Premier League Matchday 11: Manchester United vs Manchester City
This weekend’s round of Premier League fixtures is set to kick off with a banger, with the first Manchester derby of the season taking place on Saturday at lunchtime. Is this another must-win for Ole to keep his job? Do Man City’s title hopes start to fade away if they fail to win? Which one of these sides is likeliest to bounce back after their recent defeats? Find out everything you need to know in this match preview.
Can United Revive Their Season After Spurs Triumph?
Ole has been under scrutiny after poor form in all competitions in recent weeks. It was not too long ago when he claimed that United had “no excuses” this season after recruiting the likes of Raphaël Varane, Jadon Sancho, and of course, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Despite all that, Ole and his side now find themselves with just one win in five league games, and considering the form of other title challengers, one has to wonder whether United’s chances of winning the league are already dead and buried.
A major reason for United’s poor form can be attributed to their lack of defensive cohesion. They’ve conceded a whopping 15 goals in their opening 10 games, the most out of any team in the current top eight.
Nevertheless, this is a Manchester derby, meaning it’s quite likely that form goes out the window for this one. Manchester United should be raring to go on Saturday and will look to secure back-to-back league wins for the first time since September.
In any case, the chances are that Solsjkaer will remain in charge regardless of the result on Saturday, now that Antonio Conte is no longer available following his appointment as Spurs boss.
City’s Faltering Attack vs United’s Shaky Defence
Manchester City are also coming off the back of some poor form, after losing 2-0 at home to Crystal Palace and exiting the Carabao Cup on penalties against West Ham. It is evident that Pep’s side are struggling without a recognised number nine this season, after strolling to the title last year without one.
Their top scorer in the league this season is Phil Foden with three goals, despite the academy prodigy only making five league starts so far. If there was ever a time for City to find their attacking rhythm, it’ll be against United’s unsettled backline. Even more so, considering the Red Devils will be without French international Raphaël Varane through a hamstring injury.
Secondly, star signing Jack Grealish has struggled to find his best form since his arrival, registering just one goal and two assists in nine league starts. Pep Guardiola will be doing all he can to ensure that he gets the best out of his Premier League record signing on Saturday.
Potential Starting XI’s
Manchester United Potential Line-up
Manchester City Potential Line-up
With both sides in need of three points for different reasons, this one is tougher to call than one might think. City have fallen slightly beneath the high attacking standards that led them to be crowned champions on previous occasions, whilst United’s lack of defensive resilience might leave them exposed. For this reason, I feel that City will just edge it on the day with a 2-1 win over their rivals.