The Manchester derby is always a heated occasion, and the stakes will be as high as ever when City host United on Thursday, as the result will have a massive impact on whoever gets to play Champions League football next season.
So both sides will lining up to win, but what will be their tactics to do so? Pep Guardiola is likely to keep using the 4-2-3-1 formation and will rely on the combined pace of Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sané and Gabriel Jesus to unsettle the United defense.
Daley Blind will start at centre-back because of injuries, and he is not the quickest. It remains to be seen whether Jesus starts in the striking position over Sergio Aguëro. Jesus might potentially pose a bigger threat, considering he is as of yet an unknown quantity to United’s defenders.
Away from home, United are very likely to approach this game the same way they did against Chelsea at Old Trafford a fortnight ago. That game was a classic example of how José Mourinho approaches big matches: setting up his midfield to stop the opposing creative players from producing the goods.
It’s effectiveness was on show for everyone as Ander Herrera single handedly man-marked Eden Hazard out of the game. Mourinho then relied on the fast and hard working forward line of Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford to unhinge Chelsea’s defense. The duo of Zlatan Ibrahimovi ć and Paul Pogba will be missed, but Mourinho of all people knows that team effort is arguably more important than individual brilliance in these big games.
As has been the case in the last few years, this fixture is difficult to predict. United are missing a lot of players but have momentum, and City will have a point to prove after their demoralising FA cup defeat to Arsenal. All things considered, it is going to be a tight affair.