Writers United: The Noisy Neighbours Are Coming Home (ft. Alex Demarco)

What are your thoughts going into Sunday’s game, which is probably the biggest game of the season so far?

It goes without saying that it’s a must-win game. As much as I hate to say it, City are close to unstoppable right now and with the gap between us already at eight points, the pressure is on us to try and reduce that. Apart from the defeat away to Basel, we’ve been in good form recently and definitely think we’ve got what it takes to emerge victorious on Sunday. David de Gea has been in unbelievable form, plus Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford will be boosted by their goals against CSKA Moscow in midweek and will hopefully carry that form into the derby.

How do you think we can stop Man City?

It’s difficult to say right now because no side has gone and done it so far, so as such there isn’t a template that other teams could use as a guide. Having said that, there are few better managers than Jose Mourinho when it comes to tactically outmanoeuvring rivals, so we’re in good hands. Obviously, the natural threat comes from their forwards, with Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling, David Silva, Leroy Sane and Kevin de Bruyne all proving to be too hot to handle this season, so we will need our defence to be right on top of their game. Victor Lindelof has been in impressive form in these last few weeks but if he is handed a starting place then he will need to take his performance up a level, as I feel that City might try to expose his weaknesses. If the likes of Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young can keep up their recent form then I think we should be hard to beat at the back, especially with Nemanja Matic providing protection in front of the defence. I’d imagine that Mourinho is going to play a defensive game, so it will be up to our attacking players to make the most of any chances that we might get on the counter-attack. For all City’s dominance, they’re a bit weak at the back so the likes of Anthony Martial, Lukaku and Rashford should get at their back-line and hopefully put away whatever service they’re given.

What’s your favourite Old Trafford derby moment?

Without a doubt Michael Owen’s late, late winner in the classic 4-3 victory back in 2009. I remember thinking we had blown it when Craig Bellamy equalised towards the end, only for Ryan Giggs, the calmest man inside Old Trafford, to play through Owen with a beautifully-weighted pass and send all United fans into raptures. More of the same on Sunday would be welcomed…

Score prediction?

I’m expecting an extremely tight match, so I’ll go ahead and say 1-0 to United!