“People might be laughing at me” – Paul Parker names 2 Manchester United players who could help Red Devils beat Man City

Former Manchester United footballer Paul Parker.
Former Manchester United footballer Paul Parker

Former Manchester United defender Paul Parker believes Raphael Varane and Casemiro could be key for the Red Devils in their clash against Manchester City.

United will host City at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Saturday (January 14). Erik ten Hag's side have been on a blistering run of form, winning their last seven games across competitions. However, they will face a stiff task against the reigning champions.

Ahead of the blockbuster clash, Parker named Varane and Casemiro as two players who could make a big difference for Manchester United on Saturday. He told betting website MyBettingSite:

“This season, it seems like you can beat Man City if you can shut down Erling Haaland. So, Raphael Varane will be the key in the Manchester-derby. He needs to go very physically on Haaland because he doesn’t like that. He will get frustrated at some point.”

The former player, who won two Premier League titles and the FA Cup with United between 1991 and 1996, added:

“People might be laughing at me, but there are only four points separating the two Manchester clubs. There is not a big difference between the teams, and now Man United actually has a manager that can challenge Pep Guardiola.”

Parker concluded by saying about Casemiro:

“Casemiro will of course also be very important in that game. He has the routine in the big games, and he can make the difference. And I trust him and his teammates know that they can rely on him and his huge presence.”

It's worth noting that Varane and Casemiro played minimal roles for Manchester United in the reverse fixture against Manchester City at the Etihad. The former was substituted due to injury in the 40th minute with City leading 3-0, while Casemiro came off the bench in the 59th minute.

The game, played in October 2022, notably ended 6-3 for the Cityzens, with both Erling Haaland and Phil Foden netting hat-tricks.

◉ 64' Erling Haaland becomes the first Man City player to score a Premier League hat-trick against Man Utd◉ 72': Phil Foden becomes the second Man City player to score a Premier League hat-trick against Man UtdWe're going to need two matchballs. 🎩

Raphael Varane and Casemiro have enjoyed a tremendous season for Manchester United

Raphael Varane struggled with injuries and indifferent form for much of the 2021-22 season, his first with Manchester United.

However, he has formed a rock-solid centre-back pairing with Lisandro Martinez this term, helping United to the fourth-best defensive record in the Premier League. The Red Devils have conceded 20 goals in 17 games, only behind Newcastle United (11), Arsenal (14) and Manchester City (16).

Varane has also averaged 4.1 clearances and 1.1 tackles per game in 12 appearances, winning 63% of his duels in the league.

📈 Keeping the intensity high for the Manchester derby. #MUFC || #MUNMCI

Meanwhile, Casemiro's transformative impact on Manchester United's fortunes has been clearly evident.

Erik ten Hag's side have lost just once when the five-time UEFA Champions League winner has started. He has scored twice and assisted twice in 14 Premier League games this term, averaging 0.9 key passes, 3.2 tackles and 1.2 interceptions per game.

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Edited by Anantaajith Ra
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