It is the day again, where the great Manchester of England will be divided into two halves, one in Red, and the other in Blue. Fans from close and far circle match days between Manchester United and Manchester City in their calendar of Premier League and cup competition, to see which side is going to paint the city with its colours. An early kick-off this Saturday will see both teams take on each other for the 189th time ever since the inaugural Manchester derby in 1881, with United leading the winning total with 77 wins while City, on the other hand, had emerged victorious 58 times in the past, including four of their last five encounters in all competitions.
During the last time both teams met in October, a hat-trick each from City’s Norwegian sensation Erling Haaland and England’s prodigy Phil Foden gave the home side a monumental 6-3 victory over their fierce rival.
A Different United Indeed, But Do the Red Devils Have What It Takes to Overcome the Champion?
It was Erik ten Hag’s early days as the head coach of Manchester United when he managed the Red Devils for his first Manchester derby as a coach, and plenty has changed since the 6-3 thrashing by their neighbour. The team came out of the 2022 FIFA World Cup with a series of victories in all competitions, winning all of their last eight matches, including four straight wins in the Premier League. Furthermore, United’s main man upfront, 25-year-old Marcus Rashford had been unplayable after England’s disappointing run in Qatar, scoring the most goals in the Top Five leagues in all competitions (Seven goals in six matches) among all players since the quadrennial competition has ended in December.
The Manchester-born academy graduate broke another record during United’s win over Charlton Athletic F.C. in the quarterfinal of the Carabao Cup: Scoring at home at Old Trafford for the eighth consecutive game, eclipsing Wayne Rooney’s record as a result. The red hot forward’s performance will be vital when United play City this weekend, and he would definitely want to extend he terrific scoring streak, both at home and in all competitions.
Marcus Rashford has seven goals in his last six games 💥 pic.twitter.com/r3X8cKqojo
— B/R Football (@brfootball) January 10, 2023
City to Shake Things Up
United’s opponent tomorrow, the Citizens, also played in the quarterfinal showdown of the Carabao Cup. But the team had sadly bowed out from the competition after a poor display of defence against Southampton, allowing the Red Devils to be the only team left in all four league and cup competitions a top-tier English club can play. City’s head coach Pep Guardiola had warned their players that should they play like what they did against the Saints yesterday, United is going to take home all three points tomorrow. One would imagine the Spanish coaching genius to make abundant of changes to his line-up as well as strategy in order to collect point(s) from the hostile enemy territory and complete the Premier League double against City’s feisty rival for the fifth time in the history of the competition.
The 51-year-old from Santpedor, Spain said that: “I would like to arrive against United with the average of minutes in the legs of the players quite similar because I have a few ideas, thoughts, ridiculous ones against United.” That prompted spectators and pundits to guess if the head coach will play two false-nines or going all-out in attacking United’s goal, etc. for the 189th Manchester derby. Nonetheless, he should be aware that United’s defence had been on a different level recently, with only two goals conceded in their last seven matches. It would take some effort from the Blue Half of Manchester to find goals, if any, at Old Trafford.
The 189th Manchester derby between second place Manchester City and fourth place Manchester United in the English Premier League table will take place with an early kick-off of 12.30pm GMT at Old Trafford, home of the Red Devils. Give us your thoughts about who will be the eventual winner, or if a draw is likely to happen between two English football juggernauts in your opinion under the comment section.
Pep is plotting for the Manchester derby 🧠 pic.twitter.com/RUBSBowtzX
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) January 11, 2023