Manchester Derby, a fixture that’s more than just history – one that hands bragging rights around the streets of Piccadilly where the wave of people divided between the Devil Reds’ and Sky Blues’ walk along. While Pep Guardiola and Erik ten Hag string along their sides, the football fanatics surfing along those football betting sites to find the right odds to back their support with punters. It’s not just a mere game, it’s a festival.
Betting on the Manchester Derby has to be a tad bit thoughtful process; while Manchester City come into the season on the back of a treble-winning campaign as ample of historical advantage is equated, Manchester United continue to struggle under the tutelage of Erik ten Hag. But big occasions asks for a bigger personality trait to scruff the moment and make the best of it…
Let’s dive in a bit into the nitty-gritties of it all then, and while we do remember this is a mere outlook of technicalities from both the prospective and NOT a conclusion on where you need to punter your pounds. Take it as an aid to your opinions.
Both of them sides, like many in the Premier League as of now, have an impounding struggle dealing with injuries at the time of writing.
Rodri Hernandez had his Big Boys adrenaline rush take over when he went along to grab Morgan Gibbs-White’s neck in the 47th minute of their win against Nottingham Forest. While Man City did manage to get out there with a three-pointer, their struggles coping without the Spaniard came along the following week where Gary O’Neil’s Wolves handed Joseph his first defeat of the season at the Molineux Stadium. He is also set to miss a season-defining fixture against Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal come the weekend.
Although Pep will be puffing a breath of relief against Man United, as Rodri returns to the squad and that means the base of their midfield is back to ground zero. And keeping his web of passes contained will be something ten Hag will have to work out.
Manchester City’s concerns lie above that though as they miss Kevin de Bruyne at the heart of that attack, as the Belgian continues his injury struggles. Although that being said, Man City does have filled his void with the inclusion of Alvarez as a second striker in a support role to Erling Haaland.
The Blues from Manchester are also in hope of John Stones returning into the fold, as him stepping into a pivot from deep can cause multiple problems for Man United to deal with.
Going on the other side of the fence, or shall I say… other side of Manchester; Erik ten Hag has had multiple of allegations to deal with beyond that injury concerns which some call a Gary O’Driscoll curse as Man United have almost a never-ending list of injury concerns.
Lisandro Martinez just went under the knife, and is expected to be on the sidelines for a while, where he accompanies Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan Bissaka, Tyrell Malacia, and Kobbie Mainoo with Jadon Sancho dropping in once in a while to say hello when his Play Station gets over-heated as conflict between him and ten Hag continues.
Sancho was dropped for being lazy in training, and that was complemented by ten Hag bashing him on it in the press conference. Although this in a bigger picture is a loss to United afterall, banishing Jadon and publicly dismantling his attitude is wrong in multiple ways. You could argue if this could have been dealt with in a better way, then that big ego Erik is carrying around.
Anthony is expected to be integrated back into the squad following allegations of assault that is said to be investigated and cleared by United.
THE FORM: a capable Man City sin KDB vs a struggling Manchester United
Kevin de Bruyne, as stated earlier, has been an integral figure in Manchester City’s late history and him picking his hands up for an injury is always dealt with a bit more than just an air of concern among City fans. Keeping up without him is always going to be difficult, but judging by how City managed that Champions League final in the previous campaign with Kevin picking his hands up in middle of it all – would certainly give precedence for Pep & his managerial staff, and to say they have managed to exactly do so will be an understatement.
KDB had the creative keys in that Manchester City squad, and it seems a certain World Cup winner with Argentina in Julián Álvarez has taken that off the Belgian’s shelves.
Álvarez has started all of the seven Premier League games this season, a first in his City career. Only Erling Haaland and Kyle Walker have played more minutes than him from that star-studded City squad. If you think about when Manchester City signed Álvarez, he initially arrived at the Etihad as an alternative to Haaland at the number nine position. However, this season, Álvarez has been positioned deeper behind Haaland in much of a second-striker role while often occupying a number 10 role but with the freedom to drift into the half-spaces. You can call it a hybrid midfielder, maybe.
Pep having found a solution for no de Bruyne can go a long way for City this season, and beyond.
For Manchester United, they still looks wobbly under Erik ten Hag despite spending over four hundred pounds under the Dutch manager. You can shiver that down to injury concerns or take that call beyond so to technical and tactical concerns. And if you break it down…
Bringing in Onana, who Man City faced in the Champions League finals last season vs Inter Milan, is a massive upgrade on David de Gea judging by build-up qualities. But they have been too reliant on the Cameroonian for the initial phases of build-up and that has made Manchester United a bit more predictable irrespective if he goes short or long.
Furthermore, Ten Hag was a bit resolute in holding his Dutch chalkboard with one holding midfielder in Casemiro which has come back to bite them on multiple occasions. Though credit to him, he has evolved his midfield into a pivot support to the front five. This could become one of those changes that can help them regain their competitive edge.
Speaking individually, Man United are as reliant on Marcus Rashford as Manchester City are on Kevin de Bruyne. The English international’s goal-scoring is not as prolific as United fans would expect out of him. Many-a-times he has been bashed on social media for lack of defensive integrity that the likes of Garnacho, Anthony, and Hannibal has shown, and other times for lack of taking the right decisions on the ball.
Rashford will have to be running at his best if United are to cause upset to City. This speaks massively about how reliant United are on Marcus. In one of the quotes, Pep Guardiola spoke about how he forced his pressing structure in a way where Man United would have to go long to Rashford from first phase build-up and how it is easier to win the ball surrounding Rashford strategically.
A highlight about previous outings
When the teams clashed last time around, Manchester United might just have been responsible to share that treble crown. Manchester City got the better of their neighbours at Wembley Stadium following Ilkay Gundogan’s masterclass in the FA Cup finals. Kevin de Bruyne was credited with assists for both goals, and as stated earlier – he will be a major miss for City.
Although as a glimpse of hope for Manchester United, when the teams last met in the Premier League and at Old Trafford – Manchester United defeated City by 2 late goals, one by Bruno Fernandes to nullify City’s lead that came through Grealish and a winner by Marcus Rashford.
How the run-in to the Manchester Derby will impact the game
Manchester City walk into the international break following their fixture against Arsenal this weekend, but they will have a run-in of Brighton and Manchester United waiting on them with a trip to Yong Boys sandwiched in the middle of them. Facing Roberto de Zerbi’s Brighton is tricky and demanding, and that should take a toll on already tired City players from the international break. And Stade de Sussie has been a tricky away ground for Premier League clubs, Man United would know lot about it although this could be an opportunity for Pep to rest some of his players.
The South American Julián Álvarez is expected to have long journey back to Argentina followed by Peru for CONMEBOL fixtures in the international break, which can come in crucial judging by the weight he has taken on his shoulders for City.
Manchester United have a run of easier fixtures comparatively, with hosting Brentford before heading into the international break. That was followed by hosting Copenhagen at Old Trafford before they welcome Manchester City to the Theater of Dreams.
Garnacho could potentially team up with Álvarez on that flight back to Argentina, but he is still not as important of a player for United. Casemiro will also make a journey back to Brazil followed by Marcelo Bielsa’s Uruguay in that international break.
Judging purely by the run-in, going into the Manchester Derby – Manchester United have a better run-in to prep for the fixture.
The new boys’ impact
Erling Haaland have been taking massive strides for Manchester City in the last year or so, but United now have their own big and sturdy striker in Rasmus Højlund. Højlund possesses standout qualities that make him a force to reckon with – he is physically strong and excels in the physicality of the Premier League, utilizing his height and strength effectively (that Gabriel Maghalaes duel is an example to it).
Højlund’s technical skills and deceptive pace make him a nightmare to deal with and a potential asset to Manchester United’s attacking game. His ability to hold the ball up and make threatening runs could address the team’s current deficiencies. While he may not deliver as many goals as other options like Kane or even Haaland, Højlund’s work rate and purposeful play off the ball make him a potential signing. Nevertheless, his lack of experience at the highest level can come critical into the outcome of Manchester Derby.
Coming back to that pivot change by ten Hag, a certain Sofyan Amrabat can come in handy for Manchester United. He didn’t come into the squad straight away owing to injury concerns when he was initially signed, but that have cleared up now and he is ready to make an impact. Him alongside Casemiro makes a high-potential pivot if coached in the right way.
While for Manchester City, Jeremy Doku looks a breath of fresh air. He looks like a proper winger they possessed in a long time. Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling like winger. Doku holds the record for the most successful dribbles in a single French top-flight game, surpassing Neymar’s record – this speaks loads about him. He already has impacted games with his 1v1s and dribbles this season. He is a force to reckon with.
And speaking about force to reckon with, Rodri has Mateo Kovacic and Matheus Nunes alongside him in the midfield. If Manchester City play one of them, means Rodri gets a offensive license that has helped him massively to put a strong hold on games this season.
Manchester Derby promises to be an exciting fixture, and punters on big occasions are equally exciting. Let us know about your punters with all those permutations and combinations to get the best of the odds.
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