The anticipation is building amongst the Manchester City fans in the Transfer Tavern ahead of their historic encounter against Manchester United on Saturday evening.
Although the 3-0 defeat against Liverpool on Wednesday evening has taken an element of gloss off their breathtaking season so far, it’s fair to say Manchester City’s campaign has been one of the most domineering in recent history. Pep Guardiola’s side have stolen a march at the summit of the Premier League table and opened up a gap which no side has looked likely to close since the turn of the year.
And today the season reaches its potential climax for the Citizens, as they face a dream scenario against their local-rivals. The situation is simple, a Manchester City win will mathematically put the title into their hands, and the Red Devils will be forced to watch as their neighbours celebrate the accomplishment.
Winning a Manchester derby is already a tantalising prospect for supporters to ponder over, but the added incentive of clinching the title will make this fixture one of the most historic encounters ever played between the Manchester giants. The pressure is on Guardiola to make amends for the tactical errors which contributed towards his side’s 3-0 defeat against Liverpool this week and restore some confidence into the club ahead of the second-leg on Tuesday evening.
One of the major errors made by Guardiola on Wednesday night was his decision to leave Raheem Sterling on the bench, so he must atone for his error by restoring him to the starting eleven tomorrow afternoon. The 23-year-old has been in inspired form for City so far this season with 21 goals and 11 assists to show for his efforts in all-competitions.
Without Sterling in the starting line-up, City were lacking a decisive edge in the final third against Liverpool, as the pace, trickery and intelligent link-up play he provides was a notable absentee from their attacking performance. In order to inject flair and creativity back into his side, Guardiola must restore Sterling to the starting line-up tomorrow afternoon to boost his side’s ambitions of clinching one of the sweetest tasting victories in the club’s long history.
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