Manchester Derby: The Ole Saga Continues
While in America, we prepare for week nine of the NFL Season. Across the world, fans prepare for one of the hottest Manchester Derby match of all time.
The Manchester Derby consisting of Manchester United facing Manchester City, has a lot in store this year and depending on results, for United it could mean a lot more to come.
Let’s dive into what can be expected out of both teams. Additionally, what the outcome of this match could mean for United and its fanbase.
Manchester City’s Side!
(Image credit to Premierleague.com)
Manchester City comes into the 186th time these two clubs have met with a talent-heavy roster all throughout.
For starters, their defensive back four with the likes of Kyle Walker, Joao Cancelo, Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte is considered one of the top 5 strongest defensive combinations this year. Now, while City does come into this match after losing at home against Crystal Palace in a surprising fashion, don’t let that fool you!
Manchester City is currently third in EPL standings. They hold a 6-2-2 record coming into this match and only trailing a few points to leaders Chelsea and Liverpool. The citizens’ team biggest strength is that midfield. Combinations like Rodri, Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish have worked out tremendously for Pep Guardiola. Something that United will need to be very mindful, especially as they go into this match without one of their best center-backs, Rafael Varane due to injury.
Meanwhile: Manchester United
(Image credit to Marca.com)
The Red Devils started their campaign in the right foot. However, shortly after their fourth match, things went south and quickly!
One of the biggest problems lying ahead for them in this Manchester Derby, is what will happen should United lose. Manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has come under heavy scrutiny as fans have become tired of excuses with this manager and such little results. Earlier in the week, United faced a strong Italian Atalanta side in the Champions League where a last minute ditched effort by Cristiano Ronaldo allowed them to walk away with a tie.
However, in the Premier League this is a must-win situation for the manager should he wish to remain at the helm of this club. One positive thing here is Ronaldo’s top form remains intact. Additionally, Donny Van de Beek looked really good in a less-than 10 minute performance in the Champions League.
Everything else wise, there’s a lot of weight on this club and on Solskjaer’s shoulders. In example, Maguire’s pairings at center back continue inconsistencies as Lindelof and him have not worked well. Now, Varane is out due to injury and well, who really knows if OGS will realize that Eric Bailly is his best option.
Moving on, the CDM position remains a problem. OGS loves resourcing to Fred, however Fred’s inconsistent play and numerous mistakes create a serious problem for this team.
Lastly, Ole will also need to figure out a game plan in which Donny Van de Beek and Jadon Sancho are involved. Why? Well, given they have been expensive acquisitions and such little use of them, will also create another issue.
Concluding Thoughts & Predictions?
Honestly, as the Ole Saga continues I worry that a loss here will send United again rushing to make a managerial decision to replace OGS. While I am completely at this point in support of Ole being out, I believe it is in the best interest of this club to find something that will be long-term solution.
Secondly, there are pieces that need to be figured out well before this match. Including the fact that the typical 4-1-3-2 formation is something that no longer fits this United side.
The interesting part is that out of the last four derbies, United has yet to lose one. However, just as interestingly, United has lost seven matches in all competitions in 2021 while at home.
With that said, my prediction is a 2-1 victory for United. More likely, another heroic moment at the hands of Cristiano Ronaldo.
(Featured Image credit to Premiumtimesng.com)
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