Match preview :
The biggest game of the season is here! A potential title-deciding match according to most, Manchester United host their ”noisy neighbours” today for the derby showdown. Manchester City have maintained the eight-point lead they took over a month ago and a win for the Red Devils could open forums for a lot of questions, hope and optimism for the clubs immediately below them.
If the Cityzens win, it would be their 14th in a row in the Premier League and they could take a 11-point lead, which means by the standards they have set this season, the title race could be done and dusted.
Both sides have a unique mix of established stars and youth, who are performing both individually and as a unit. However, some of the battles could be extremely decisive, battles that could turn the match on its head towards a team’s favour.
Here are three key battles to watch out for –
Sergio Aguero v David De Gea
David De Gea was almost impenetrable against Arsenal last time out and throughout the season, he has stepped up for his side like no one else has. He, at times, defies the laws of physics with his reflexes and full stretch saves.
He has an unbelievable tally of 54 saves so far, just 20 lesser than the whole of last season. Coming up against him will be Sergio Aguero, who has made it a habit to fight for the Golden Boot, and has won it previously too.
His quick feet and ability to get a shot away in the most unlikely scenario will test the Spaniard surely and De Gea has to be up for another evening on his toes.
Vincent Kompany v Romelu Lukaku
Vincent Kompany, who is experienced and the best in the league if fully fit, can single-handedly take care of strikers.
Romelu Lukaku, who is smart with his hold up play and heading abilities, will fight shoulder to shoulder with the Belgian talisman. With United expected to play a defensive game, the forward will really have to come out on top versus his marker as he is unlikely to see much of the ball for long periods in the game.
Leroy Sane v Antonio Valencia
With 6 goals and 6 assists to his name in just over 900 minutes of playing time, Leroy Sane is becoming one of the hottest properties in English football. He starts from the left and remains there waiting for a pass, and in a flash, gets onto a defender, takes him on and does something productive.
He will be up against Antonio Valencia, who sticks to his line and defends neatly. Very rarely will one spot the Ecuadorian out of position or too high up the pitch when the opposition is attacking.
It will be a profound battle where pace, skill and youth will take on discipline, strength and experience.