As City’s streak ended in Ukraine on Wednesday night with defeat to Shakhtar, eyes turn to the Manchester derby this weekend. Though it was a heavily changed eleven in Ukraine, some of the first teamers that did play did not rate particularly highly, including Leroy Sané who was awarded a 5.5/10 rating by City Watch writer Emilio Galantini for his efforts. This may not bode well for the German’s chances of starting this weekend, in the game he made his Manchester City debut last season.
City are slight favourites according to the football betting odds at 888sport, coming in at 6/5 on to go to Old Trafford and claim all three points. It would be some feat to go back to Stretford and repeat what they did on that glorious afternoon in October 2011, winning 6-1 at the home of their greatest rivals, and that is replicated in the odds – City are out at 225/1 to repeat that score-line on Sunday afternoon.
Despite City’s youth prospects in the form of Brahim Diaz and Phil Foden shining as Anthony Chapman noted, it is unlikely they will start or even feature in a game as big as this.
United are 12/5 on to win the game, perhaps lengthened since Paul Pogba’s foolish sending off against Arsenal last weekend which has earnt the mercurial Frenchman a three-match ban, hours after wishing injury on his would-be opponents this weekend. A draw, something most City fans say they would take before any derby weekend, is a moderate 27/11 on.
Whatever the case, City will be top of the league come Sunday evening and should still feel in control of the league. However, eyes will immediately turn to the midweek game in Wales against Swansea on Wednesday night, and then another clash of the titans next Sunday as City host Tottenham at the Etihad.
You get the feeling this is going to be a big week for the team at the top of league, and hopefully City can keep up their stunning start to the Premier League season as a testing Christmas period approaches.