Writers United: The Noisy Neighbours Are Coming Home (ft. Bob Priestley)

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

A feeling of impending doom. Naturally, most years when the derby comes around, there’s a hint of nerves before the game. Usually, going into the game, United are in a better position or at least on an even playing field with City.

But this year, City look far and away the better team. They’ve not lost, play a far better style of football and have more individuals who can win a game on their own. On top of that, Pogba, our best player by a country mile, is suspended.

The only way I can see this game ending is City battering United, going 11 points clear and effectively wrapping up the title in December.

How do you think we can stop Man City?

I think United have to play the same team that played Arsenal and be ready for a fight. If we can get a few ‘reducers’ in early (I forsee Valencia chipping someone into the stands) to get them a bit shaken, then press them hard I’m hoping they’ll lose a bit of fluidity.

When we do get the ball back, we’ll have to counter at pace and be clinical in front of goal. They’re missing a few of their defenders so that’s currently their biggest weakness. I would back Lukaku and Martial to have the beating of whoever’s at centre back, they just need to get them one on one.

However, all of the above is easier said than done and it’s very tiring. To keep that up for 90 minutes and hope our defence can stop them scoring is quite a lot to ask.

Oh, and if Fellaini starts we may as well give up at kick off.

What’s your favourite Old Trafford derby moment?

Owen’s goal in the 4-3 win in 2009. After watching an absolute classic, with Fletcher getting the ‘winner’ in the 80th minute, I was filled with a sense of exhaustion and relief. Then Ferdinand tried the most boneheaded chipped pass in the 90th minute, allowing Bellamy to grab a draw. I’ve not felt that feeling of helplessness and rage since.

When Giggs slid it through to Owen on the left I knew it was in. Pure joy.

Score prediction?

If we pull off the above maybe we can sneak a draw or maybe a 1-0 win.

If I’m honest, in my heart of hearts, I feel it could be as bad as a 3-0 defeat.