Stern United derby test for City

Slick pace-set­ters face a real ex­am­i­na­tion of their Pre­mier­ship ti­tle cre­den­tials

Cape Argus - - THE RACEGOER - DPA

CHAM­PI­ONS Manch­ester City will brace them­selves for a real test of their ti­tle cre­den­tials when they play bit­ter ri­vals Manch­ester United in the Pre­mier League on Sun­day.

Two points clear at the top and still un­beaten, City are rid­ing a wave of con­fi­dence, hav­ing smashed in 23 goals in their past six matches.

Twelve of them have come in their last two games and even with­out the in­jured Kevin de Bruyne, they are fir­ing on all cylin­ders.

But United will ar­rive at the Eti­had Sta­dium a much changed side from even a month ago, hav­ing won four of their last six games to rec­tify a poor start to the sea­son.

A win at City would cut the gap be­tween the two Manch­ester teams to just six points and United man­ager Jose Mour­inho said his side will go for it in search of vic­tory, hav­ing won at Ju­ven­tus in mid­week.

“We played very, very well (away to Chelsea and to Ju­ven­tus on Wed­nes­day) and this is what we want; we want to play well, we want to go to ev­ery sta­dium, and it doesn’t mat­ter the team, and we play.

“Then if they are bet­ter than us, they win; if they have more po­ten­tial than us, they win; if we make mis­takes and pay for the mis­takes, we lose. But I want the feel­ing, it doesn’t mat­ter where we go, we go to com­pete.”

City man­ager Pep Guardi­ola has no new in­jury con­cerns and with such fire­power at his dis­posal, it will take a huge per­for­mance from United to stop them.

“We have one more game be­fore the in­ter­na­tional break. We are go­ing to try (to win),” Guardi­ola said.

Chelsea and Liver­pool, both un­beaten and sep­a­rated in sec­ond and third only by goal dif­fer­ence, are also in ac­tion on Sun­day.

Chelsea face Ever­ton at Stam­ford Bridge with a day less than most teams to re­cover af­ter their Europa League out­ing last night.

Liver­pool host bot­tom side Ful­ham, per­haps the ideal fix­ture for a team who, as man­ager Juer­gen Klopp said in mid­week, are miss­ing their mojo.

The An­field side lost away to Red Star Bel­grade in mid­week but full­back Andy Robert­son be­lieves it is “one of those pe­ri­ods we need to get through”.

“Last sea­son ev­ery­one was used to us scor­ing four or five goals. That can’t be pos­si­ble ev­ery sin­gle game,” he said. “At times we’ve dug out re­sults, in the Pre­mier League more so this sea­son.

“Maybe it’s not been as good to look at but we’ve been ef­fec­tive at it. Maybe we are miss­ing a bit of a spark in terms of not win­ning four or five­nil in most games, but if (Klopp) thinks that then we need to try to get it back.

“We need to come to­gether as a team and try to give what the gaffer wants, try to get the spark and try to win games more com­fort­ably.”

Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur could join Chelsea and Liver­pool level on points in sec­ond, for 24 hours at least, if they can win at Crys­tal Palace to­mor­row.

Arse­nal host Wolver­hamp­ton Wan­der­ers on Sun­day, while at the other end of the ta­ble, Hud­der­s­field Town will try to build on their first win of the sea­son with an­other at home to West Ham United.

Also, Cardiff City wel­come Brighton & Hove Al­bion, Le­ices­ter City meet Burn­ley, New­cas­tle United take on Bournemouth and Southamp­ton play Wat­ford.

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From left: Lizelle Lee, Dane Van Niek­erk, Marizanne Kapp, Chloe Tryon and Suné Luus.

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