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Manchester City Vs Manchester United: Four Key Battles Ahead Of the Manchester Derby

As hostilities brew, this weekend at the Etihad Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United will look to provide the hosts a stern test at their home as the Portuguese tactician looks to attempt to prevent Manchester City Premier League triumph this weekend. Pep Guardiola would be keen to wrap up the Premier League this season so as to focus fully on the UEFA Champions League as they hope to overturn a 3-0 deficit against Liverpool at home. This will be the Manager’s aim going into the Derby and with Mourinho having a contrasting opinion to this match, expects a frenetic test between both sides as a crunch battle ensures at the Etihad Stadium. With the difference in tactics always being the bone of contention involved in this match, we evaluate four key battles between both sides ahead of the match.

Leroy Sane vs. Antonio Valencia

The Manchester City forward will be up against the United Veteran as both players go toe-to-toe on the pitch. Leroy Sane was outstanding going forward as he put throw city’s key man Kevin De Bruyne in transition for the second goal scored by Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus, Valencia showed great strength and defensive awareness against Swansea as they defeated the Welsh side 2-0 at home. This promises to be a fierce battle as the tricky and goal scoring talent of German forward Sane will be put to the test against the shear strength of Antonio Valencia as both talents do battle on the field of play.

Kevin De Bruyne Vs Nemanja Matic   

The Belgian forward who is tipped to win the Premier League players of the year even ahead of Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah would be crucial to this match as the Manchester Derby takes center stage. He will probably face Nemanja Matic, the Serbian that has amply added flair and steel to United’s midfield following his move away from Stanford Bridge. It promises to be a physical combat in tandem with their individual display as both players have the talent to match each other in midfield. Matic technical awareness will be tested in midfield by De Bruyne’s dashing runs from the middle as both players seek tensional dominance on the pitch.
Manchester City vs. Manchester United: Three Imperative things to expect from the Manchester Derby.

Paul Pogba vs. Fernandinho 

This seems to be a physical tussle despite the individual quality of both players. It has been physical as both (midfield) stars got African origin with Pogba originally from West African side Guinea. Pogba’s technical ability to pick a pass would be in contention as the Brazilian arms to halt his attacking move in the course of the contest. This will be a man to man show as both players know each other pretty well having faced off against each other when Shakhtar Donetsk faced Juventus in the group stages of the UEFA champions league in 2012/2013) season. This battle will be a huge one as both players are in the right frame of mind ahead of the Manchester Derby.

Nicolas Otamendi Vs Romelu Lukaku

This rivalry between this two players would be of (key) interesting significance as both players played a huge part in deciding the outcome of the first meeting between both sides (Manchester United and Manchester City). This was evident as Otamendi profiled from (Romelu) Lukaku’s mistake (horror clearance) to find the back of the net at Old Trafford. This saw the Citizens clinched a 1-2 away win at the theatre of Dreams much to the dismay of United side and the Belgian forward in Particular. Expect the forward to be motivated to goal out against the Argentine defender (Otamendi) as battle and staunch form of rivalry ensure among both players in the central areas.           
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Obiweluozo Martins

A professional sportswriter who combs around the world for football matches. I follow the major leagues in Europe and of course the Champions League. I'm also a lover of International football as well as watching the beautiful game from all around the world with an eye on the youth game.

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