Manchester City vs Manchester United Preview

Manchester derby

This Saturday, fans and football lovers across the world will feast their eyes on what will be an exciting, mouth-watering, and even more so, historic Manchester derby. 

R100 FICA
Pep Guardiola could seal the Citizens' third Premier League title since 2012 this weekend in front of the club's biggest rivals, and, in front of his own arch-nemesis, Jose Mourinho.  Since 2012, Manchester United have lifted the league title just once - the last manager to do so with the club was the great Sir Alex Ferguson back in 2013 in his final season. Oh boy do they miss him now.

The manner in which the Premier League is won by Man City only makes us question: are we seeing the best team in the league's history? They're surely up there. One thing we do know, however, is that Mourinho tends to have a trick up his sleeve in games like these, so we can never write the Red Devils off just yet. It's definitely going to be a clash of tactics between Guardiola and Mourinho, so for the neutrals, let's just sit back and watch the blue moon rise over England once again.

English Premier League
Manchester City vs Manchester United  
Saturday 7 April 
Etihad Stadium 
18:30

To Win
Man City 15/20
Draw 28/10
Man United 36/10

Manchester City 

The title could be decided in early April with six games to spare, while Pep Guardiola has stuck to what he knows best and has made his side arguably the best team across Europe at the moment. Once again, we're being shown that fancy footwork, flair and attacking football leads to success as well.

The chief creator behind Man City's swagger this season has undoubtedly been Belgian superstar, Kevin De Bruyne. The City playmaker is the bookmakers' favourite to claim the PFA Player of the Year award and certainly gets my vote.

It's been a season to remember for De Bruyne and Man City, and speaking to the British media, he stated that, although City do have plenty of games to make it over the finish line, it would be much better to get the job done early.

"The sooner we do it, the better. Then we can focus on other games."
"These are the games you play the whole season for. It would be wonderful (winning the league against Man United), something different - you know how it goes between them, you know the history, so it would be historic," De Bruyne also said.

City currently boast a 16-point lead over second-placed United and have suffered just one defeat in the league this season – a 4-3 loss to Liverpool at Anfield. Even then, Guardiola's men looked impressive.

City have stars all over the pitch and have a relatively large squad for Pep to choose from. When high-profile players miss out through injury or personal reasons, like David Silva earlier in the campaign, City still march on. They're that good.

Last weekend, they beat Everton 3-1 at Goodison Park to become just the third club to beat all other 19 teams in a Premier League season.

They've had success over their rivals earlier already this campaign, and another victory would definitely go down in the history books as one of the club's most memorable moments.



Manchester United

For the Red Devils, Saturday will certainly be a day of terror and pain. Of course that can all change should Mourinho pull a rabbit out of the hat at the Etihad Stadium.

It's a no-brainer that United will need to be at their utmost best to get any sort of result against the champions elect, but under the tutelage of Mourinho, the club have shown that they have the grit and willingness to get the points they need, even when they have been labelled boring and too defensive.

Just last season in his first year at the helm as Manchester United boss, Mourinho managed to achieve an unbeaten streak of 25 games, until he had to throw all his eggs into the UEFA Europa League basket and rest key players as his side fought for a spot in this year's Champions League.The Reds have already been to some of the big guns and come away with points this season, claiming three at Arsenal and earning a share of the spoils at Liverpool. However, this will undoubtedly be their biggest test yet.

When the fixture list first came out, we all knew that this tie will hold huge significance in deciding the league title, but not at all did we think it would be won so early in the campaign. That has to come down to United and their failure to push their rivals all the way.

They're not short on budget and can attract any name out there in world football, so something needs to be rectified in the new season at Old Trafford.

Although, what they do have with them at the moment is still good enough, and should the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba get going, it may not be all doom and gloom for Mourinho's men this Saturday.

They still have the fight for second spot to compete for, but pride and bragging rights should surely be top priority this weekend. I'm expecting a huge fight from United, which definitely makes this much-anticipated tie all the more exciting.

Probable line-ups:

Man City: 4-3-3
Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Kompany, Danilo; De Bruyne, Fernandinho, D. Silva; Sane, Aguero, Sterling.

Man United: 4-2-3-1
De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Jones, Young; Pogba, Matic; Mata, Alexis, Lingard; Lukaku.

Prediction: Manchester City (15/20)

From beginning to the end, there has only been one contender for the league title. Manchester City have been remarkable to date and I expect them to be crowned champions in front of their bitter rivals this weekend. Perhaps a guard of honour off the pitch after the final whistle could be arranged as well?

Written by Chadley N