Things can’t get any more exciting in the Premier League with the Manchester rivals set for their first duel. With both sides having won their opening three games in the new season, will the derby set the tone for the title race? Read on to find out why Man City has an edge.
The first Manchester derby of the season sees bitter rivals Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola lock horns after spending a combined £318 million on transfers this summer. Manchester has undoubtedly become the epicentre of English football, and although championships are not won in September it is fair to assume that the victor this weekend will gain a significant psychological advantage in the title race.
It has been the perfect start for Mourinho at Manchester United, claiming the Community Shield in early August before starting the Premier League campaign with three victories out of three. The Red Devils were comfortable winners against both Bournemouth and Southampton but did struggle to take all three points against Hull, but showed a new found resilience to go right until the end and Marcus Rashford popped up with a 92nd winner to ensure they kept their 100% record. Going forward Manchester United have proven much more of a threat this term, with their new centre forward having an early impact. Zlatan Ibrahimovic may now be at the twighlight of his career at 34-years-old but that has not affected his performances at all and he has proven a real handful in his first few appearances for United. A debut goal in the Community Shield has quickly been followed up by three goals in three appearances in the Premier League, including a match winning brace against Southampton. Ibrahimovic is not a player who will run around a lot and chase down lost causes, but if you supply him with the ammunition in and around the penalty area then there are few better players in the world at converting chances. He relishes the big matches, he has scored goals in El Classico and the Milan derby already in his career and will be keen to add a Manchester derby goal to his collection.
City have also enjoyed a perfect start to the 2016/17 campaign with five wins out of five in the Premier League and Champions League qualifiers. The Guardiola revolution has already began with several big name players making their exits from the Etihad including Samir Nasri, Eliaquim Mangala, Wilfried Bony and of course England’s number one Joe Hart. However it has not made City weaker, in fact they look stronger than ever with new boys John Stones and Nolito coming in to supplement what they already had. Guardiola has got to work on the training ground with his players and has implemented a new style of play which has so far made them look excellent on the eye, producing some stunning displays already particularly going forward.
The Man City manager has won five, drawn four, and lost two of his 11 previous meetings with Mourinho, largely because his team invariably plays on the front foot. Guardiola’s tactical positivity and excellent record against Mourinho suggests that he will emerge victorious. Currently priced at 3.33 on Pinnaclesports, Manchester City to win looks like a valuable betting opportunity.