Manchester City suffered their first defeat of the season on Wednesday in the last league game of the UEFA Champions League but that was a dead rubber and had more to do with players being rested for ‘D Day’—The Manchester Derby.
One of the most evenly contested and watched game on the planet, the derby is a really important game for not just these two sides but the others in the League as well because they know that being the two most favourites team in the competition, any one of the city rivals will secure all 3 points(the maximum, both can also settle for 1 each though).
Manchester City are yet to taste a defeat in the league and are in a league of their own. 13 games winning streak will increase to 14, which is a record for most consecutive wins in a single season, but they have their task cut out against the arch-rivals. But to create such a formidable record you have to win against the best teams.
On the other hand, Jose Mourinho is one of the toughest nuts to crack in world football. He has left his mark all over the world with his beautiful strategies. Though City boss Pep Guardiola echoed that it is still too early to decide the outcome, the result will do that to some extent especially if it’s in their favour.
An 8-point lead can increase to 11. The crowds at Old Trafford have already received a set-back in form of suspension of Paul Pogba but they have seen the return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the self proclaimed Lord of the game. He has the ability to turn the game on his head. Lukaku got a goal in midweek but he is struggling in the Premier League of late.
United have not lost a game at the Old Trafford since September last year, a run that extends to 40 matches. However their last loss was also against the same oppoenent.
City have slowed down in recent weeks, winning their last three Premier League games by a whisker of goal.
Pogba is serving three-match ban, starting from the derby. He will be joining Eric Bailly and Michael Carrick on the sidelines.
Zlatan, Phil Jones and Nemanja Matic are available and Marouane Fellaini, who can turn on the game any second, will be assessed ahead of the game.
For City, Silva has regained fitness but captain Vincent Kompany is a doubt. Benjamin Mendy and John Stones are out.
The derby is in for some danger as the meteorological department has served a warning for snowfall.
December 12 is the day for the clash. The game is set to kick off at 2200hrs.