The stage is set for Manchester derby as two giants of English football — Manchester United and Manchester City — collide in the 178th anniversary of the fixture at the Old Trafford Stadium on Wednesday. For United, their ambitions of finishing in top four of the league for an assured Champions League spot next season is at stake, whereas for City, it is the title. Even a draw in the fixture could give their title rivals Liverpool a massive boost.
The race for the top four has been sluggish so far with teams Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea and Tottenham losing crucial points in their previous outings. The race for the summit, however, has been just about the opposite as the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool have had an impeccable run of games with just two points separating them as the latter leads with a game in hand.
A victory for Manchester City would take them back to the top of the league table and this fixture would be pivotal in deciding which team finishes as champions of the Premier League as this is the only high profile match and the biggest obstacle from their remaining fixtures. Relatively, the Jurgen Kopp-led Liverpool have an easier run of games in their remaining campaign.
Here are the top five players to watch out for in the Manchester Derby:
Raheem Sterling: The man of the hour, Sterling has been firing on all cylinders! He is among the front runners for the PFA ‘Player of The Year’ award and is also in contention of winning the golden boot. The Pep Guardiola side would be hoping he is at the top of his game in the crucial Manchester derby.
Paul Pogba: The world cup winning midfielder has been one of the best performing players in the Manchester United squad. He has netted 12 goals this season and is having his best campaign since joining the Red Devils from Juventus in 2016 for a 100 million pound price tag.
Sergio Aguero: The Argentine striker is one of the most consistent and lethal forwards of the game. He also has a rich history of scoring goals in the Manchester derby.
Bernado Silva: Another Man City midfielder who has really delivered this season. He has had a commendable contribution in terms of both goals and assists.
Marcus Rashford: The young Manchester United striker has been in great form and his pace and clinical shooting abilities will be a threat for the City defense to deal with.