A strong Manchester City can only help United

Paola Ditto
Dicembre 8, 2017

"It will be a tough game for both teams".

He scored a hat-trick for United in a 5-0 win over City in 1994 and his final game for City was a 1-1 draw with United at Old Trafford in 2001.

City are the Premier League's top scorers so far this season with 46 and head into Sunday's derby at Old Trafford with an eight-point lead at the top of the table. Sit deep against City, limit the space Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sané have to accelerate into and, even with passers as gifted as David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne, they can be restricted.

In recent weeks a glint of hope has appeared, with the success of Feyenoord, Huddersfield, Southampton and West Ham - all relatively modest outfits this season - in closing down the space City could operate in and shutting up shop for a point. It has so many arms that it is almost impossible to shut down all the channels and be sure that you have nullified the threat.

Manchester City and Manchester United could contest another overseas derby next summer, as the International Champions Cup considers shelving plans to hold matches in China. "It is too much".

"There is the Champions League, the Premier League, the FA Cup, League Cup and possibly national team duties as well". It will be 11 points - it is not possible.

For Mourinho and United, it is perhaps even more critical.

But with the Red Devils now set to play the game without the services of their midfield linchpin, Pep Guardiola and his side will be under some sort of pressure to win this one over their city rivals - presenting Jose Mourinho's United something to capitalise on.

The Portuguese coach has been given the green light to spend on reinforcements for his squad as they attempt to compete with Manchester City for the Premier League title.

City have let in just ten goals but I'm minded to put that down to the irresistible form the team has shown going forward as much as any huge improvement at the back since last season when they were very flaky. This outcome for United at the weekend will not be any kind of success. They must not only stem the league's most potent creativity but also find a way to beat it. Most sides can't, or are so overwhelmed by the challenge of coping with City's movement they are too befuddled to take advantage when they do generate openings - or, rather, openings to generate openings - which is why City have the second-best defensive record in the league but they have conceded in each of their last three league games.

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