Manchester United have the perfect chance to bounce back from the damaging Champions League exit in midweek against Manchester City in the first derby of the season at Old Trafford.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under pressure after the RB Leipzig defeat but his side can go two points from the Premier League summit with victory over their city rivals.
United would also extend their lead over Pep Guardiola’s men to four points with their second home league win of the season.
We asked our writers at Stretty News to give their own prediction for this evening’s crucial game.
Today’s narrative will be underpinned by Solskjaer’s courage in his team selection.
The Norwegian got it wrong on the continent on Tuesday but has outwitted Guardiola on more than one occasion in his two years in charge.
He must revert back to the familiar four back formation and select enough creative minded players to penetrate an accessible City defence.
Guardiola has not been able to light the blue touch paper at the Etihad this season and the Spaniard’s championing of his counter-part shows his respect for Solskjaer and his acumen.
However, City ultimately have too much quality not to punish United for their own defensive vulnerabilities and a draw seems the most likely outcome.
Prediction: United 1-1 City
It’s tough to predict any game with this Manchester United side, but we can take Manchester City on our day and I’m deciding to be optimistic because life is too short.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka can’t play any worse than he did on Tuesday against RB Leipzig, and I suspect Bruno Fernandes will have everyone hungry for blood before kick-off. Solskjaer has a decent record against Guardiola which I feel has gone under the radar.
Prediction United 2-1 City
Going to be a really tough game. City come into today’s clash in great form and finally seem to be finding their feet in the new 2020-21 season.
I think Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has to really hammer it into his United side that they cannot be too over-reliant on Bruno Fernandes. It goes without saying the Reds’ defence has to have a near perfect game in order to not only keep City out but to initiate deadly counter-attacks; which, I expect to be Solskjaer’s go-to tactic.
Unfortunately, I just don’t think the United back-line are consistent enough in their approach and majorly worry when it comes to set-pieces.
Prediction: United 1-3 City.
Stick with us at Stretty News this evening as we provide coverage on all the key talking points, including in-game clips and opinion.