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Huge clash with the Manchester derby between defending champions City and revived United
Manchester City to win 3-1
Tournament: Premier League 2022-2023 | Venue: Manchester, Etihad StadiumBet Now
Manchester City have continued their dominance over most teams in the league this season, with new signing Erling Haaland looking like he can break any record he sets his mind to.
They remain a point and a place behind league leaders Arsenal, although in many people’s eyes City will eventually get to the top of the league and stay there until the end.
Naturally, they have a superior record against their opponents these days, not only in winning trophies but also in head-to-head meetings.
They’ll be confident in continuing this run here, especially at home, and with many of their top players in fine form.
United are in great form themselves, winning their last four league games and five of their last six including European competition.
Marcus Rashford and Erik ten Hag have just won Player and Manager of the Month for September, and they’ll be full of confidence here.
Should be a cracker.
Reasons to be cheerful:
Haaland keeps scoring in virtually every game he plays
Have won their last three games against United
Reasons to be fearful:
A number of defenders have suffered injuries recently
United have sprung a surprise or two on City before
Despite United’s upturn in form, most people still predict that City will win here, especially when playing at home.
Regardless, they probably won’t be the easy walkovers that City enjoyed last season, where they beat their close rivals 2-0 and 4-1 in two of the most one-sided games between two big teams in recent years.
They will need to be prepared for United playing on the counterattack, although Guardiola has come up against this before and managed the situation well.
City have a strong record against United in recent seasons and will see no reason why that can’t continue here.
Star Man – Erling Haaland
The goal machine from Norway has netted a hattrick in each of his last two home games for City. He will likely be up against Lisandro Martinez here, and that battle could be key to the outcome of this game.
Reasons to be cheerful
Four wins in a row is the best current form of any team in the league
Erik ten Hag’s vision has been quickly adopted by the players
Reasons to be fearful
Poor record against City in recent years
Marcus Rashford may be a doubt for this game
Erik ten Hag will approach this game with a clear mindset, which we’ve seen in recent United games.
He knows that his side are much better playing on the counterattack, and he will set his team up accordingly. The only problem is that Rashford, his quickest striker, may not be fit enough to play.
In that case, Cristiano Ronaldo would lead the line who, at the age of 37, no longer has the legs to sprint past younger defenders for 90 minutes.
Furthermore, who will the manager select in midfield? McTominay and Eriksen have been superb in recent weeks, but they have a five-time Champions League winner in Casemiro waiting to start his first game.
It would be a risk to start both Fernandes and Eriksen in a game where United are unlikely to have much of the ball. Therefore, Casemiro could be in line for a starting place.
Whoever plays will find it difficult to contain the magic and intensity of City, especially with their best players in such good form.
Star Man – Scott McTominay
It’s not often that a defensive midfielder is United’s most important player, but against City its McTominay. He has been in great form recently, and will need to be at his best to break up City’s attacks.
City could have as much as 70% possession
If City score early, United’s confidence could drop
Can you bet against Haaland scoring?
There are those in the United camp who are more optimistic about this fixture than they have been in recent seasons, purely because of the work Erik ten Hag has done recently.
While the new manager has done brilliantly, he is not a miracle worker. To go to the Etihad and claim three points is a very tall order.
Win or lose, however, United are confident they are back on the right track.
Here, City are certainly favourites and if they play as they know we can, they should have more than enough to get over the line.
Manchester City to win 3-1
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