Man Utd vs Man City Prediction
Saturday 14th January 2023
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Man Utd vs Man City Prediction Match Overview
As part of this weekend’s Premier League predictions, following a brief interlude for the cup competitions we preview Manchester United’s return to Premier League action with a derby against Manchester City at Old Trafford. United are in an excellent run of form. Indeed during the cup break, they beat Everton and Charlton to book their places in the FA Cup fourth round and Carabao Cup semi-finals, respectively. These results mean United have won 20 of their 27 games this season. They have only lost once since the 6-3 defeat to their visitors at the Etihad in early October. United have accumulated 23 points from their last ten league games, putting them third in the form table over this period. They have also won six of their eight Premier League home games this season. A win would put them a solitary point behind the visitors. Their results have improved, and they seem in better spirits since Cristiano Ronaldo left the club. Therefore, they will be cautiously optimistic.
Manchester City comprehensively won their FA Cup third-round tie with a 4-0 victory over Chelsea. However, a surprise 2-0 defeat away at Southampton ended their progress in the Carabao Cup. In the league, they have taken 13 points from the last 18. The blemishes both came at home – a deserved 2-1 loss to Brentford and an unfortunate 1-1 draw with Everton. They have won five and drawn two of their eight away matches this season, putting them second in the away form table. City have a good record at Old Trafford in recent years, having been more successful there than they have in their home matches against United. The reason is that United cannot just sit deep and play on the counter-attack at home. City will look to show they are still the superior team.
Man Utd vs Man City Team News
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Dalot, Tuanzebe, Sancho
Will Not Play: Jones, van de Beek
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Dias
Man United (4-3-3): De Gea; Shaw, Martinez, Varane, Wan-Bissaka; Fred, Casemiro, Eriksen; Rashford, Martial, Fernandes
Man City (4-3-3): Ederson; Ake, Akanji, Stones, Walker; Rodri, Bernardo, De Bruyne; Foden, Haaland, Mahrez
Man Utd vs Man City Prediction Analysis
The Contest for Midfield
The battle for control in midfield will likely be crucial. United are still learning to play a more expansive style under new coach Erik Ten Hag, and this process takes time. With the caveat that they have played weaker opposition recently, they have been controlling games and dominating possession better than before. City and Pep Guardiola should be the acid test of where United are, as the sky blues are the benchmark. However, City have had their struggles recently. There is some debate about whether playing Haaland gives them less control in midfield areas. The Norweigan is a fantastic finisher and goalscorer. However, he is less involved in the general play and pressing aspects than the previous striker Gabriel Jesus was. Other variables are at play, such as a much-altered defence. There is an argument, though, that City are more one-dimensional and vulnerable to transitions than before Haaland signed. As such, we expect Rodri to have his work cut out here.
United often play 4-2-3-1 with Casemiro and Eriksen as a double pivot, as they can afford this luxury against weaker opponents. However, Rodri, De Bruyne, and Bernardo Silva can keep the ball for fun. Hence, United may drop an attacker (likely Antony) and play Fred in midfield to utilise his energy. It’s paramount that United are composed in possession against City’s high press. Control in tight spaces has rarely been United’s forte, so it will be interesting to see if they have improved in this aspect both defensively and in midfield. City will look to control the ball and take the game to United, though there will be some onus on the home team to prove they can go toe-to-toe with the champions. We expect a game where City have more possession than United. However, they likely won’t dominate to quite the same extent as in the past because of United’s progress and the Haaland factor. City may look to control the game more in the second half if Alvarez is introduced; he presses hard and links up for the team more.
The Importance of Transitions
United’s success against City in recent years has generally come at the Etihad. There, they can sit deep and use their pace on the counter, as United are traditionally a counter-attacking team. We are uncertain just how brave Ten Hag will be. He may believe the hype and think United can match City’s play. Alternatively, he may be more pragmatic and look to defend first and try to break with the pace and trickery of Martial and the very in-form Rashford. He may look to stay compact, then introduce impressive youngster Garnacho and Brazilian Antony in the second half against tired legs. Walker’s pace on the cover will be significant in this respect, and we see him getting the nod over Lewis for this reason.
United can certainly trouble City on the break if City leave gaps on the occasions their moves break down. Likewise, City also have counter-attacking quality in their squad, as Mahrez, a forward-bursting De Bruyne, Haaland, Foden, Alvarez, and Grealish represent real quality. Thus, this could be a game where the team with less possession finds some joy. Both teams’ shape and rhythm will likely be disrupted by the other on occasions. Hence, Casemiro and Rodri will probably have to commit at least one tactical foul to stop breaks. Both are masters of the dark arts and avoid yellow cards often, so their cynicism could be necessary. Overall, both teams have much pace and power in midfield and attacking areas, and either could sucker punch if one team gets caught out while trying to break down the other.
Beat the Bookmaker Man Utd vs Man City Prediction
This game is tricky to predict. On the one hand, United have been doing well and come into this match more confident than they have in years. Alternatively, United’s recent opposition has generally been of lesser quality. Indeed, they have experienced many false dawns in the decade since ex-manager Alex Ferguson retired. City’s form has been mixed. There is perhaps an element of self-sabotage with them not playing the likes of Laporte and Dias (even when the latter was fit). We consider them two of their three strongest central defenders alongside Stones. However, we believe City will find their form for this game and give United a reality check. Yes, United have been doing well, but City are still the stronger team in most positions, and United still have mistakes in them in our estimation. We think United might go for it and leave spaces. City will win by two goals in our opinion. If they do, it should be interesting to see United’s reaction to a loss in the coming weeks.
Man Utd 1-3 Man City
Beat the Bookmaker Man Utd vs Man City Prediction – Man City to Win and BTTS Odds:
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