Manchester City vs Manchester United: 5 factors which could decide the tie | Premier League 2018-19
One of the fiercest derbies in England is the Manchester derby. Manchester United travel to the Etihad stadium to take on bitter rivals Manchester City on Sunday.
The champions are cruising at the moment, and are still unbeaten in the Premier League this season, alongside Liverpool and Chelsea.
On the other hand, Manchester United have blown hot and cold this season. They have looked awful in some games, while in others they have been impressive. All these factors may count for nothing when hostilities resume on the football pitch on Sunday.
Lets take a look at some factors which could prove decisive with regards where the pendulum will swing.
#1 Manchester City's immaculate passing ability
Manchester City are among the best passers of the ball in the Premier League, there is no doubt about that. Pep Guardiola's team is renowned for this tactic.
On Sunday, United's hopes of getting anything out of the game hinges on their game plan to stop City's passing game, especially when United presses high up the pitch, because of City's propensity to play out from the back via Ederson Moraes.
If City get their groove on, it will be difficult for United to stop them. The flow of City's passes could wear United's players out as they chase the ball. United have to restrict City's passing game to the barest minimum in order to nullify their attacking threat.
#2 The pace of Raheem Sterling
All eyes will be on the likes on Sergio Aguero and Riyad Mahrez, but one player you cannot ignore is Raheem Sterling. The Jamaican-born winger has been reborn since the arrival of Pep Guardiola. His pace and trickery on the flanks has been one of City's most potent weapons with regards breaking opposition defences.
United will have to be wary of his strengths, and how he uses it on the day. Ashley Young will definitely be under constant pressure, considering the fact the Englishman is ageing, and no longer has the pace to burn.
#3 Manchester United's quick breakaways
Under Jose Mourinho, one of Man Utd's strongest points is the ability to break away quickly on the counter. They may not be a possession based team, but you cannot give United too much chances to counter attack. The pace of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford could cause City some problems on the break.
United will let City have the ball, but they will be looking to punish them on the break. Manchester United have to make use of this maximally.