Man City play Man United in what is set to be a fiery Manchester Derby at the Etihad on Sunday. It’ll be the first derby for new City superstar Erling Haaland, who will look to get revenge on United for what they did to his father.
This season’s first instalment of the Manchester Derby is set to be an enthralling encounter, with both sides coming into the fixture in good form.
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Current Premier League champions Man City are one of only two teams in the league still unbeaten, with the other being Spurs. The Citizens currently set 2nd in the table, just a point behind Arsenal after winning 5 of their opening 7 fixtures.
City look like a team just getting warmed up, despite already scoring 23 goals in the league this season. A major reason for the splurge of goals is Erling Haaland, who’s scored almost half City’s entire tally with 11 in the Premier League.
The Norwegian striker has been phenomenal since moving to City in the summer, scoring 14 goals in 10 games across all competitions, the most in Europe’s top 5 leagues. In fact, Haaland has outscored 13 teams in the Premier League this season, including Chelsea and their derby opponents Man United.
Haaland will be looking to get revenge for his family after what Roy Keane did to his dad during an incident during a Manchester Derby in 2001, where the former United captain put in a career-threatening tackle on the Norwegian’s father, who was playing for City at the time.
At his unveiling as a City player, Haaland was asked by the fans who he’s most excited to play.
Haaland replied: “I don’t like to say the word, but, Manchester United, yes.”
The City striker is on course to smash Mo Salah’s Premier League record of 32 goals in a single campaign. Having scored 8 goals in his last 4 league games, we’re certain the goal-scoring machine will be aiming to bag a good few more against United, driven even more by vengeance for his father.
Another newcomer to the Manchester Derby is Man United Boss Erik Ten Hag, who’s got the task of devising a plan to somehow stop Haaland.
However, the former Ajax boss has set up his defence admirably after United’s defeat to Brentford earlier on the season, with the Red Devils only conceding two goals in the preceding four games, one each to Arsenal and Liverpool.
At the heart of United’s upturn in defence is the new pairing of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez. The duo have ushered United well since being put together in a partnership, keeping two clean sheets already. The pair will really be put to the ultimate test on Sunday coming up against the league’s best attack, and arguably the most in-form striker in world football.
United, however, are capable of hurting City as we’ve seen how they up their game in big fixtures, such as the victories over Liverpool and Arsenal. The Red Devils allow the opposition to have the ball – although City would likely have the majority of possession even if this weren’t the case – and then sucker punch the opposition with a swift, deadly counter attack.
Key to this has been Marcus Rashford, who’s upturn in form this season has shown in United’s improvement in results thus far.
Rashford’s strong start to the season was acknowledged as the England International picked up the Premier League Player of the Month Award for September. If United are to walk away from the Etihad with any sort of positive result, Rashford will be pivotal in it.
The game is set to be a feisty encounter, particularly for whoever is up against Haaland. Martinez had a good game against in the UCL for Ajax last season, according to fans. He’ll need to be on top form to keep him out this time around.