The Manchester Derby for Bragging Rights
First and foremost, this is one of the biggest derbies in world football and for both sets of fans. There is no greater feeling than seeing your team come out victorious at the end of a Manchester derby.
Pre-match build by the fans
After dominating the league previous years, Manchester City fans will taunt the United fans with songs and a feel of superiority. This may come back to them as last year United came from 2-0 at half time to win 2-3 at the final whistle in 2018. The blues fans were at the end of the banter that night.
Champions League Spot vs Bragging Rights
Back to 2020 January, the last match in Trafford between the 2 sides was at the League Cup where City thrashed United 1-3. It could have been 1-6 for City at half time with a dominant display from the blue side of town.
Moving to 2020 March, the Manchester Derby is more vital for the red side of town. Since Bruno Fernandes arrived in late January, United have improved immensely. They are currently unbeaten the last 9 games, conceding 2 goals from their previous 7 matches and scoring 15.
It seems Fernandes has changed the vibe at United along with another option at the front, Odion Ighalo. Man Utd know they must win the match to continue their run for 4th place, leading to the Champions League spot.
Manchester City are not doing bad themselves. They have 5 consecutive wins in a row, with a very impressing victory over Real Madrid in the Bernabeu. The one key question for the Citizens remains if Kevin de Bruyne will be fit for the Derby.
His influence and key role for Pep’s side can have a vital impact on the match. City are searching to secure the 2nd spot in the league, even though they have been banned from the Champions League for the next 2 years. Also, no team wants to lose the Derby.
Thoughts on a Flutter
With Manchester United’s recent form growing in confidence, and likely key injury of De Bruyne, I see United thrashing City by 4 goals to 1. Why? United will come to the match with full confidence and exploit the gaps between City’s defence and midfield. Fernandes and Mctominney will see those gaps and exploit them.
The other problem City face is in the attack. Most of their threats arrive from the flanks to the centre using Sterling and Bernardo Silva/Mahrez. Wan-Bissaka and Shaw are in fantastic form right now, and I see them eliminate City’s biggest threat, leaving Aguero starved for service.
Side note, if Maguire and Wan-Bissaka won’t be fit for the Derby, then my guess is 2-2 final score.
Which player and manager will have the final say on the 8th March 2020?