Stuttering City need a lift against Sheffield United to kickstart their season
Manchester City to win 3-1
Even with all the shock results flying around already this season, to look at the Premier League table and find Manchester City lurking down in 13th place is surprising to say the least.
Many are saying that this could be Pep Guardiola’s toughest challenge he’s faced during his managerial career to date. It’s early in this season, but two years without a Premier League title could spell the end of his reign.
Injuries to key strikers, mixed form of his usually excellent star players as well as a quiet transfer window by City’s standards have led to a less than happy start to the season.
Having said that, Sheffield United’s has surely been worse. Sitting in 19th place, only off the bottom on goal difference, Chris Wilder’s men have been a shadow of themselves compared to last season. Their only point this season came against bottom side Fulham.
City should see this as a route back to winning ways.
Form Guide (all comps): LLLDL
Reasons to be cheerful:
Looked spirited in their defeat against Liverpool
Have scored in their last three matches
Reasons to be fearful:
Haven’t kept a clean sheet all season
Man City will be out to prove a point
Things do not get any easier for Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United.
In the past month they have faced both Arsenal and Liverpool, both of which they tasted a 2-1 defeat. After Manchester City this weekend, they meet Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in a week’s time.
Just when The Blades need something to break their way, they are staring down the barrel of several tough fixtures which could keep them in the relegation zone for some time to come.
That said, there was cause for positivity in the defeat against Liverpool. They scored first, and for much of the game showed the kind of spirit which served them well last season.
They’ve now scored in all of their last three matches, something which new signing Rhian Brewster has helped with.
It’s unlikely they’ll take anything off City this weekend, but they could give them a good run for their money.
Star Man – Rhian Brewster
Struggled against Liverpool, though the youngster has the energy to trouble City’s defence
Form Guide (all comps): DWWDW
Reasons to be cheerful
Have bounced back well since Leicester defeat
Will take confidence from European victories
Reasons to be fearful
Injury list is not getting better
Inconsistency over results will trouble their manager
Like their rivals from across Manchester, City have looked better in their European outings this season than at home in the league.
City sit level with Manchester United on points, in 13th and 14th places respectively, but both have won their opening two Champions League fixtures. City’s 3-0 win over Marseille in midweek will give them confidence.
Unfortunately for Pep Guardiola, their injury list is still significant, with key strikers Aguero and Gabriel Jesus out for the near future.
Positively, their defence issues have eased slightly, with new defender Ruben Dias slotting well into the backline in his first few matches.
Despite their injury woes, City must see this as a big opportunity to win three points and close the gap between them and Everton and Liverpool at the top of the table.
Star Man – Kevin De Bruyne
Was outstanding in midweek with two assists, he is one consistently brilliant performer for City
City will control possession but could find it tough to break United down
The Blues likely to play Sterling in a central role again
Sheffield United have the ability to find a goal of their own
City are rightly favourites for this one, but with the way results have been going this season, it’s not a foregone conclusion.
Even with injuries they have the players to see this one out, though if The Blades keep it tight at the back, they may have to be patient and wait for their chances.
Manchester City to win 3-1