Arguably, the most awaited clash of the new Premier League season, the Manchester derby, will kick off in less than 24 hours and fans of the game around the world are waiting to see what kind of entertainment, the two new managers in the city of Manchester will provide this weekend. Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho, two managers who have star-studded squads, have made a similar start to their Premier League campaign winning all three games so far and standing at the top of the table. However, all the form before the game goes out of the window when the duo step on to Old Trafford on Saturday to fight for an early advantage in the race to the Premier League title. With the kick-off not too far away, let’s take a look at 3 reasons why Manchester United are favorites to run away with all three points from the game.
The Zlatan effect
Having failed to score in just one game since putting on the Red Devils jersey, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has already made an impact on the Premier League. He scored in the Community Shield victory, then on the opening day victory over the Cherries before scoring a brace against Southampton. Though he was not on target against Hull, he was a great influence on the squad and will be the biggest threat on the night for the visitors. Though the likes of Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial will carry their own threats, Zlatan might just be the man who will be the difference between the two sides come the end of the game. Besides, he’ll want to make a statement against Pep whom he despises by the way.
Facing Pep Guardiola in any competition in any league in the world is not an easy task but Old Trafford might be one place that can nullify his effect. The Old Trafford faithful were in full voice in the game against Southampton and they will once again provide an extra energy to their team on Saturday.
Travelling to Old Trafford is never easy and Pep Guardiola will know that but if he is not able to control the ball early in the game and silence the crowd, he and his squad will find it hard to concentrate and perform well against the Red Devils on the night.
Sergio Aguero’s absence
Having picked up a suspension for an act of stupidity in the previous game against West Ham United, Sergio Aguero has left Manchester City without their star striker for this crunch inter-city trip to Old Trafford. It is a huge loss for the visiting manager who has to decide on using a young centre-forward to lead the line or use a false 9 to add an extra man in the midfield. Guardiola is not known for changing his squads and formations too much and missing Aguero will effect his team’s chances not just in front of goal but as a whole throughout the game.