This 2016-2017 Premier league has being dubbed the league of star managers. Or what else will be more to describe a league that has the likes of Conte, Gadiola, Klopp, Mourinho, just name them. World best coaches are in Premiership; hence fans can’t but expect mouth-watering clashes such as the one on Saturday. When two of the football’s best coaches Jose Mourinho of Manchester United square up against his rival Pep Gadiola of Manchester City. In a match that will give football fans first taste of the biggest rivalry in this season’s competition. The stakes are massive.
Who will believe Mourinho and Gadiola where best of friends when they worked as back room staff for Sir Bobby Robson at Barcelona. Nowadays, however, their relationship is far more hostile.
Mourinho was Sir Bobby Robson’s translator and right hand man, while Guardiola was learning his trade on the pitch.
But it’s also worth noting that Mourinho isn’t the only current member of the Man United squad who has a beef with Pep.
Undoubtedly, the Red Devil with the greatest hate for Guardiola is everyone’s favourite Swede, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Ibra played for Guardiola at Barcelona, however the player and manager never got on, amid stories of dressing room bust-ups and a clash of personalities.
Since, Zlatan has not been backwards in coming forward about his feelings about the current City boss.
All this sets up a mouthwatering Manchester derby on Saturday lunchtime at Old Trafford.
Guardiola comes into the match with the better record against Mourinho; he’s won seven of his 16 meetings overall with Mourinho, while the Special One has beaten Pep just three times.
We can’t wait for kick off! Meanwhile here are four factors that will decide the result of this epic match
Ibrahimovic vs John Stone; It is a battle of veteran verses rocky. Zalatan Ibrahimmovick is an experienced player who has won vertualy everything winnable, he will have a certain young English defender John Stone try to stop him. Whoever wins in this there battle will also win it for his team.
Tactics; We all know the preferred tactics of the two managers. Mourinho with his trade mark formation of 4-2-3-1 hinged on physical football and counter attacks, against Pep possessive football. How the players will be able to carry out the style will decide who win the match.
- Paul Pogba has waited some time for his first Manchester derby and this will be his big day, even if reports that Barcelona passed up the chance to sign him in the summer are true. United supporters are expecting great things from their £90m signing and, given the price tag, the France midfielder is bound to command most attention in this early-season derby. It might seem odd that such a Rolls Royce of a player could find himself along the Mad Max vehicle that is Marouane Fellaini, but the way United have played the possibility exists. Other options include Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera and Morgan Schneiderlin, the last prevented from joining Spurs in the summer by Mourinho’s intervention.
- Guardiola has changed City’s shape and in doing so dispensed with the somewhat cautious three-man midfield, with two of them defensive, that Manuel Pellegrini favoured. The Chilean normally used at least two defensive midfielders in a line of three, which tended to hold City back. Nowadays City are now moving towards a more adventurous 4-1-4-1 system, at least until Ilkay Gündogan joins the party, with Fernandinho doing the defensive screening and wide players Raheem Sterling and Nolito asked to track back when necessary. Not only does that make City are a much more attacking proposition, it means and Guardiola can use both Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva in advanced positions, though United will look to exploit the space at the back.
Tomorrow’s meeting will be their first in the Premier League. While I favoure Mourinho, the stats clearly go with Pep. In 16 past meetings, the Spaniard has triumphed on 7 occasions with 6 draws and just 3 Mourinho victories.The game which is the early kick off on Saturday is expected to be a cracker with both teams looking to maintain their perfect start to this year’s Premier League campaign. Whichever way this game goes, expect sparks to fly.
Let the game start!