After the final international break before the FIFA World cup 2022 in December, club football returns this weekend. It will be a week full of derby battles in the Premier League with the headline fixture of Manchester City Vs Manchester United – the most anticipated game on the Football calendar.
Other than the Manchester Derby, there are two London derbies at stake as the first one will take place between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspurs whereas the second London derby will feature Crystal Palace and Chelsea. After a few postponements and an International break, the English Premier League is back and ready to roll.
In this article, Sportzcraazy will provide a detailed analysis and prediction of who is expected to come out with a win in the first Manchester Derby of the 2022/23 Premier League season.
This will be the 51st Manchester derby in the Premier League era since 1992. The Red side of Manchester has won the derby 24 times whereas the Blue half have come out on top 17 times and the fixture has ended in a draw 9 times.
For a prolonged period of time, Manchester City remained under the shadow of Manchester United – the most successful club in the EPL. However, City’s fortunes started to change after the takeover by new owners in 2008. We have had the privilege of seeing some extraordinary derbies between the two but it’s a new season and a new opportunity for both the sides to jot their names down in the history books.
Manchester City will have home advantage as they are set to host their neighbors at the Etihad tomorrow. The Cityzens have won 9 games in front of their crowd out of the 17 wins and United has won 11 derbies away from their home.
Few players from both the teams could make their possible debut in this renowned fixture, most notably – Casemiro, Lisandro Martinez, Antony, Christen Eriksen, Tyrell Malacia and Raphael Varane from Manchester United. City could hand derby debuts to players like – Erling Haaland, Julian Alvarez, Manuel Akanji, Kalvin Phillips, Sergio Gomez and Stefan Ortega.
It will also be Erik Ten Hag, new Red Devils manager’s first derby at the helm and if we talk about his team’s performance this season till now, it has been much better than what was on display last season. There was a lot of uncertainty and tension within the United dressing room last term, which reflected on the pitch as well.
Despite making influential signings like Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo, United finished 7th in the Premier league. However, since Ten Hag’s arrival, the tension has pretty much resolved as he has made his intentions clear that he wants to begin a new era. The Dutchman dropped Cristiano Ronaldo several times from the playing 11, indicating the fact that every player has to prove themselves in order to break into the starting eleven.
Moreover, United will be happy to have the services of French center-back Raphael Varane. Both United and France haven’t lost a single match whenever Varane has started this season and they have lost whenever he did not start.
However, to beat a team like Manchester City, one will have to rely more upon their skills rather than luck and jinx. The Premier league champions are highly favorites to win the Premier league title this season as well and if they do this will be their 3rd PL title in a row.
City manager Pep Guardiola has made the team adapt to his playing style and he has been receiving a lot of praise for doing so. The Cityzens have won 4 PL titles in the last 5 years and they have been very dominant in England.
They signed goal machine Erling Haaland and Argentine youngster Julian Alvarez to replace Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus. Haaland’s form is a scary sight for any opposition as he has been able to find the back of the net 11 times in just 7 PL appearances. Midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has provided the most number of assists this season – 6. The duo of De bruyne of Haaland can easily penetrate into the oppositions back 4 as they have been doing this season.
City goalkeeper Ederson has kept the most number of clean sheets as well with 4. The Cityzens are currently third in the PL with 17 points with Aston Villa and Newcastle the only teams to get a point from the reigning champions.
United on the other hand are 5th in the PL points table with 12 points. After losing both of their opening games, they bounced back and picked 4 wins on the trot. With the type of discipline Ten Hag has lodged into the team, it is likely that United will put up a much better performance as compared to last season.
City have won 2 out of the last 3 derbies and they are favorites to win this one as well. All in all it will be a close game and all eyes will be on Erling Haaland’s performance to see if he can continue his scoring spree.