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3 key battles that will decide the Manchester derby

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10 Nov 2018, 08:13 IST

The highly anticipated Manchester derby returns this weekend with the two sides much further apart than when they met for the first time last season.

City find themselves top of the Premier League once again, whereas United have fallen to seventh and find themselves nine points behind their arch enemies.

Last season when United visited the Etihad, like this time, City were the overwhelming favourites before the game. But from 2-0 down, United were able to pull off a thrilling comeback to see them leave the Etihad with all three points.

Can United put in that kind of performance again, or will City blow them away like they have almost every team this season?

Here we look at three key battles that could decide the outcome of the derby:

#1   Raheem Sterling v Ashley Young

Sterling and Young battling it out last season at Old Trafford
Sterling and Young battling it out last season at Old Trafford

Ashley Young has done a great job of filling in at full-back for Manchester United on both the left and the right side of the back four, with him most likely to line-up on the right, and as captain, on Sunday against Man City.

However, Sunday will be a huge test for Young, as he faces off against his England team-mate Raheem Sterling.

Sterling is having a fine season for City and is continuing where he left off from the last campaign, where he scored 23 goals in all competitions. This season, the winger has already scored seven goals from 14 games in all competitions and is proving to be a frightening prospect for any full-back.

Sterling has received a lot of criticism from fans for his performances for the England team, but there is no doubt when he pulls the City shirt on he is a completely different player, and arguably one of the most important in Pep Guardiola’s system.

If City are to run riot on Sunday against United, Sterling getting the better of Young will play a big part in that. On the other hand, for United to defend well and potentially keep City from scoring goals at the Etihad, Young will have to put in a very good performance to keep his compatriot quiet.

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