4 Manchester United Players who can decide the Manchester Derby
The first battle of the season has almost arrived. No matter what anyone says, everything is at stake in the Manchester Derby. League positions, current form, the players' available account for absolutely nothing. Only a win is acceptable, only a win is desirable and anything else is a bad result, including a draw. One of the fiercest rivalries in sports, the Manchester Derby divides friends, families and fans alike all over the world.
While the ranks within both clubs has changed in recent time, it has done little to wither the animosity. Manchester United have won 77 of the 176 games between the two sides, while City have won 51. Last season, City won at Old Trafford, while United won the reverse fixture spectacularly, coming back from 2 goals down.
On current form, City have the upper hand. They are unbeaten at top of the table, with 9 wins out of the 11 games played. United, on the other hand, are 7th but have put together a fine run which has seen them come back to win 3 of their last 4 games in the Premier League. Contrary to popular belief, United do have the players to trouble City all around the pitch and today we look at the 4 men who could determine the outcome of the game on Sunday.
#4 Ander Herrera
The Spaniard has played just 123 minutes in the Premier League this season, with a combination of Fred and ankle injury keeping him out. His only start in the Premier League was in the back 3 against Spurs, where things went horribly wrong. Jose didn't seem to have him in his plans, but Herrera has been there, done that and as a result, crawled into Jose's good book spectacularly again.
After the Spurs debacle, Herrera had played just 34 minutes - all coming from the bench, in 3 games and last weekend against Bournemouth, the Spanish midfielder found himself on the bench again. But with every passing minute, Fred's recent woeful run continued to haunt United and as a result, Herrera replaced Fred in the 56th minute. As soon as he stepped on the field, United were bitten by his infectious energy, which helped them regain control on the field. It directly resulted in Herrera returning to the starting eleven against Juventus in the Champions League in the midweek, where, once again, he was efficient and effective.
Against Manchester City, Jose will want someone who is cautious but has the ability to spot a run from deep, who is gritty yet intelligent, who can be engaging as well as sly. Ander Herrera fits the bill like few others. His mere presence lifts Matic, who has been out of form this season and the Spaniard also has a galvanizing effect on this team that United will need in the game. Against City, watch out for Ander Herrera.