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Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur: North London Rivals Lock Horns Again

Written by: Greg Lea
Updated October 14, 2022
13 min read
  • Defending champions Manchester City have made a strong start to the new season
  • Manchester United have improved after disastrous first two games under Erik ten Hag
  • Pep Guardiola’s side should prove too strong for their rivals at the Etihad Stadium

Manchester City vs Manchester United Odds

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Manchester City Vs Manchester United 2022 10 01

Manchester City vs Manchester United Pick

Erik ten Hag’s men have picked up of late, but the Premier League champions should prove too strong.

Back Manchester City to beat Manchester United and both teams to score on Sunday.

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Manchester City vs Manchester United Predictions

Manchester City Are In Good Shape Despite Not Yet Being Top

Manchester City are used to being top of the Premier League table. Yet they did not occupy that position until matchday 15 of last season, so Pep Guardiola will not be concerned that his team currently trail Arsenal at the summit of the standings. There is only a point between the two teams ahead of the Premier League’s return this weekend, and City remain strong favorites to win the title. They have not been flawless so far, but Guardiola will be pleased with where his team are at after seven rounds of fixtures.

The biggest change from last season is the addition of a world-class center-forward at the top of the pitch. City won the league despite not having a natural striker last term. They had tried to prise Harry Kane away from Tottenham Hotspur but were continually rebuffed by Daniel Levy, the Spurs chairman. When they could not land their top target, City decided to wait 12 months for Erling Haaland to become available.

The Norway international has made a blistering start to life in the Premier League. He is already the top scorer in the division with 11 goals in his first seven appearances. The only defense that has prevented him finding the back of the net, either domestically or in the Champions League, is Bournemouth’s.

Haaland has added another dimension to the City attack, but the rest of the team is performing at a high level too. Only Brighton & Hove Albion have conceded fewer goals per game, for instance. It is likely only a matter of time before City retake top spot.

This Is Manchester United’s Toughest Test of the Season So Far

By the time they take to the field on Sunday, Manchester United will have gone a month without a Premier League match. Their scheduled trip to Crystal Palace was part of the round of fixtures postponed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

A week later, their home game against Leeds United was called off due to a shortage of police officers in the local area, many of whom were redeployed to London for the state funeral. Then, club soccer paused to make room for the conclusion of the 2022/23 Nations League group stage.

United have played two Europa League matches since their last domestic outing at the beginning of September. As they prepare to resume their Premier League campaign, Erik ten Hag’s team are in a decent place. The back-to-back defeats by Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford with which they began the campaign are starting to fade into memory. United have since won four league games on the bounce, including meetings with Liverpool and Arsenal.

Those two victories came about at least in part because Ten Hag was willing to be pragmatic. The Dutchman favors a possession-based approach, as anyone who watched his Ajax teams can vouch for. But United’s success against Liverpool and Arsenal came on the counter-attack. Breaking forward at speed on the break will also form the crux of the game plan for Sunday’s trip across Manchester.

United Can Cause City Problems – But Hosts Likeliest Winners

That sort of strategy could bear fruit. With Marcus Rashford deployed up front with Jadon Sancho and Antony either side of him, United possess searing speed in their frontline. There is a doubt about Rashford’s fitness at the time of writing, but Ten Hag is hoping he will be back from a muscular issue in time for the derby. Given that they will play on the counter-attack, Anthony Elanga or Anthony Martial would be better suited to replacing Rashford than Cristiano Ronaldo.

Yet for all that United have improved as the weeks have gone on, they are unlikely to have enough to halt City. Guardiola will seek to take the sting out of United’s quick breaks by controlling possession as much as possible, but City can take advantage of a United backline that has yet to fully gel. Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia are new to the club, while Diogo Dalot is still getting used to being a regular starter.

United have caused City problems at the Eithad in recent years. Even when they were outclassed in a 4-1 thrashing by their rivals in March, United still had some bright moments in the first half. We therefore fancy the Red Devils to find the back of the net on Sunday, but avoiding defeat by the best team in the Premier League is a tall order.

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How to Watch Manchester City vs Manchester United

Teams Manchester City vs Manchester United
Location Eithad Stadium, Manchester, England
Time Sunday, 2 October 2022, 9.00 AM EST
How to watch USA Network, fuboTV
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Greg Lea

786 Articles

Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]

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