Paul Merson has backed Manchester City to win against Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium in the Manchester derby this weekend.
Pep Guardiola’s City will take on Erik ten Hag’s United at home in the Premier League on Sunday.
Former Arsenal star and Sky Sports pundit Merson believes that the Citizens will pick up all three points from the encounter courtesy of a 3-1 win.
Merson wrote on SportsKeeda: “Manchester United have got the players to hurt Manchester City. We’ve seen a lot of times that it’s one way or the other for United – they’ll either get a result, or they’ll get ripped to shreds.
“The longer they stay in this game, the more they’ll get involved and create chances. There will be gaps in City’s defense, and the likes of Christian Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes will need to find that perfect pass.
“Cristiano Ronaldo will find himself on the bench yet again this weekend. If United have to win this game, they have to play with pace on the counter. Ronaldo struggled for Portugal the other day, and he isn’t going to start the game.
“Tyrell Malacia hasn’t done much wrong in the Premier League so far. Erik ten Hag knows him, and he’s probably going to start against Man City. Man United have been harder to score against in their last four games and will probably stick to the same defense.
“It’s going to be a tough game for Man United’s front line. I’m not sure if Ten Hag will play Antony from the start – there will be a lot of tracking back with Joao Cancelo bombing forward. Manchester City will look to create overloads in the final third, and I wouldn’t be shocked if Elanga plays just to track Cancelo.
“I don’t imagine Pep Guardiola asking his players to play diagonal balls onto Erling Haaland’s head. I don’t think Haaland really cares about his opponents.
“He’s just scary – he’s exceptionally quick and his movement is phenomenal. Man United are going to sit back and soak it all up, with Marcus Rashford playing on the counter.
“They’ll have to defend unbelievably well to get anything out of this match. I don’t see how they’re going to sit back without Man City not hurting them, and I think Pep Guardiola’s side will break them down eventually.”
Manchester City can be backed at 17/2 on Betfair to win the Manchester derby against Manchester United 3-1.