Thursday, October 20, 2011

Manchester United In For A City Mauling?

Sir Alex Ferguson, in retrospect, bottled it at Anfield last weekend. In contrast, Roberto Mancini decided to freshen up after the international break and Manchester City got their just reward. It is the "noisy neighbours" who are stepping onto the "prawn-sandwiched" 75,000 capacity-filled Theatre of Dreams as the Premier League leaders.

United starts and finishes all their games strongly. Their movement and quick passing right from the get-go, often forces the opposing teams to make mistakes. The Red Devils also finishes matches very well. No team in the Premier League (bar Liverpool two seasons ago) has ever come back from losing positions more times than the "comeback kings" of Manchester United. This is reflected by their 22 goals scored at the 0-30 mins and 66-90 mins period.

City has a more controlled game, a bit like an Italian team. Their patient buildup play usually stretches defenses and creates numerous goal mouth opportunities. The Citizens have scored 19 goals between the match periods of 31-75 mins, showing that they kill off the opposing teams while able to conserve energy in preparation of the next game.

Both teams have been playing football that is exciting, full of flair and entertaining to watch. The Manchester Derby has been highly charged in the recent seasons and this meeting at Old Trafford will have the added significance of Premiership leadership at stake.

David Silva has been City's best player so far and his creative influence will have a big bearing on the game. It would not surprise me if United assigns Phil Jones to man-mark the Spanish playmaker. But as Everton would attest, Silva's great movement can shake off the best defenders. His able midfield partner, Nasri is also a big dangerman for the Red Devils. Either way, Manchester City's midfield has quality in both departments, defensive and offensive.

Dzeko and Aguero are the league's most lethal finishers, with a respectable 35% and 38% goal conversion rate respectively. Aguero did well in the Champions League match, scoring the winning goal and will want to have a deciding say in this top-of-the-table Manchester derby. The Argentine's partnership with Dzeko is flourishing and this frontline offers directness, speed, deceptiveness and physical presence. United's defence allows lots of chances and De Gea's world class shot stopping abilities will be put to test by City's ruthless efficiency in front of goal.

The Red Devils must start like a house on fire at Old Trafford to have any chance of besting their noisy neighbours. Exerting an early advantage at home is United's best option towards three points and I am sure Sir Alex would be demanding a good forceful 20 mins from his boys.

I fear that Manchester United with their slight blip in form, could be in for a City mauling this Sunday. As such, it is Ferguson rather than Mancini who could look at his team sheet and decide to put out the same defensive-minded team like against Liverpool.


Anonymous said...

This is a freaking joke. Mauling? Seriously? No matter how bad United are, they are still the only team that know how to get the results they want, especiallly when it matters the most.Sunday ain't gonna be different.

Anonymous said...

The comment author seems to be living in a time warp, have they not realsied Manchester city are top of the table or that Manchester City have a much stronger squad?

You look at Uniteds midfield and you see a couple good players, then look at City's and you see good and world class so that says it all.

The fight will be in midfield and Manchester City will win, mark my words. CiTyBlUe

Anonymous said...

While Manchester celebrates on Sunday The rest of the country and foreigners will be choking on their prawns

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