A stalemate could be on the cards in Saturday's lunchtime showdown at Old Trafford.
Man Utd v Man City - Saturday 12:30, Sky Sports 1
The first Manchester derby of the season promises to be a close affair, with both sides starting the season strongly and seemingly having found balance in their teams. Many will focus on the head to head record of Mourinho and Guardiola, but with different players to that of Real Madrid and Barcelona, perhaps more telling is Jose’s tendency to stifle a game and settle for a point against title rivals. In 11 games against top-six opposition during his second spell at Chelsea, Mourinho’s side registered six draws.
Man City have ditched the two holding midfielders of Pellegrini’s 4-2-3-1 and switched to more of a 4-1-4-1, allowing both David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne to play centrally. However, Mourinho is likely to make the battle in the centre as physical as possible with Fellaini having recovered from a back muscle injury and the athletic Pogba alongside him. Fernandinho will have to do plenty of dirty work if Silva and De Bruyne are to shine ahead of him.
With Sergio Aguero suspended following his elbow in Winston Reid, a share of the spoils at this early stage of the season might well suit Guardiola too. Whilst the impressive Kelechi Iheanacho is set to deputize for Aguero, Man City’s players are still adjusting to Pep’s methods and will have to be careful in their pressing against a well-organized defensive unit.
With Mourinho likely to ensure this game is as tight as possible, at a price of 3.4 the draw looks inviting.