I know, I know, both teams obviously need to win this game. If nothing else, both teams want to win so they don’t see the other team win. But alas, one of these teams needs to win this latest version of the Manchester Derby more over the other and that’s what this is for.
For Manchester United, they need a win to keep up their incredible run and to keep proving the doubters wrong. I must admit that I have been rather tough on Manchester United. I didn’t like how they played with a three man back line and didn’t like how they spent millions on talent only to be unsatisfied very quickly and want to do it again. I also didn’t like how someone who was supposed to be a managerial genius like Louis van Gaal resorted to doing long balls and crosses, something that his predecessor David Moyes was criticized of doing and was fired. But regardless of all that, Manchester United has been scoring points (winning 25 of 30 points since January 17) and is solidly in the top four. It may not be the most beautiful way to get points but Manchester United has gotten points, and that is something you can’t argue.
For Manchester City, they are in a tailspin this calendar year. If Manchester United has seen points upon points in this 2015, Manchester City has seen the opposite. Since January 17, Manchester City has only won 14 of 30 points and have lost three of their last five games to Liverpool, Burnley and Crystal Palace respectfully. Their big name players all of a sudden look old and cannot play as a team. The Africa Cup of Nations has especially affected Yaya Toure, who seems to not be the same since coming back from the competition. Vincent Kompany just seems to have reverted from his world class game and makes costly mistakes almost every game. Fans are getting restless and manager Manuel Pellegrini is just about out the door as City manager.
So who needs to win this game the most? From a neutral viewpoint, it has to be Manchester City. Manuel Pellegrini is all but gone but a loss tomorrow will certainly seal his fate. This was a team who we were talking about competing against Chelsea for first place and now we’re wondering if they can stay in the top four. For a team who spends crazy money every year, it’s insane to think they are struggling this much. A loss tomorrow may result in a complete implosion of the team from the manager to the players on the team. That’s why Manchester City needs to win this game.
Having said that, I imagine Manchester United fans would argue that United needs to win this game most. There would be nothing more pleasing to the eyes of United fans than to see their hated rival implode right before them at Old Trafford. Either way, it’s going to be another great Manchester Derby.