Three Key Questions ahead of the Manchester Derby


Not a long ago, Manchester Derby used to be the biggest game in Manchester City’s season, however, in last six seasons The Citizens have surpassed their famous neighbors. City have won Premier League twice in last 4 seasons, which is equal to the number of times United have lifted the trophy.

As ever, tonight’s Manchester Derby will have massive impact on where the two teams end up this season. The race for top 4 is heating up with both Manchester clubs involved in a tight fight with West Ham.

Currently United trail City by 4 points, but a win tonight would send them closer to their noisy neighbors and above West Ham in league table.

Ahead of a massive game at The Etihad, we take a look at three key questions which ought to be answered when the two giants of Manchester face off against each other.

Can City cope with their defensive injuries?

Manchester City will be without their skipper Vincent Kompany and key defender Nicolas Otamendi for this all important game tonight. We have seen in the past how City’s defense goes for a toss in big games if Kompany is not playing.

His absence will be a crucial factor and something United must look to take advantage of. Manuel Pellegrini will call upon his trusted Martin Demichelis along with the misfit Eliaquim Mangala at the heart of Man City defense.

Will the duo be able to cope up with Marcos Rashford and Anthony Martial’s pace? We shall see. One thing is for sure, the vulnerability in City’s defense could be an important factor in the eventual outcome of this all important Manchester Derby.

Will Van Gaal get his team selection right?

Starting with Marouane Fellaini has bugged many United fans in recent weeks, however, with Morgan Schneiderlin rested and Bastian Schweinsteiger nearing full fitness we might see a different tactic from the Dutchman.

Considering City’s weakened defensive state, it would be an ideal time for Van Gaal and Manchester United to go on the offensive and take the game to Manuel Pellegrini’s team.

Who holds the edge in top 4 race?

Manchester City are well aware that a loss against United would make them the third favorite to finish in top 4 this season.

City’s form has been largely inconsistent in the league and with key players missing, it could be a case of Man United and West Ham fighting it out for next season’s Champions League berth.

Incoming manager Pep Guardiola would have a keen eye on the matters at Etihad as he would not want to waste a year playing in Europa League when he takes over at Manchester City next season.

Image Credit: SkySports