For all of their headline grabbing, wonder goal scoring strikers, it is the midfield men of both sides that will be key to victory on Monday, and in the race to the title.
City’s potential midfield of David Silva, Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri, and Gareth Barry would give them a solid balance of controlling ball winners and creative playmakers—with Silva holding the key to unlocking United’s solid defence.
Last week against Everton, United’s midfield duo of Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick were constantly hounded by Phil Neville and Darron Gibson, leaving Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar to go straight at United’s shaky defence. If the same happens on Monday, Silva and Nasri are the perfect players to take advantage and create opportunities for Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez.
United are not the kind of team to sit back and let that happen, though. In Antonio Valencia and Nani, they have their own pair of quick, tricky playmakers, and while Scholes and Carrick didn’t have their finest outing against Everton, they are more than capable of playing the killer ball for Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck.
In Rooney, they also have a striker who isn’t afraid of dropping deeper into midfield and taking control of the game, and let us not forget, United also benefit from Ashley Young’s unique ability to earn free kicks and penalties for his side.