Manchester City, who are unbeaten in five successive matches will be tested to the limit against Manchester United in Saturday’s derby.
Manchester City visit Old Trafford to face Manchester United in the season’s first derby between the crosstown rivals. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did the double over the Sky Blues last time around in the Premier League and this occasion provides Pep Guardiola with the perfect opportunity for vindication against an underperforming opponent.
The Citizens are currently placed eighth in the league standings, one point below the Red Devils and have won just five out of their ten Premier League outings this season. With that said, Pep Guardiola has endured his first start as a manager but will surely be looking to turn a corner this weekend. He has a fully fit squad, barring Eric Garcia and Ilkay Gundogan.
Ederson comes into this fixture at the back of a rest midweek and is City’s unprecedented starter in goal. The Brazilian will be protected by a back four comprising of Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker at full-back. The former’s career at the club is finally gaining consistency, whereas Walker continues to have Guardiola’s trust despite substandard displays lately.
Aymeric Laporte is set to return to the heart of the Manchester City defence and would be joined by summer recruit Ruben Dias. The duo provides much-needed security at the back for City and both players are very good on the ball, which allows them to play out from the back. Rodri will be the defensive midfielder ahead of Fernandinho after resting midweek.
Phil Foden is one of the best performing players for the Citizens right now. The Englishman has been touted to become the successor for David Silva in the longer run and he is certainly not letting down. Foden will start on the left side of the midfield. Kevin De Bruyne is possibly the best big-game player for City and at the back of a goal and assist last weekend, he too will start.
Guardiola has been known to make unpredictable changes to his attack more often than not, but this season he has gone with the customary options of Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez on the left and right flanks, respectively. Both players are scoring goals and can exploit United’s backline if they have a good day in office on Saturday.
With Sergio Aguero now fully fit, he is likely to get the nod on Saturday ahead of Gabriel Jesus. The Argentinian marksman scored against Marseille in the Champions League and will be looking to extend his mammoth tally of goals for Manchester City when he faces the club’s fiercest rivals whilst leading the line.
What are your predictions for the match?