Derby Day Title Delight for Pep?
Derby Day can bring unbridled joy for the blue half of Manchester if results go their way. They can clinch the title with a win over their city rivals Utd. This with still 6 games of the Premier League season to go.
They are chasing numerous records in the league so are likely to want to keep wanting to go at every game full tilt. However winning the league title against your city rivals needs no incentive so I expect City to come out full of verve and vigour. They will also be looking to bounce back after their disappointment of losing 3-0 to Liverpool in the 1st leg of their Champions League quarter final on Wednesday evening.
Suddenly from looking nigh on certainties for a domestic treble and a possible quadruple, they now look likely to claim “only” the Premier League and the Carabao Cup.
Pep Guardiola will be hoping that Sergio Aguero is fit. It was noticeable that Gabriel Jesus was kept very quiet on Wednesday evening. I am sure that master tactician Jose Mourinho would have taken notes on this. I would also expect a recall for Raheem Sterling probably at the expense of Gundogan.
Kevin De Bruyne had a quiet game on Wednesday as well so I would be surprised if there was not also a reaction from him.
Derby Day Masterclass from Mourinho
Jose Mourinho will not want his team to go to the Etihad to become part of a celebration. The very least he will want from his team is to leave with a point to take the Premier league to another week.
Therefore I anticipate him naming a defensive minded team with Lukaku left up top on his own.
This is a pity as I feel Man Utd are a stronger team when they play more offensively. Their strengths currently lie more in their attacking prowess than their defensive capabilities. Beyond David De Gea I do not believe there are many Utd defenders that City would consider bids for.
Therefore Jose will likely pack the midfield to minimise the space given to David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling.
So we may see places for Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini.
Derby Day on Merseyside as well
Derby day starts at lunchtime with Everton entertaining Liverpool at Goodison Park.
Liverpool will come here full of confidence after defeating Man City 3-0 on Wednesday. However they may have one eye on the 2nd leg due to take place on Tuesday evening. Also will their talisman Mo Salah be fit to play after going off injured after 55 minutes on Wednesday evening?
They certainly need to keep up the pressure on Manchester Utd and Spurs in the race for the Top 4 as Arsenal and Chelsea whilst appearing to be too far off will not give up until mathematically impossible.
Big Sam knows that a win over their Mersey rivals would go a long way to getting the fans on his side.
7 league defeats in the calendar year have undone the good work he started. Rumours abound of him being replaced in the summer.
If Everton are to win then recent history is against them. October 2010 was the last time the blue half of Liverpool celebrated a league victory. Since then 14 matches have come and gone. 7 draws and 7 defeats is the sum of Everton’s blood sweat and tears.
Tip of the Day
My Derby Day Double is for MANCHESTER CITY to win and BTTS IN EVERTON v LIVERPOOL
Accumulative odds are 9/4