This Saturday sees one of the most exciting and enjoyable Premier League derbies, with Manchester United hosting Manchester City for the 183rd Manchester Derby and the first of the current season.
Both teams have had moderate starts to the season so far, with United currently one point above City with 19 points to their 18 in 6th place.
City are currently unbeaten in their last five games in all competitions, whilst United have 3 wins and 2 draws, coming off the back of a 3-2 loss to RB Leipzig in the Champions League, with the Red Devils falling to the Europa League.
Over recent years, the Manchester Derby has grown in prestige and has gone from being one of United’s easier games in their calendar to a must win over the past decade – the balance of power has changed within Manchester and this has become a great game for neutrals to watch and enjoy.
A recent report from Betway did a great job of highlighting the change in power and the growth of Manchester City from being mid-table enthusiasts to Premier League winners – with former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson first dismissing the growth and efforts of City in the early days, describing them as just ‘the noisy neighbours’, which he soon began to realise was way off what the club were soon to become.
Not only did City eclipse their noisy neighbour status but instead grew to become the bailiffs of Manchester, and eventually evict United from their No.1 spot in the Premier League.
Despite this Manchester Derby taking place early on in the season, it will no doubt be an important game for both sides who sit almost neck and neck with one another in the league and who are way off the pace of what may have been expected from their fanbases.
As expected, Pep Guardiola’s side are currently favourites to win the game. The previous 6 Manchester derbies in all competitions have provided some interesting results despite the power shift, with both teams winning three of the last six, with the previous two meetings falling in United’s favour with a 2-0 win in the league in March, and a 1-0 win in the League Cup in January.
I have no doubt the game will be a great watch, and I am going for a 3-1 win in Pep’s favour to take Man City above United in the table after 12 games into the season.