The stage is set for one if not the most important Manchester Derby in recent years.
Ahead of the live updates to be served by PREMIUM TIMES later tonight, we expertly look at five things to expect at Old Trafford in the battle between the fierce city rivals
1. A barren draw is unlikely
At least a goal is expected to be scored in Wednesday’s clash at Old Trafford.
Manchester City have scored 155 goals in all competitions this season – the record for an English Football League side in a single campaign is currently 156, held by City themselves in 2013-14. While one cannot outrightly predict that Pep Guardiola’s men will rain goals, the chances of not seeing any goal from both sides are very slim.
2. A titanic tussle for top four and title
No matter the occasion or setting, the Manchester derby always matters and it is the same for tonight’s tie. The two sides meet in the midst of separate need for bragging rights: City to keep on course for a second successive title, United for a top-four spot that no one seems to really want. Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur are taking it in turns to drop points meaning that somehow, despite six defeats in eight games, United are still only three points off the third spot. The high profile fixtures continue to come thick and fast with Chelsea next after this one.
3. Tweaked starting line up
It is expected that both Pep Guardiola and his opposite number at United, Ole Gunnar Solksjaaer, will tweak their line ups for this Derby clash.
4. Pogba could be massive this time
Manchester United’s Paul Pogba has been involved in nine goals in his last eight Premier League games at Old Trafford, scoring eight and assisting one. The Frenchman scored twice in his last league match against Man City, in a 3-2 win at the Etihad last term. While Pogba has been out of sauce lately, he likes big games and might hug the headlines tonight.
5. Kelechi Iheanacho’s record likely to stay
Iheanacho and Gabriel Jesus are the only teenagers to score in consecutive Premier League games for Manchester City.
Phil Foden scored his first Premier League goal for Man City last time out against Tottenham, aged 18 years and 327 days. It is unlikely he would get another tonight to match Iheanacho and Jesus’s record.
Author: Tunde Eludini