Manchester United’s pre-season tour is about to take an interesting twist as the Red Devils prepare for the Beijing edition of the Manchester Derby – yes, Manchester City is in China too, and whether it’s a friendly or not it’ll be exciting. United finds themselves with surprisingly a lot to play for as they will not only be looking to extend their run of almost two years unbeaten against the Citizens but also to recover from their heavy defeat against Dortmund.
Jose Mourinho shouldn’t be concerned with the result as he should with many of the performances, as the likes of Phil Jones, Marcus Rojo and Antonio Valencia looked incapable of playing football again for Manchester United. United isn’t the only side to lose to a German outfit so far this season, though, because City opened their preseason with a defeat against new manager Pep Guardiola’s club, Bayern Munich. City is likely to want to win just as much as United, if not more (Mourinho claimed the game meant nothing), so here’s a look at their chances.
Manager: Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola’s appointment at Manchester City caused almost as grand a stir as Mourinho’s at United (relative to the sizes of the respective clubs). Though it arguably caused a dip in form in Manuel Pellegrini’s latter months at the club, most City fans will tell you it was worth it. However, Guardiola lost his first friendly in a sentimental match against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena. Guardiola, supposedly the best manager in world football, has now reached a place where he has the ability to prove himself without the best squad in world football.
Guardiola and Mourinho have a famous managerial rivalry that goes back to the days when they managed the El Clasico clubs before Guardiola resigned from Barcelona to eventually join Bayern Munich. At Barcelona, Guardiola won two Champions Leagues, one being a treble, but he failed to do the same at Bayern Munich, which makes people believe he ultimately failed in his German spell. That being said, Manchester City fans look at his tactical successes as a plus-point after Pellegrini’s unadjusted, stubborn tactics that were nothing more than entertaining.
Bayern Munich 1-0 Manchester City
Predicted XI (4-3-3)
Key Player: Yaya Toure
Yaya Toure is no longer the player he once was, and Pep Guardiola is reportedly aware of this, with rumours surrounding his unsettlement around Manchester. This could be his last chance to make something more out of his City career if he still wants to be at the club, and it should be interesting to see Yaya Toure in a good mood.
While City is looking strong, they’ve only played 1 preseason match and they’re currently functioning with a makeshift defensive line featuring Aleksandar Kolarov in the centre of defence. United’s match against Dortmund in Shanghai has them more prepared for the match, so expect the result to reflect that.
Manchester United 3-1 Manchester City