Something has to give in crunch Manchester United vs Manchester City showdown
There have been some terrific Manchester derbies in recent years but it is difficult to imagine any of them taking on more significance than Sunday’s clash between the two local rivals.
When City arrive at Old Trafford they will get the chance to extend the lead over their closest rivals to 11 points, while also look to record a fourteenth straight Premier League win in the process, a feat that has never been accomplished before in a single season.
This is a record that José Mourinho will be anxious to avoid and he will be banking on United’s formidable home record and the form of David De Gea to repel the visitors.
De Gea seems to get better with every passing season and is now arguably the best shot-stopper in the world. United have registered 9 clean sheets from the 15 Premier League games that they have participated in this season, conceding just 9 goals in total.
However, this doesn’t truly reflect the quality of chances the opposition have been afforded.
While wasteful finishing and some last ditch defending will no doubt have played its part, De Gea’s outstanding goalkeeping simply cannot be overlooked.
Last Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Arsenal was a shining example. The Spanish international put in another heroic display and this is highlighted perfectly by the Gunners’ xG figure of 5.01. It was a game United shouldn’t have won but they did!
Paul Pogba will miss Sunday’s encounter through suspension and he is sure to be badly missed by United, a fact that has not gone unnoticed by the bookmakers. This is reflected in our GW16 goal projections which are calculated from the latest betting lines.
City may have been installed as marginal favourites on Sunday but it’s a situation Mourinho has encountered many times before during some titanic tussles with Pep Guardiola, so even though it may not exactly be a David vs Goliath story, he will surely be praying that his goalkeeper can tip this one in the Red Devils’ favour and burst that City bubble!
It promises to be a very special Manchester occasion.