The first Manchester Derby for the 2020/21 Premier League season comes up this Saturday as Manchester United host Manchester City at Old Trafford. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Pep Guardiola will lock horns against each other on the sidelines again.
This derby is coming at a time when both sides can be said to be in form although they’ve had disappointing moments this season. Therefore, it promises to be a cracking Manchester United vs Manchester City fixture.
Manchester City have been favorites on paper in the Manchester Derby in recent times but will be the side seeking revenge in this game having lost both home and away to the Red Devils in the Premier League last season.
Just 1 point separates the sides in the Premier League presently and the game looks evenly poised. Regardless, there is little concern about Man United’s poor showing at Old Trafford in the Premier League this season and City’s domestic struggles.
However, both sides appear to be finding their feet as shown in recent fixtures and hopefully, a victory in this one won’t be easy to predict for any of the sides.
The Citizens will be coming into the game in high spirits after finishing top of their group in the UEFA Champions League and head into the next round of the competition as group winners.
The same can’t be said of the Red Devils whose performance in the competition can be described as one meant to flatter to deceive.
The Red Devils began their UCL campaign in style beating PSG at the Parc des Princes and thrashing RB Leipzig at Old Trafford.
However, when the going got tough and results were needed, they faltered. First, they lost at Old Trafford to PSG and lost again to RB Leipzig in Germany.
These results ensured that they were eliminated from the competition and consigned to a place in the Europa League.
Ole Gunnar Solskjer will have to convince his stars to put the UCL showing behind them as there’s still all to fight for in the Premier League.
Ahead of the first Manchester Derby of the 2020/21 Premier League season, the Red Devils have been phenomenal away from home and have been christened the COMEBACK KINGS away from Old Trafford in the Premier League.
They’ll have to find a way to replicate this away form that has seen them come from behind to win their last 5 away games in a row when they face Pep Guardiola’s men at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils won their last PL home game against West Brom and will want to make it two in a row. They’ve not won back to back Premier League games at Old Trafford since July and it’s expected that the Citizens will only make it difficult.
Pep Guardiola hasn’t had it easy with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since he became Man United’s boss. The Norwegian has won three of the last five meetings against the Spaniard.
Although Man United’s home form in the Premier League this season is nothing to write home about, Manchester City’s away form hasn’t been phenomenal either by their standards with 2 wins, 2 draws, and 1 loss.
Their last away game was a 2 nil loss to Tottenham Hotspur and the Red Devils can draw some inspiration from this.
Man City have scored 6 and conceded 5 away from home while Man United have scored just 3 goals and conceded 10 in 3 losses, 1 draw, and 1 win.
The Red Devils may miss the services of Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial for this game as they were not available in midweek against RB Leipzig.
The Frenchman hasn’t been in the best of form but could be missed as he has scored against the Citizens in three of his last four appearances against them.
Meanwhile, Solskjaer will make a decision on starting Paul Pogba or not.
It has been confirmed that Sergio Aguero will not start the game and this could see Gabriel Jesus start the game.
The likes of Kevin De Bruyne, John Stones, Benjamin Mendy, Ederson, Ruben Dias, and Rodri should return to action for the Citizens.
Eric Garcia and Ilkay Gundogan were forced off the UCL game in midweek and will have to undergo an assessment to determine if they’ll be fit enough to be in action in the Manchester Derby.
Manchester United possible starting lineup
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Telles; McTominay, Fred; Mata, Fernandes, Rashford; Greenwood
Manchester City possible starting lineup
Ederson; Walker, Stones, Dias, Mendy; Rodri, Fernandinho; Mahrez, De Bruyne, Sterling; Jesus
This game promises to be a cracker with both sides not doing that bad in the Premier League. The last 6 Premier League games between the two sides have not seen any draw with 3 wins apiece.
The Red Devils will once again be reliant on the genius of Bruno Fernandes while Man City will do the same on the genius of Kevin De Bruyne.
Both players have drawn comparisons to each other this term due to the Portuguese’s brilliant form for the Red Devils.
This game is a one-off but both players will have the chance to lead their teams against each other and we wait to see who emerges with the bragging rights.
Going by Ole’s unpredictability in this kind of game and United’s dominance over Manchester City in the competition last season, City will have a game on their hands.
However, I’ll sit on the fence for this one although both sides should score.