Manchester City vs Manchester United – April 7, 2018 – Etihad Stadium
Coach Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City could be just one match away from becoming champions of the 2017-18 Premier League. A win against city rivals Manchester United at the Etihad on Saturday would ensure just that. Both teams registered easy weekend wins against Swansea and Everton and maintained their grip on the top two spots of the EPL table. United’s 2-0 win at Old Trafford didn’t come as a surprise as rivals Swansea City are a team on the brink of relegation. Jose Mourinho’s men showed much more attacking intent than normal and had as many as 11 shots on the visitors’ goal. Romelu Lukaku became the youngest player to get 100 goals in the Premier League when he scored the opener against the Swans. Alexis Sanchez showed signs of his true self, getting the second one in the match.He easily was United’s best player in the game and will have to maintain the same kind of form when the Red Devils visit Etihad for their toughest outing of the season. As usual, Pogba made no significant contribution to the proceedings and someone like Marcus Rashford was introduced only in the 75th minute. Mourinho will seriously need to rectify things in the mid-field space if he wants to make a match of it against the formidable City. The defensive quartet of Ashley Young, Lindelof, Chris Smalling and Anthony Valencia were hardly tested in their recent two games against Brighton and Swansea, but against a City attack it will a different ball-game altogether.
Even without the prodigious Sergio Aguero, the City attacking trio of Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane have been making short work of their opponents as they did to Everton 1-3 away at Goodison Park on Saturday. More potent have been Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva in their role attacking mid-fielders upfront that has contributed to so many City goals this season and their overwhelming success. With Vincent Kompany back into the side, things look even more solid at the back with able support from the likes of Otamendi and ex-Spurs right back Kyle Walker. It would take a lot more imagination and enterprise on the part of Lukaku, Sanchez & co. than usual to get the better of this very sound City back-line at the Etihad on Saturday.
Pep Guardiola’s City will be the much more confident side going into April 7th’s game what with a yawning 16-point gap over their forthcoming rivals. City have a gruelling and extremely critical Round of 8 UEFA Champions League clash at Anfield on Wednesday against an in-form Liverpool that could leave some of their key players a bit tired. But that should not bother them against United given their awesome bench strength. The hosts are easily the bookmakers’ favorites but given their champions league performance its worth opposing.
Recommended Tip: Man Utd to Win or Draw, Best Odds 19/20 (odds correct 6th April 2018 and subject to change)