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Where Will The Manchester Derby Be Won?

Where Will The Manchester Derby Be Won?

With 14 wins and just one draw so far, Manchester City are on pace to pull off the most dominant season in Premier League history but can they go undefeated?

Since drawing with Everton in their second league game of the season, Pep Guardiola’s City has won 13-matches in a row while posting a staggering 36 goal difference.
Their Champions League performances have been nearly as impressive, with City winning its first five matches and locking up the group before losing to Shakhtar Donetsk earlier this week.
Should they win the Manchester Derby at Old Trafford on Sunday, City would equal the 14-match mark set by Arsenal over two seasons in 2002. The nucleus of that Arsenal team went on to form the “Invincibles” of 2004, still the only undefeated side in Premier League history.
Last month, City manager Pep Guardiola was quick to dismiss the idea of equaling Arsenal’s “Invincibles” mark — right before drubbing the current Arsenal side 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium.
But the longer City’s undefeated streak lasts, the more it will invite comparisons to Arsenal’s “Invincibles” and, to a lesser extent, the extraordinary Barcelona teams Guardiola managed between 2008 and 2012.
In order to remain undefeated, however, City will need a combination of motivation, leadership and plain old luck to complement its exceptional talent, according to football analyst Pat Nevin.
“I don’t think that I have enjoyed watching a team more than I have enjoyed watching (City), purely in a creative and artistic way,” Nevin, who was twice named Chelsea player of the year during his 20-year career, told CNN Sport.
“They are not dissimilar to (Guardiola’s) Barcelona in many ways, who probably were the best team that I’ve ever seen. So that’s really high praise,” he adds.
“But it’s still early. There are still quite a number of things that could go wrong.”
Like all great champions, Arsenal’s “Invincibles” managed to skirt major knocks to its stars. One could argue, however, that this City squad is better equipped to sustain injuries than that Arsenal team — whose league title might have been in doubt if Thierry Henry had been sidelined.
Though Arsenal finished the 2004 campaign with a goal difference of 47, Henry and his 30 league goals did most of the heavy lifting. Robert Pires added 14, with three others contributing four goals each.
Manchester City appears to have more balance with an abundance of natural goal scorers. Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero have chipped in nine goals apiece this season, along with Gabriel Jesus’s eight and Leroy Sane’s six.
But of all the glamorous names in the City squad, the one player who Nevin calls irreplaceable is perhaps central defender John Stones.
“The base of all the play comes from him, and the goalkeeper (Ederson),” he says, referring to City’s Portuguese sweeper goalkeeper.
“So the other players can all be replaced,” he says, noting the strength in depth of City’s squad. “Even (creative midfielder Kevin) De Bruyne can be replaced by (David) Silva. But Stones, not sure you can replace him with the same level.”




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