems a little silly, doesn’t it?


  3. pauleee says:

    Sergio’s hair color and style (reminded me of a pompadour) made me laugh the first time they showed him on camera. Fabio was I believe a pop icon in the states in the 50s-60s. A quick look at the Googles shows no such person, just the Italian model from some years back. In a Tom Hanks movie, “That Thing You Do”, the record producer is annoyed by one of the members of the band and says “Will someone get Fabio out of my way while I’m eating?”. In this case, it seems to be an anachronism.

    Just a poorly thought out bit of snark. My jealousy seemed to bubble up for a moment there.


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