Manchester will be divided this Saturday. One part of the city will be blue, and the other red. It’s always like that when City and United meet. Week 12 of the Premier League is bringing the ultimate derby between two local rivals, whose matches are the most popular sporting event that day.
Coming into Sunday’s clash, Jose Mourinho stated that his team must be careful against the Citizens and avoid mistakes made in the previous games. By that, he meant allowing the rival to score the opening goal in the match.
“If we keep conceding goals before the opponent, it will arrive the day where we cannot come back. ”
In the last two contests they played, United rallied back after losing. First, it happened in Bournemouth, then in Turin, against Juventus, and on both situation, the final outcome was 1:2 for the Red Devils. Prior to these, the same thing happened at home when they faced Newcastle. United was also close to doing the same thing at Stamford Bridge, but the Blues prevented them from making that, and that event ended with a draw.
He continued talking, this time about the team’s growth.
“So, we have to make sure we grow up not just in our approach – because I think that is clear that the team is growing up.”, the Special One stated, “But also we have to grow up in our compactness and to start matches well. Which, I have to say against Juventus, happened.”
United is solid away from home, as they have three wins, a draw, and loss in latest five outside Old Trafford. They are also the only team who defeated City in the Premiership at Etihad since Guardiola sat on the bench of the Sky-Blues. After beating Juventus in Italy, their confidence is very high.
And the Spaniard is aware of that.
“Last season we lost, but every game is a new history and a new chapter. We realise how strong United are. When they dominate and create chances they win easily, but you can have the feeling you are in control and they can still punish you.” Guardiola said.
Still, the majority of the pundits are saying that his team is a massive favorite in this one. The Citizens have six straight wins in all the competitions, in which they have scored 23 goals and allowed only one. Now, that is terrifying news for any opponent. When looking at their performances at home, things are even more extreme. Six events, six wins and 24:3 goal difference. That is a rampage. The sole loss this season came against Lyon in the Champions League.
Though, this doesn’t have to mean anything in matches between these two sides. One small detail or a spark of inspiration could make a difference on the pitch, erasing all the previous results.
In general, United has more success in previous years. In 8 matches, the Red Devils have won four, along with two draws, not losing a single event against the local enemies. Last year’s game was a shocker for all the Citizens fans. Their team needed a win to mathematically secure the title, although it was already certain that Man City will take the trophy. They were leading 2-0, when United started turning the table, and in the end, the guests won, silencing the Etihad Stadium, and prolonging their title celebration.
Manchester City is holding the top spot in the Premiership before this event, with 29 points in 11 matches. United, on the other hand, is seventh with 20 points. Both sides have a pressure to win. Hosts to keep the gap between them and Liverpool and Chelsea, and United to join in the race for the title. Mourinho is going to be closely monitored by both the fans and the board, because his managerial place is still not certain.
Anyway, it is going to be a spectacle this Sunday.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.