The International break is finally over, and Manchester City are back in Premier League action for the first time since 17 September. This time the Sky Blues face off against their old rivals, Manchester United. Our group of writers from Bitter and Blue, City Xtra, Man City Square, and City Report are here to give our predictions for the 188th Manchester Derby.
Manc Pete (@inuisibilem) - Biter and Blue
United are in good form but City are flying and, although the Stretford Rangers will put up a fight, City will take the points. I’m normally quite reserved in predictions but that’s out of the window for this match. City to win 11-0, Haaland triple hat-trick, an Ederson penalty and a calamitous own goal by Maguire from a United corner.
Okay, seriously, City 4-2 United. Still think Maguire will get an own goal.
Srinivas Sadhanand (@notsrini_) - City Xtra
While Manchester United remain a threat in transition, with Marcus Rashford being the focal point of their approach, this game has a Manchester City win written all over it.
In games where City have previously been beaten before on the break, they have often deserved to win on the balance of play. However, unforgivable finishing has led to results that have left Pep Guardiola and the Etihad faithful with their head in their hands on countless occasions.
This time around, the hosts have the most clinical striker in world football at their disposal, which turns the dynamics on its head.
City 4-1 United
Saul Garcia (@BitterandBlue1) - Bitter and Blue
Manchester derby! Think City will be wise to use speed and it’s why I see Mahrez and Haaland getting in the scoresheet. With KDB pretty fresh, I think teacher can best student as Guardiola will know Ten Haag better than vice versa. 2-0 City
Laura Graves (@Laws_ellen24601) - Man CIty Square
As always, I have the usual derby day nerves. City haven’t been in their best form since the beginning of the season; some goals conceded that shouldn’t have been. Not bad by any stretch but yet to reach their best. Luckily, the introduction of Haaland has seen us score plenty of goals and even come back from being down a few times.
United’s form hasn’t been great either. Whilst they have been grinding out results, their performances and the football played hasn’t been exciting to watch, though I am sure United fans won’t mind at this point.
It is clearly a positive mentality shift for United, and that’s what I find worrying. What they have been doing is taking their chances when they can, and defending alright to hold the result. They play counterattacking football and we know that is one of, if not our only weakness. I don’t think it’ll be an easy game for either team. And likely to end in a draw 2-2. Obviously, hoping for the win though.
crunkchocolate (@crunkchocolate) - Shades of Blue Podcast
Erik ten Hag’s Red Devils bring their new batch of highly trained mercenaries and a string of victories to the Etihad Stadium. City players as a team have been playing well enough to win but International Duty again proves disastrous for a City player. Confirmed by Pep that John Stones will be out for up to 5 weeks. Lucky for us Akanji has played lights out and I believe Pep’s focus against United will be possession. Nothing revolutionary and there’s no need to change tactics because this is the Manchester Derby. The only mission is to beat Manchester United to keep pace with Arsenal and continue our undefeated season. Grealish and Mahrez will be the wing pairing with Haaland up top. Kyle Walker needs to start since he is our counter to the counterattack. Would not surprise me if Pep attempts to make this match incredibly dull, focusing more on possession, moving the ball meticulously up the pitch, and potentially putting me back to sleep. The match starts at 6:30 am where I am in Eastern Iowa and my alarm to wake up is for 6:20p. Enough time to make a latte and figure out which streaming platform the City match is on today. 55th-minute substitution by Pep will bring the excitement and creativity needed to pull away from a United squad whose fire has been extinguished from chasing shadows for under an hour. Anything is possible during a Manchester Derby, I can admit that. I don’t see Lisandro Martinez beating Haaland in an air duel, I don’t see United’s midfield keeping up with City’s midfield, and I have been very impressed with Ederson’s shot blocking and positioning this season. A Nervous match at first but City take flight in the dying moments.
Scoreline Prediction: Manchester City 3 - 0 Manchester United
Dillon Meehan (@IVIeehan ) - City Report
It’s been kinda popular amongst City twitter to bash on big games, especially derbys, but I love them. I would much rather have games that cause me to have visceral reactions than waiting for the inevitable dominating display against a lower side. That being said, I don’t know how to feel about Ten Hag’s United side. They’ve gotten a few nice results but I don’t think the performances have been particularly outstanding. If they sit back and let City have the ball as much as they did against Arsenal and Liverpool it’s not going to end well. Yes Rashford is a threat on the counter but I expect a dominant display. 3-1.
CITYZENDuck (@duckman4real)- Bitter and Blue
Derbys can be nervy. We must always expect the unexpected. If the match plays to form, I see a relatively close 90 minutes. Something where United feel a little more dangerous than they might have 2 months ago. In the end, I’m counting on City’s quality in the final third to be the difference. Both sides will get chances, but the Blues will convert more of them to goals. I’ll take City in a tight, well-played affair. 3-2.
There are our predictions. Feel free to share yours in the comments. And Come on City!!