Manchester Derby- Pogba-less United seek to stop City juggernaut

By Soccer Blog | Dec 7, 2017

Manchester United will be looking to stop the Man City juggernaut when the two arch rivals meet in a high stakes derby at Old Trafford this weekend.

City have picked up 43 points from a possible 45 this season and are already eight points ahead of second place United. Victory on Sunday will stretch their lead to 11, and with nearly half the season done, that could be too big a mountain for Mourinho’s men to climb. However a win for United will see the gap cut to five and could breath new life into the title race, with a busy set of festive fixtures also set to test Pep Guardiola’s side.

City suffered their first defeat all season when they lost 2-1 to Kiev to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Wednesday night. That was however an inconsequential game, with the Citizens already assured of top spot in Group E and a place in the knockout stages of the tournament prior to the fixture.

Last weekend, City had to work hard to break a resolute West Ham side down. It needed a piece of magic seven minutes from time from David Silva to subdue the gutsy Hammers who defended for their lives, with Adrian outstanding in goal for David Moyes’ side.

West Ham, like Huddersfield and Saints before them, also exploited City’s weakness at set pieces- Angelo Ogbonna’s goal came from some poor City defending, and United and Jose Mourinho would’ve surely noticed that. Unfortunately for the Red Devils, they will be missing Paul Pogba through suspension- the French star is a vital cog in the United midfield and they look to be a different time with him on the pitch.

Man City rested Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho last weekend against the Hammers, well aware that a booking could see the key duo sit out the derby. Mangala deputised for Kompany in defence, with Fabian Delph moving into midfield and Danilo going to the left side of defence to cover for Fernandinho’s absence.

A look at would indicate that City are marginal favourites, with the absence of Paul Pogba a massive factor despite United holding home advantage.

Paul Pogba Suspended

While City suffered a reversal against Shakhtar, United came from behind in midweek to beat CSKA Moscow. Romelu Lukaku was on target against the Russians, and United will be hoping that the Belgian, whose record against City (5 goals in 12) is his best against a member of the Top 6, fires this weekend. Lukaku also scored in pre-season against the Citizens when the two sides did battle in Houston.

United form

Man Utd 2-1 CSKA
Arsenal 1-3 Man Utd
Watford 2-4 Man Utd
Man Utd 1-0 Brighton
Basel 1-0 Man Utd

City form

Shakhtar 2-1 Man City
Man City 2-1 West Ham
Man City 2-1 Southampton
Huddersfield 1-2 Man City
Man City 1-0 Feyenoord

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