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Manchester United might already know how to beat Man City - Report From Manchester Evening News

Man United vs Man City will be great derby
Man United vs Man City will be great derby 

Man Utd vs Man City is a crucial fixture for both teams and Jose Mourinho has the tools to beat Pep Guardiola even without Paul Pogba.

Jose Mourinho ordered a tailored coat from Savile Row shortly after his arrival in England and he favours bespoke fittings with his teams. Manchester United's standout display last season was the home victory over Chelsea with a line-up which suggested Sir Alex Ferguson had made a guest appearance and brought his tombola along with him.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, United's highest scorer with 28 goals, was on the bench and Jesse Lingard was up front. The near-indispensable Henrikh Mkhitaryan was left out and Ashley Young was suddenly recalled to captain the team. Mourinho's choices seemed as logical as Mr Burns replacing Homer with Darryl Strawberry in the ninth inning.
Only United won 2-0 and Mourinho ended the game by pointing bullishly at the crest on his gilet as he approached the tunnel. The antagonistic Antonio Conte had irked him throughout the campaign and it was one of those days when Mourinho and United suggested their demises had been greatly exaggerated.
Conte could claim some of the credit for United's win - as well as their recent resurgence. His switch to a back three last season marked a tactical shift in English football and Mourinho has responded through his own formations and the addition of Victor Lindelof, a defender bought to 'come into midfield'. United have gone with 3-5-2 in three of their four 'big six' tests this term, winning two and losing one - at Chelsea.
Manchester United beat Arsenal in the last game
Manchester United beat Arsenal in the last game

The system is bound to be retained for Sunday's Manchester derby after it returned at Watford. Keeping it against CSKA Moscow was a logical step as Mourinho continues to grow momentum in the build-up to Sunday and the United manager all but confirmed his derby XI through his team tweaks in midweek.
Going with 3-5-2 against Premier League leaders provides parallels with that stirring Chelsea display in April, only City are unlikely to have three centre-halves in their line-up. They have not fielded a Premier League back three since Benjamin Mendy ruptured his cruciate ligament in September and the onus on their full-backs has subsided amid the brilliance of wingers Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling.
Pep Guardiola's central defensive options are also limited, with John Stones injured and Vincent Kompany a doubt. No manager would want to make room for Eliaquim Mangala alongside Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi against a probable United front two of Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial.
In an age where the strike partnership is dead, it is the supposed pragmatist Mourinho who is trying to revive it. Marcus Rashford didn't quite work with Lukaku against Tottenham and Chelsea and Anthony Martial was a finer foil in last week's London victories. Pace, as Match of the Day doyen Alan Hansen, used to say, is the one thing all defenders fear and Lukaku and Martial against Kompany and Otamendi is like having Olympians compete against dads at a school sports day.
Ander Herrera's erudite pass for Rashford against Chelsea eight months ago exposed David Luiz's lethargy and Lingard's movement off the ball flummoxed Nemanja Matic. With Herrera shadowing Eden Hazard and Paul Pogba bossing N'Golo Kante, United had Chelsea on the back foot and refused to let them hop onto the front.
Studying Herrera's performance might have convinced Guardiola to rest the invaluable Fernandinho against West Ham last week. A fifth yellow card of the campaign would have deprived City of their Brazilian against United and his aggression will be a match for Lingard's high pressing at Old Trafford.
Herrera has struggled for form since the summer but his early removal versus CSKA was understandable and it was the Basque's introduction against City at Old Trafford 15 months ago which stemmed the flow of their attacks.
"The substitutions by my colleague were really good. They put Pogba and Fellaini more in front," Guardiola said after City won 2-1. "They played these long balls and diagonals, and to win that balls is almost impossible, Herrera was really good going for the second balls."
Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have both mentioned United's penchant for long balls, which says more about their insecurity than United's style. City and Liverpool conceded goals to United from aerial deliveries and 'Jose's giants' will have the edge on set-pieces even without Pogba.
City only gave away 14 corners against Huddersfield, Southampton, and West Ham yet still conceded from two of them and Southampton's strike came from a hit-and-hope cross which Fabian Delph misjudged.
"We spoke a lot about defending set-pieces but they are taller," Guardiola said after West Ham ruffled City's feathers. "It will happen again next week against United so we have to try and concede fewer set-pieces."
He and Mourinho aren't cut from the same cloth.

Source: Manchester Evening News

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Promo for Manchester Derby

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Manchester United might already know how to beat Man City - Report From Manchester Evening News


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