Posted on: Sunday, March 6, 2022 – 4:14 am | Last update: Sunday, March 6, 2022 – 5:13 AM
The “Red Devils” are looking to stay in the golden box… and the Citizens hope to continue flying in the lead
Today, Sunday, the twenty-eighth round of the English Premier League will resume, with two matches of high caliber, the first between Arsenal and its host Watford at four in the evening at Vicarage Road Stadium, while the attention of football fans will turn at six thirty in the evening to the Etihad Stadium, where it will be held. Manchester derby between City and United guest.
In the strongest and most important match today, United is a heavy guest against its neighbor City in Derby, outside the expectations of the city of Manchester, as the numbers tilt in favor of the Red Devils in the backyard of the English Premier League leaders.
Despite the difference between the two teams this season, and perhaps previous seasons, the Etihad Stadium does not hold the good for its owners against Manchester United, as the numbers indicate that City could not win except in an orphan match from the last seven at home in various competitions, in stark contrast to its record. Positive at his neighbor’s stadium in Old Trafford.
City enters the match today at the top of the Premier League with 66 points, 6 points behind its pursuit of Liverpool, which has a game in hand, while Manchester United occupies fourth place with 47 points, 3 points behind Chelsea, which has two matches postponed, and only two points ahead of West Ham and Arsenal, the sixth, knowing that the latter has three games postponed, is in a struggle to reserve one of the four seats that qualify for the Champions League next season.
The two teams are chasing behind the three points, in contrast to the desire of the leaders, City, with 66 points, to maintain the six-point difference from their direct pursuit.
City is seeking to settle the derby in his favour, before he deserves to be European after four days against Sporting Portugal in the second leg of the Champions League round of 16, after he secured a large percentage of his qualification to the quarter-finals with a big victory with five clean points in the first leg.
Manchester City suffered a strong blow two days before playing the derby, when Robin Diaz suffered a torn calf muscle. The Portuguese defender will be out of action for a period of 4 to 6 weeks, Spanish coach Pep Guardiola announced on Friday.
Possession-loving City fear United’s speed on the counter-attack, with Guardiola knowing full well how much damage the likes of Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford can do to his team.
It is expected that City will start today’s match with a formation consisting of Ederson in goalkeeper, in front of the defensive quadruple Kyle Walker, John Stones, Aymeric Laporte and Joao Cancelo, and in the middle Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri and Ilkay Gundoan and in the attack Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden.
On the other hand, United have lost only once in the league after the arrival of their new German coach, Ralf Rangnick, to succeed Norway’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last December.
United is preparing for a crucial two weeks, as it receives Tottenham in the next stage of the league and Atletico Madrid of Spain on the 15th of this month, in the second leg of the round of 16 in the continental competition after.
Rangnick is hesitant about the possibility of pushing the Portuguese star, Cristiano Ronaldo, even though he has scored only a goal in his last ten matches, and he had scored 14 goals in 20 matches before his level declined. Ronaldo, 37, is preparing to play his fifth match in just 15 days, but what worries his German coach is not his physical fitness, but rather the Portuguese’s ability to finish attacks in the nets of his opponents.
Since Rangnick’s arrival at Old Trafford, United have become the team that has created the most chances with 160 without investing a few, scoring just 20 goals.
Rangnick hopes that Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea will stand in the way of the City attack, after he managed in the last stage against Watford to keep a clean sheet for the 129th match, surpassing the personal record in the league for former Danish goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel.
United are expected to enter today’s match with a formation consisting of David de Gea in the goalkeeper, in front of him is the quartet of Diogo Dalot, Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane and Luke Shaw, and in the middle Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandez, and in the attack Ilanga, Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo.
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