One of football’s greatest rivalries heads across the pond on Thursday morning, with Manchester United taking on Manchester City in Houston, as the Premier League duo continue their preparations for the upcoming campaign. The match will also see manager’s Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola face-off against each other once more, with the Portuguese hoping that his history of winning the title in his second season at clubs can continue at Old Trafford.
City have already spent a small fortune in adding to their playing squad, with the pressure on Guardiola to deliver, with the Sky Blues having failed to fight for the title despite a strong start last season. Given that there is likely to be a vast amount of attention on the fixture, let’s take a closer look at the two teams, along with our top betting tip for the encounter.
United kicked off their US Tour with a convincing 5-2 win over MLS side the LA Galaxy, with Marcus Rashford quickly finding his feet in front of goal. The England wonder kid scored two quick-fire goals, outshining Romelu Lukaku, who made his United debut off the bench in the second half. The Belgian, who recently signed from Everton, is likely to start against City, with United facing Real Salt Lake just two days before the match.
Fellow new arrival, Victor Lindelof, could also be in line for a first start, with the Swedish international getting used to United’s experimental 3-5-2 formation. Meanwhile, having narrowly finished behind City in the Premier League last time around, United will be hoping to deliver an early psychological blow to their fierce rivals.
City will kick-off their pre-season campaign against United, with Guardiola’s men perhaps playing catch up already in terms of fitness. City have added Bernardo Silva, Ederson and Kyle Walker to their ranks over the summer so far, however it may be too early for the trio to feature due to their international commitments and late arrivals.
Guardiola saw his team perform a masterclass to beat United at Old Trafford last season, with the former Barcelona and Bayern boss hoping to repeat this trick in Texas on Thursday. City will experiment with their line-ups against United, with a mixture of youth and experience making up their starting eleven.
Top Betting Tip
Despite City going into the match as the favourites, our top betting tip is to back a draw, which can be found at 5/2 with William Hill. United will have benefited from 90 minutes stateside already, while City will perhaps still be acclimatising to their surroundings. As well as this, neither manager is likely to give much away, with little separating the two teams.