Manchester United won their first post-international break match against Swansea last Saturday and are now in full preparations for the big clash that awaits them this following weekend. The Manchester Derby will be played at the Etihad and the crowning could be on the cards, if City beat United.
For that, Jose Mourinho and his players should be fully prepared, ready to their best in not letting that happen. It would be another victory for City, beating their fiercest rival to clinch the league title. However, Man City will first play in the Champions League quarterfinal against Liverpool on Wednesday night.
That will be a good occasion for Mourinho and his staff to take a deep look at how City will play in one of their most important matches of the season. The semifinal of the Champions League is at stake, so Pep Guardiola’s side should go full throttle. Yet, Liverpool are only one of the four teams to beat City this term and the only to do it in the league. That 4-3 win at Anfield should be another blueprint for United to follow if they want to get revenge for a 2-1 loss at Old Trafford last December.
So, what should they do? The match against Liverpool could offer some answers to how United could or should play in order to maximize their chances of winning. City are such a team this season that even that might not be enough, but Mourinho will definitely back his players to at least get a small win amidst Guardiola’s big win in terms of inevitably winning the league sooner or later.
This is also something Mourinho and his staff will take a look at from that Liverpool’s win at Anfield, but they should also pay attention to how Liverpool will press. Jurgen Klopp’s team will most certainly want to make the game as messy as possible, like it was in their last meeting. The messier it gets, the more Liverpool will make City out of their usual shape.
That in itself will not be enough, but Liverpool’s press is one of the best in the league and can harm City’s defence, which is probably the weakest part of their well-oiled machine.
David Silva’s Role In The Middle Of The Pitch
The Spaniard has been in stellar form this season. Even after coming back from a break due to family issues, David Silva has been spectacular for Manchester City. His free role in the middle of a 4-3-3 has been giving him enough space to produce some incredible performances and that could be the case against Liverpool, as well.
Man United should look at ways how they could contain him this weekend and playing in a 4-2-3-1 is something that will be expected of Mourinho. A double pivot should much better against Silva and Kevin De Bruyne, but both of could still be dangerous, even without much space in front of them. Mourinho will most probably opt for Nemanja Matic and another defensive midfielder. That should not be Paul Pogba, as he has proved he has troubles with defensive organization and Ander Herrera could slot in to man-mark Silva or De Bruyne.