This Saturday whole world will have their sight set on Old Trafford for the first Manchester Derby of the season. With all the hype surrounding both the managers, who are meeting for the first time in a domestic league after their stint in Spain, this match is expected to live up to the hype.
Both teams go into the derby undefeated and would love to continue their undefeated streak. The Manchester Derby will be a real test to both the teams as none looked completely convincing so far and Saturday’s battle will test the character of both the sides.
So now looking at the 5 important things I would look forward to in this derby
5) Mid Field Battle, 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 vs 4-1-1?
Jose has started this season with a 4-2-3-1 formation, going with Pogba and Fellini in the centre of the mid field. Will he continue with the same or go for an extra mid fielder like he did at Madrid is one of the key decisions that can decide this game. After the 5-0 thumping in his first clasico, Jose always used an extra mid fielder in a 4-3-3 formation to stop the fluid passing game of Pep’s side. And he was fairly successful with this formation as in the 5 games he used this formation, resulted in a win, 2 draws and 2 defeats.
Back in 2011 when Jose’s Real played Pep’s Barca 4 times in 17 days, Jose used an extra mid fielder 3 of the times and avoided defeat. As this season is just 4 weeks old, he may want to do the same at Old Trafford this Saturday to play it safe. And the second big question is if he goes with an extra mid fielder, will Rooney be sacrificed for Herrera or will Rooney play in the mid field? The later looks like a more possible option.
Pep has made Fernandinho the engine of his city side, like he trusted Sergio with the same role at Barca. Fernandinho is an excellent box to box mid fielder who can break the attack and create one. Pep will be looking to shape his team in a 3-2-2-3 formation while having the ball, with either Fernandinho dropping deep or John stones stepping up with forward runs.
Gundogan is expected to make the bench, so he also can be used as a more attacking option later on in the match. Silva and De Bruyne will play ahead of Fernandinho in the more forward role and Pep will expect the duo to dictate the attacks from the centre of the park and give a tough time to Pogba & co.