Football rivalries around the globe make this sport different than any other. The history between the clubs, 90 minutes of intense football is a perfect recipe for such derbies. This Sunday afternoon the eyes of footballing fans in England will be fixed firmly at the Etihad Stadium for one of the most anticipated match on the English Premier League calendar.
All the major English sports dailies will concentrate their full attention on the clash, covering everything from personal storylines to tactical battles. The coaches and players will be scrutinised, the fans will be fervent and the neutrals will be enraptured.
The last meeting held between the two sides was on 6th March 2022. The match finished 4-1 in favor of Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s side have struggled on home soil against their noisy neighbors Manchester United and have preferred facing the Red Devils at Old Trafford. In his last three home games against his rivals, he has won one and lost two.
This will be Erik ten Hag’s first Manchester derby as the manager for the Red Devils. In the last four matches, all of which brought victories including wins against Arsenal and Liverpool, United have been far more direct, with a greater emphasis on turning defence into attack more quickly.
Erling Haaland will likely be leading the line for Manchester City in his first Manchester derby, with his 14 goals in nine games seeing him sit atop the Premier League’s top scorers list. “ I can’t wait to play my first derby with Manchester City, it will be fun. I can’t wait for them to arrive at our stadium. I hope everyone in the club are ready for the match and attacking at the same time,” Haaland said.
On the side of Manchester United, the player to watch is Marcus Rashford. The prolific striker with great potential and he is the player Manchester City have to keep a close eye on. Scoring 3 goals in 8 matches, he has been the main man for the Red Devils this season and won the Premier League Player of the Month for September.
City will be without John Stones, Aymeric Laporte and Kalvin Philips, whilst Ten Hag will be without Harry Maguire due to injury. Going into this game, the home side have won all their home matches this season and are riding on the back of an undefeated run in their last home match under Pep Guardiola.
A win for Manchester City would give them consecutive home wins against their rivals for the first time under Pep Guardiola, while a win for the Red Devils will make them boast more wins against their rivals to 25 wins in 51 matches played between the two.
Fans of both teams will be expecting a good performance from their sides. Can the blue side of Manchester have consecutive home against their rivals for the first time in the English Premier League history? Or will Ten Hag and his boys extend their winning streak to five wins in a row? After 90 minutes of end-to-end action, that is where we can get the answers to these questions.
By: Gidoen Amoah / @laka993
Featured Image: @GabFoligno / Soccrates Images – Getty Images