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Man Utd vs Man City match insights


Manchester United Vs Manchester City 

Man Utd vs Man City match insights.

The 189th Manchester Derby.

There’s nothing quite like derby day to get the pulse racing. Here’s our take on 2 epic local rivalries that will write new chapters this weekend.

Noisy neighbours dominant in recent meetings

City will be looking to close the gap between them and current leaders Arsenal to just 2 points with a win in Saturday’s early kick-off. As if that’s not enough incentive, they’re also looking for a record 19th win against United in the Premier League since it was formed. City, Chelsea and Liverpool are all currently locked on 18 EPL wins against The Red Devils.

United’s recent record in the Manchester Derby is awful, losing their last 3 and shipping 12 goals in that sequence. For context, they conceded just 12 goals to City in the 12 preceding league derby encounters combined. City are looking for a historic sixth Premier League double over United.

Old Trafford becoming a fortress again

The mood around United has been noticeably lifted. Since 22nd August when they beat Liverpool, no side have collected more points overall than the Red Devils (35) and they’ve won 11 out of 15 matches in that sequence. At Old Trafford, they’ve collected 19 points from the last 21 on offer. Erik ten Hag is doing something right.

Pep hits 500

Pep Guardiola will preside over the 500th top-flight league match of his managerial career at Old Trafford this weekend, and his 246th in the EPL. The Spaniard has won 379 out of 499 league matches so far, boasting a win ratio of 76%. Unsurprisingly, it’s the best win rate and highest number of wins of any manager taking charge of 100+ games in Europe’s top 5 leagues since 2008/09 (his first season at Barcelona).

The only thing that’s more predictable than Pep’s astonishing hunger for success is his unpredictability with matchday selections. He's already hinted at “ridiculous” ideas in the build-up to this one. Whether or not that’s just the start of the mind games remains to be seen, but it feels like a pointless exercise even attempting to second guess Pep Guardiola.

Most recent meeting: City 6-3 United (October 2022)

This season’s reverse fixture was the highest-scoring Manchester Derby in EPL history, with both Erling Haaland and Phil Foden hitting hat-tricks. Amazingly, it was Haaland’s third consecutive treble at home in the EPL after he also took home the match ball against Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace. Anthony Martial scored 2 of United’s goals that day, taking his personal tally against City to 5 in the EPL. The Citizens are Martial’s joint-favourite EPL opponents as far as his scoring record goes.

 Rashford reborn

As is so often the case with talented young footballers, Marcus Rashford went through a serious and lengthy dip in form last season. In 2022/23, however, he looks like a new man. The 25-year-old is red-hot right now, scoring in each of his last 6 appearances for United across all competitions, and in each of his last 8 at Old Trafford.

The Manchester Derby is an occasion that “Rashy” has enjoyed in the past too. In March 2016, he became the youngest ever goalscorer in the fixture, aged 18 years and 141 days. Rashford hasn’t actually scored in any of his last 5 Manchester Derby matches though, so he’ll surely feel that this is a great opportunity to break that run.

United finally have their new midfield general

Since his EPL debut against Everton, Casemiro ranks second for tackles (40), joint-fifth for interceptions (13), fifth for possessions won (73), second for duels won (77) and second for clearances (22) among all midfielders. His outstanding overall influence is obvious, and he’s also weighed in with 2 goals and 2 assists in a red jersey.

United arguably never found a true replacement for Michael Carrick, and although Casemiro isn’t stylistically identical, the role he plays is largely the same. A bargain at €60m, so far. Who would have said that when the 30-year-old agreed on a move from Real Madrid? Casemiro has made a stellar career out of reading dangerous situations, breaking them up and starting his own team’s attacks, and United fans love that he’s doing all of that for them.

Haaland happiest scoring goals

Erling Haaland

Bagging a hat-trick on your Manchester Derby debut is about as perfect as it gets. Kevin De Bruyne, one of Haaland’s major suppliers of chances, has spoken of the Norwegian’s “obsession” with scoring goals, and KDB believes that Haaland could hit the back of the net 800 times in his career. It seems as though anything is possible with this guy.

Haaland has 27 goals in 22 competitive appearances so far this term and, if fitness and form stay on the 22-year-old’s side, it’s frightening to start imagining how those numbers could swell.

His 21 EPL strikes in 16 appearances have arrived at a gobsmacking average of a goal every 62 minutes. All of this despite the fact that Haaland has had just 24.8 touches per 90 minutes, placing him fourth lowest of ALL players to start 5+ EPL games in that metric. Haaland is absurdly efficient in his work and productive in front of goal. He’s never scored a hat-trick on the road for City either, so that’s something he’ll likely be obsessing over until it happens.

The outlook for Saturday

United have scored exactly 3 goals in each of their last 4 home matches across all competitions, while City are gunning for a fourth consecutive EPL win over the old enemy. There’s been a goal scored within 10 minutes in each of the last 4 head-to-heads.

The Theatre of Dreams is the place to be on this 14th.

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