A Manchester derby with massive implications on both sides as both the title race and the top four chase heat up. Can Ole Gunnar Solskjaer men stop the rampant citizens in their push towards back to back titles? Or will Pep Guardiola’s fast flowing intricate football prove too much for United?
What a clash we have midweek in the Premier League, with so much on the line for both sides, neither team can afford to slip up. With both teams being knocked out of the Champions League at the quarter final stage, the league now takes priority. Man City are currently locked in a heated title race with Liverpool, with neither team looking to budge. Will City continue their winning streak of fourteen matches in the Premier League as they make the short journey across Manchester to Old Trafford?
United on the other hand have really struggled for form as of late, losing four of their last six, including a 4-0 battering at the hands of Everton. With their eyes still set on a top four finish, as unlikely as it sounds, they really need a win. Man City will be hurting after being knocked out of the Champions League by Spurs, as most City fans targeted the Champions League as their main goal. Can they bounce back from the disappointment of last week and turn over their bitter city rivals?
After Sunday’s dismal performance, you’d be surprised if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer didn’t make some serious changes. United will be thankful to welcome Ander Herrera back into the side following a hamstring injury, hoping to add some steel in the midfield.
Nemanja Matic and Romelu Lukaku are expected to start following late fitness checks. Phil Jones, who picked up a knock which forced him off at half time in the Everton match is a doubt after not training on Monday.
Solskjaer will be thankful he can call upon Luke Shaw, as the left back is available after suspension, this should mean that Diogo Dalot may play a more offensive role.
Man City on the other hand, will no doubt be hindered by missing star playmaker Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian limped off in their 1-0 victory over Spurs and it is unclear as to when he will return. However, Man City are more than blessed with replacements in that position as they can call on the likes of David Silva, Bernardo Silva or hot English prospect Phil Foden (who’s goal was the difference vs Spurs).
Fernandinho is looking to make a full return to first team action and this could also free up Ilkay Gundogan to play a role with more freedom. Finally for City, club captain Vincent Kompany is in line for a start to bring some much needed Manchester derby experience into Pep Guardiola’s side.
Make or break for both teams, who comes out on top and who’s season is put in jeopardy?
I’m fully expecting this game to be heated and full of goals. Man City will come looking for blood and with their firepower in attack, a dismal United defence cant keep them out. You can get over 2.5 goals (1.61) and Both Teams to Score (1.66), I expect United to find the scoresheet with their pace and flair up top.
For goalscorers, I think the both Raheem Sterling (2.37) and Marcus Rashford (3.75) are great prices, with both teams having fairly slow defences, their pace could rip them apart. With it being quite a fiery tie, I’d also think that cards will be given out for fun, my top picks for bookings would be Fernandinho (2.5) and Luke Shaw (2.4).
Luke Shaw to be Carded @ 2.4
Both Teams to Score @ 1.66
Raheem Sterling to Score @ 2.37