It is that time of the year again when two of the biggest clubs in the city of Manchester will lock horns in the first of two clashes of the Premier League season. Manchester United will take on city rivals Manchester City at the Old Trafford on Saturday. The clash at the “Theatre of Dreams” is set to be the most expensive game in history, with United and City boasting sides worth a combined total of more than £600million. And additionally, it is again that point in the football season when Pep Guardiola will be pitted against Jose Mourinho which is enough to make it one of the biggest and most awaited games in the upcoming recent couple of weeks at least.
Manchester Derby: Team News
Pep Guardiola signed up the services of John Stones, Leroy Sane, Ilkay Gundogan, Gabriel Jesus and Nolito in the recently concluded transfer window and will have a host of options to field in the Derby.
With Aguero missing through suspension, Guardiola’s City will definitely face the lack of a clinical edge in front of goal but that will hardly stop the Spaniard from targeting a win against his old Portuguese nemesis. Aguero’s replacement, young Kelechi Iheanacho missed a handful of chances in his last game and will definitely be left out of the next game by Guardiola according to reports. Kevin De Bruyne has proved money well spent for City so far and will be fielded alongside Fernandinho and David Silva in the Manchester City midfield. £13.8m man Nolito in contention to begin the game up front in the absence of suspended Aguero while Raheem Sterling will reprise his role on the right wing.
The City boss also has the decision to make on his goalkeeper with Claudio Bravo only training with his new team-mates for the first time on Thursday and centre-half Vincent Kompany is most likely to miss the fixture. Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan are closing to full fitness, and they are likely to make substitute bench against United.
Mourinho’s United will definitely start the game on a higher note with recent recruit and talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic in stellar form. Youngster Marcus Rashford is also in fine form with the England player receiving a lot of positive criticism from his teammates and football pundits alike, though he is yet to start a game. With United acquiring Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly in the summer transfer window, Mourinho will have quite a number of options while deciding to pick his starting side in this all-Manchester clash. Luke Shaw will is also poised to make a return to the squad.
Also Check: How Zlatan answered his critics at the Old Trafford.
The 12.30pm kick-off – the earliest the derby has started for more than 13 years – is poised to capture the largest possible worldwide audience for the game between United and City at Old Trafford, which is being televised from New Zealand to the United States. Currently, City is at the top of the Premier League table in terms of a superior goal difference as both the teams are tied at 9 points but past statistics will be something that won’t matter as the city rivals look to take the field on Saturday.
Manchester Derby: Possible Starting Line-ups:
Team: Caballero; Zabaleta, Otamendi, Stones, Clichy; David Silva, Fernandinho; De Bruyne, Sterling, Navas; Nolito
Team: De Gea-Valencia, Bailey, Blind, Rojo; Fellaini, Pogba; Mata, Rooney, Martial; Ibrahimovic
Pep Guardiola vs Jose Mourinho:
Since the time of their El-Classico days, Guardiola and Mourinho have been a part of the most anticipated and awaited football matches. in the world and this time, it will be no different. Mourinho and Guardiola have faced each other a total of 16 times. The Man City manager comes out on top, winning seven of those clashes, compared to Mourinho’s three. Tactical geniuses in their own way, these two managers are definitely the biggest names in the football managing circuit for now and this high-voltage clash is exactly what is needed to see who comes out on top.
Manchester Derby : Match Details
Venue: The Old Trafford, Manchester
Timing: 5PM (IST), 12:30 PM (Local Time)
Match Referee: Mark Clattenburg
Manchester Derby : Predictions
One of the most awaited fixtures of the campaign, this high voltage match will no way end goal-less. Our prediction is a hard fought 2-1 victory for United with Ibrahimovic and Rooney on the scoresheet for the Reds and Nolito scoring for City
Manchester Derby TV Guide:
The Manchester Derby will be telecasted live on the Star Sports Network in India and can also be watched live on Hotstar.
For live streaming of this clash between two of the top teams in the world, click on this link here.
Whether Manchester will be Red or Blue by the end of tomorrow is what is left to be found out. What we do know for sure is that football fans are in for an absolute cracker of a match.