Pep Guardiola and his troops are scheduled to strut up to Old Trafford on Saturday and take part in probably the most anticipated derby in quite a while. Manchester City’s rise has been rapid and recent meetings between the two point towards another classic in the offing. Pep Guardiola has managed to get his vastly varied methodology across to the group of players at his disposal. The same players who were deemed to be past their peak and too lethargic to carry on fighting for trophies at a club like Manchester City. The desire to retain their dignity and impress one of the best managers in the world has acted as the main catalyst for the players and with a majority of the new recruits still to join, the future looks to be bright for the Sky Blues.
The match will set an early yardstick for the upcoming season and along with bragging rights, it will have a huge psychological bearing on the title race. With the two Manchester giants billed to be in and around the top spot come the end of the season, Saturday will be crucial in so many ways.
HERE IS THE PREDICTED MANCHESTER CITY LINE-UP AGAINST MANCHESTER UNITED (4-1-4-1)
Claudio Bravo is touch and go with the Chilean been given extra time off to adjust to the new conditions. Caballero might start in goal then, having impressed reasonably thus far. Sagna is likely to be a right-back as he looks to make a comeback while Stones and Otamendi will most likely form the centre-back pairing. Kolarov provides an alternative in case Gael Clichy is selected at left-back.
It is impossible to say whether Gundogan will be risked from the start in such a high-profile game with the German international returning to the pitch after a very long layover. As such Fernandinho will start just in front of the back four. David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne will take up usual position just in front of the Brazilian in their free No.8 role and the Spaniard will be buzzing after a terrific international outing with Spain.
Nolito is expected to line up on the left side and the way he has slotted into the team, £13.8m looks to be an absolute steal for the former Celta Vigo man. Sterling will be on the right flank as he looks to shake off a mini-blip with England as he failed to show the same amount of incisiveness for his National team. And with the major set-back in the form of Aguero’s ban, it will be Kelechi Iheanacho’s big day up front leading against Manchester United at Old Trafford.