Old Trafford, Manchester
Premier League 2016/17
Saturday 10th September 2016 – KO 12:30 [Live on Sky Sports]
Referee: Mark Clattenburg
Assistant Referees: Jake Collin and Simon Bennett
Fourth Official: Mike Dean
Manchester United welcome Manchester City to Old Trafford at lunchtime on Saturday in the first Manchester derby of the Premier League season. Both United and City have had a good start to the season, winning all three league matches, taking a maximum of nine points in August. Manchester City currently tops the league on goal difference, have one extra goal scored over both United and Chelsea, who have also started the season with maximum points. Mourinho held his press conference on Friday afternoon and confirmed that injuries were not a problem ahead of the derby with Marouane Fellaini playing for Belgium during the week and Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Luke Shaw both fit. The Armenian may not be ready for 90 minutes, but will be involved in the squad.
The Manchester derby is a massive fixture in the league as it involved bragging rights for the city, which is red in case you had not noticed. United, in their last two meetings at Old Trafford, have won and drawn, to keeping that record this season will be a must, putting the blue side of Manchester where they belong, back in the shadows. There is a massive rivalry between United and City and long may it continue. The arrival of Pep Guardiola this summer has led to many City supporters feel that their club will dominate both domestically on in Europe this season, which may not be the case just because the manager has done so at both Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Guardiola seems to do well with already successful teams, and City, despite seeing more success since their oil-rich sugar daddies purchased the club as their plaything, being successful is not something they actually are.
Manchester City has spent more than £1 billion since the Arabs bought their club, but they only have two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and two League Cups to show for that. Europe is not something City has been successful in, or will if I am honest. The supporters do not seem to be all that interested in European matches, booing the UEFA Champions League music st their stadium, the fans that bothered to show up anyway, which seems to be another problem with the blue side of Manchester – the stadium is something of a problem to actually fill, especially for midweek matches against lesser opposition, which is pretty pathetic support. Their first home game this season in the Premier League was a problem to sell and discounted tickets seem to be something that is offered regularly.
Mourinho v Guardiola is what this derby is about, as the two managers had a massive rivalry in Spain with Mourinho leading Real Madrid and Guardiola leading Barcelona. This is the 172nd Manchester derby, United has won the most, with City gaining on them recently. United suffered a disastrous defeat in this fixture in 2011, conceding six goals, which has not been something they have been able to live down over the past five years. This could be the derby where United reign supreme and many will be confident in that being the case with confidence returning, not to mention the fear factor coming back and the massive amount of hate for Manchester United. Normal business could well resume.
Manchester United Form:- WWWWDW
Hull City 1-0 W, Southampton 2-0 W, AFC Bournemouth 3-1 W, Leicester City 2-1 W, Everton 0-0 D [F], Galatasaray 5-2 W [F]
Manchester City Form:- WWWWWL
West Ham United 3-1 W, Steaua Bucharest 1-0 W, Stoke City 4-1 W, Steaua Bucharest 5-0 W, Sunderland 2-1 W, Arsenal 3-2 L [F]
Manchester United Squad;
Manager: Jose Mourinho
Goalkeepers: David De Gea, Sergio Romero, Sam Johnstone
Defenders: Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, Daley Blind, Luke Shaw, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian
Midfielders: Paul Pogba, Memphis Depay, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Michael Carrick, Ashley Young, Ander Herrera, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marouane Fellaini, Morgan Schneiderlin
Forwards: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford
Manchester City Squad:
Manager: Pep Guardiola
Goalkeepers: Claudio Bravo, Willy Caballero
Defenders: Bacary Sagna, Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta, Aleksandar Kolarov, Gaël Clichy, John Stones, Nicolás Otamendi
Midfielders: Fernando, Raheem Sterling, İlkay Gündoğan, Nolito, Jesús Navas, Kevin De Bruyne, Fabian Delph, David Silva, Fernandinho, Yaya Touré
Forwards: Sergio Agüero, Leroy Sané, Kelechi Iheanacho
Suspensions/Injuries: Sergio Agüero (banned for three matches), Vincent Kompany (thigh muscle strain), İlkay Gündoğan (knee), Leroy Sané (hamstring), Bacary Sagna (hamstring)
Predicted Starting XI:
Manchester United 2-1 Manchester City