With the two Manchester clubs tipped by many to be the leading title contenders this season, RealSport takes a look at which of the two has the best assets to lead a title charge…
Perhaps United have certain individuals in that backline that can be improved. It is no secret Jose Mourinho is looking to upgrade in the left back position, linked with the likes of Danny Rose and Ryan Sessegnon.
Antonio Valencia has remodelled himself to be one of the finest right backs in Europe and Mourinho’s side look solid at centre back, however, there are question marks over the quality in depth there. Victor Lindelof is an excellent new signing, however, will need time to settle in. David de Gea is arguably the best keeper in Europe, if not the world.
However, Mourinho is excellent at getting his side’s organised in defence, making them extremely tough to get through.
Guardiola has spent over £150 million this summer improving his back line, signing three new full backs and a goalkeeper. It is too early to tell if Ederson will be successful, however, has made one or two worrying errors so far.
The signings of Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy and Danilo greatly improve their weakest areas from last season at full back. If Vincent Kompany can stay fit, John Stones can continue to improve, with Nicolas Otamendi showing some consistency, that also greatly improves the City backline.
However, there are question marks over all three of those players and Pep Guardiola’s side look rather light in cover. They have been linked with Johnny Evans, which could turn out to be a shrewd move.
United have a wonderful blend of abilities and styles in the midfield area that are so far gelling rather nicely. Nemanja Matic could be the signing of the summer and is a terrific replacement for Michael Carrick. His signing has also given more freedom to Paul Pogba, who has been magnificent in the opening two games.
Juan Mata has been one of the best playmakers in the Premier League since he arrived in England and in Henrikh Mkhitaryan, they again have one of the best playmakers in Europe who will get goals and assists.
Add Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini and Carrick to the mix as squad options and United’s midfield is looking incredibly strong and well stocked.
In terms of creative midfielders, City have some of the best in Europe. Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva are geniuses on a football pitch who consistently provide the magic and tempo to devastate sides.
Fernandinho has proven himself to be a crucial player, playing deeper and allowing Silva and De Bruyne to flourish. Despite his age, Yaya Toure also performs this role magnificently and Ilkay Gundogan is one of the best in Europe in that position if he can get fit.
City have a wonderful blend of players, and out wide have Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and Bernardo Silva, three exceptional players who are still young and improve. Add the special talents of youth player Phil Foden to the ranks and Guardiola has exceptional options to choose from.
They may have let superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic go, at least for the time being but replacing him with Romelu Lukaku so far looks to be exceptional work. The Belgian has scored four goals in his opening three games for the club and is ruthless against the smaller opposition, which was largely United’s problem last season.
In Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, they also have two of the most exciting forward players in Europe who have the potential to be truly world class. Both are explosive, technical and have a wonderful finish, giving Mourinho a wonderful blend in his forward line. Mourinho still isn’t completely happy with his options up top, however.
Ibrahimovic is rumoured to be joining in January to provide extra cover and competition whilst it is no secret he is still looking for a top level left winger, which may spell the end for Martial at United.
Having Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus to pick from up top, is nothing short of exceptional. They are two of the finest strikers in Europe and Guardiola is clearly intent on finding ways to get them both into the side. Aguero is one of the best finishers in the world and is the best striker in the league if he can stay fit whilst Jesus has taken the Premier League by storm since joining last January.
An injury to either of these two may leave them slightly bare in the striker department however whilst fit, have the best forward line in the league.
A winner. Not much else needs to be said other than the Portuguese knows how to get results and win trophies. It was an extremely average campaign for United last season and yet still managed to win two trophies as well as the Community Shield.
However, they must do better in the league this season and at least put up a title fight until the end. Mourinho is famous for winning the title in his second season at a club and they look well set to do so again.
Possibly the most innovative manager in recent history, Guardiola has won trophy after trophy, with last season being the only time he has failed to win a cup throughout a whole season in his managerial career. He is extremely demanding tactically and is insistent on getting his players to buy into his philosophies.
However, he is exceptional at analysing opponents weaknesses and is often tweaking his side to expose their deficiencies. Of course, another trophy-less season won’t be accepted at City and they must make a better fist of the title race than last campaign.
Manchester United: 34/40
Manchester City: 34.5/40
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