September 10th 2016, the first Manchester derby for both Pep Guardiola and José Mourinho at Old Trafford, a fixture which is sure to be an exceptionally tactical game between two of footballs masterminds.
One thing which can be said is that Mourinho will be delighted that Sergio Agüero will miss the derby due to suspension.
As the little Argentine is easily the best forward in the league on his day and has scored seven derby goals in the Premier League in only eight games against United, a fantastic record to say the least.
It’s also certain that Guardiola will be hoping that Marouane Felaini is unavailable for the game due to injury, as his physical presence in the middle of the park and set pieces is sure to cause Man City’s small squad problems, as he has done in previous years.
City have won three, drew one and lost one of their last five league matches at Old Trafford with an aggregate score of 13-6 to the blue side of Manchester.
The most notable fixture being the 6-1 demolition derby in 2011. United’s only win came in 2015, beating then champions City 4-2 and last season a lacklustre 0-0 draw took place.
This derby is set to be the most expensive of all time, with Man United having a predicted starting eleven costing over £350 million, and City’s to cost £321 million. The derby is set to beat the record of most expensive competitive football match since stats were recorded which was the El Clasico fixture at the Bernabeu in November 2015.
New City signing Claudio Bravo kept a clean sheet in Barcelona’s 4-0 demolition of Real Madrid in 2015, the most expensive game to date.
Manchester United are hoping Marouane Fellaini will be fit enough to start on Saturday after playing 84 minutes in Belgium’s World Cup Qualifier against Cyprus after returning from a calf injury.
Mourinho is unsure whether or not Luke Shaw will be fit for the game after he pulled out of the England squad. Henrikh Mkhitaryan is a doubt with a thigh injury.
Both Antonio Valencia and Marcos Rojo will be assessed after coming back from International Duty. Marcus Rahford could be in contention after scoring a hat-trick for the England under 21’s against Norway.
On the other side of Manchester City will be without star talisman Agüero with one of Kelechi Iheanacho or fit again Leroy Sané waiting in the wings to take the strikers place.
Vincent Kompany has trained with the first team but is a doubt due to fears of rushing him back too soon but Ilkay Gundogan could feature and Claudio Bravo could be set to make his debut. Bacary Sagna is also back in training for City.
Could rising star Kelechi Iheanacho be set for his first derby start ?
Both teams will want to keep up their 100% start to the season but only one will be able to and it is vital that both sides remain mentally strong.
It feels as if there is more pressure on City to win the game more than Mourinho and United as Guardiola needs to prove that his style of play will work in the Premier League as it has done in Spain and Germany.
However there will also be pressure on Mourinho to keep up his excellent home record in the Premier League.
This article was written by Ben Tipper. Twitter – @bentippermcfc