Why Manchester City could struggle against Manchester United
Manchester City failed to score in both derbies last season. The Citizens haven’t failed to score in three in a row since 1995, where they went on a run of four derbies without scoring. Pep’s side will be hoping to end this statistic in order to get a result at Old Trafford. With no Sergio Aguero, could City have a struggle on their hands to get the points they so crave, and therefore boost United’s title-chances in the process?
Here’s three reasons why City could struggle at Old Trafford:
Obviously, there’s no Aguero
Jose might have played it down, but clearly not having a striker as prolific as the Argentinian running at your defenders is a massive boost. The Red Devils are in good form defensively anyway, having only conceded one goal all season. The emergence of Eric Bailly and return of Luke Shaw has boosted them, and of course the way Jose plays allows for a strong and powerful defensive unit. Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling may cause some trouble with their pace, but the United defenders will surely feel that they can keep Pep’s attackers quiet on Saturday lunch-time.
It’s at Old Trafford – and at Jose’s new home
In the Premier League, anyone can win anywhere, and that’s the beauty of it. However, Jose Mourinho has an extraordinary home record, albeit for a few bad Chelsea days last year. The Portuguese manager finds a way to win in-front of his home fans, and will want to do so in one of the biggest derbies he has been involved in. United will be desperate to turn Old Trafford into a fortress again, and what better place to start than against their closest rivals, in location and in competition.
Pep may need more time
While Jose can come in and get right into the league, with his wealth of experience, and his acquisitions of big-name players who can adjust very quickly, Pep may need some time to get his players ready. This game may be just a little too early for the Spaniard. He has a way of playing that is new and different for many of City’s players and may need a while to sink in. Then there’s also the fact that Pep doesn’t know the League as much as Jose, and that could also be a factor.
While it seems unlikely City will fail to score for a third derby running, and keep the unwanted statistic going, it does seem that they may still struggle against a team that they would love to beat.