Manchester United vs Manchester City: 3 things to watch out for | Premier League 2019-20
- These 3 factors could well determine the outcome of the Manchester Derby this weekend.
Manchester City face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday in a crucial Premier League match. City look firm favorites to finish second behind Liverpool, who have all but secured their 19th League title. City now have 57 points from 27 matches, and have also ensured qualification for the last eight in FA Cup.
On the other hand, United are at the 6th place with 42 points from 28 matches, and are still trying for a top 4 finish. United had beaten City 2-1 at the Etihad in December by producing a counter-attacking master-class, but City got their revenge by beating United in the Carabao Cup.
United still have 10 matches in hand, and would desperately try to improve their position in the league table. However, it would not be an easy task to defeat their city-rivals, and the contest promises to be an absorbing one.
We shall now take a look at the three crucial factors which might determine the fate of the match:
#1 Daniel James’ return to the playing XI
Daniel James had missed the match against Everton that ended in a 1-1 stalemate, and United would be boosted by his return to the starting XI against City.
In James’ absence, United played Bruno Fernandes as a de facto false 9, with Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood playing in the right and left wings respectively. With James’ return, Fernandes would switch back to the No. 10 in a 4-2-3-1, and Martial would start as the centre-forward.
However, United were clearly missing James’ speed and guile through the flanks. The 22-year-old was instrumental in the 3-0 win over Watford; he had claimed an assist and was one of the better performing players in the match.
James he did not play in the FA Cup fifth round match against Derby County, which United won 3-0. It would be a visual treat for the United supporters if James is able to combine effectively with Martial and Fernandes against City.