Generous City can’t gift any more points
CITY have been far too generous to opponents this season.
For the last two years Pep Guardiola’s team have been Scrooge-like with their gifts, ignoring any issues opposition teams are having and steamrollering them all on their way to two Premier League titles.
Recently, though, that changed.
Norwich were so light on bodies when they played City they had to name two goalkeepers on the bench yet claimed a shock victory.
Wolves had barely made back from a Europa League fixture in Turkey when they won at the Etihad.
Miguel Almiron had failed to contribute to a Newcastle goal until City obliged at St. James’ Park.
United have not won back-to-back league games since March 2, a month before they appointed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as permanent manager.
As the Reds head into today’s game with Mauricio Pochettino available and interested in the job, it has
City cannot afford to another struggling side.
GOOD IN THE BOXES
IT’S what decides games and will be especially true in this one with United likely to happily yield possession and try to hit City on the counter.
The Blues need to make the most of their ample time on the ball and have a strong enough defence to keep the visitors out on the rare occasion they lose it.
BIG GAME TEAM AND PLAYERS
PARTLY because of the way United set up, their best results this season have been against the toughest teams. They have beaten Tottenham and Chelsea and are the only side in the league to take points off Liverpool. City must also be wary of Marcus Rashford. The England striker scored two in the win over Tottenham and also has an excellent record against the best teams; he got the winner in the 2016 derby at the Etihad. help out
DOES GUNDOGAN RETURN? ILKAY Gundogan is one of the players Guardiola turns to most, able to play in the holding midfield role or further forward as one of the two central players in front of that position.
He has come in for some criticism this season as the team have laboured and was suspended for the midweek win over Burnley – one of the best performances of the campaign.
The manager will not be swayed by fan power but does have a selection decision to think hard about.
OPTIONS AT LEFT-BACK
FOR the first time in two months, there are three players fit and available to play at left-back.
Aleks Zinchenko’s return gives Guardiola another option as he plots the gameplan to beat United and the Ukrainian has been missed during his six-week injury with neither Benjamin Mendy nor Angelino nailing down a starting place in his absence.
Ilkay Gundogan could return for the Blues today