- Lisandro Martinez's height question will be put under intense scrutiny when he faces Erling Haaland in the Manchester derby
- Erik ten Hag will also come up against Pep Guardiola, whom he worked with at Bayern Munich
- Manchester United's rejuvenation after a shaky start will provide belief for ten Hag that he can bag a historic win at the Etihad Stadium
Erik ten Hag will this weekend participate in his first Manchester derby when he leads his side to the Etihad Stadium.
The short trip across town will see ten Hag's troops face an unrelenting Pep Guardiola's side, with a marauding Erling Haaland in their flanks.
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The defending champions might be the favourites on paper, but United's recent rejuvenation suggests it would be a game of fine margins. Sports Brief takes a look at the top five battlegrounds.
1. Erling Haaland vs Lisandro Martinez
Haaland has continued to claim all the plaudits with his goal scoring acumen in the Premier League so far. During his unveiling, he made it clear that he was looking forward to taking part in this derby.
He will face Martinez, about who so much has been said about his height. How the Argentinian fares against a physically imposing Haaland will be an exciting watch.
2. Bruno Fernandes vs Kevin De Bruyne - the midfield battle
One might be tempted to replace Fernandes' name with Christian Eriksen. The Dane is currently on a fine patch, but eyes will be on the captain of the day to pull the strings.
His opposite number is already on six assists for the season. It would be interesting to note if ten Hag will stick with Scott McTominay to derail De Bruyne's incessant forays, or if new signing Casemiro will be called upon.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner is a standalone battleground. Ronaldo is in line to start as Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial face late fitness tests.
He might be struggling at the moment, but his awareness in front of the goal is something that will trouble Guardiola.
4. Guardiola vs ten Hag
Finally, the men who wield the tactics and plans. This will be the first time the two managers face each other. They have worked together previously at Bayern Munich and ten Hag borrows heavily from Guardiola's handbook.
He will however, need to get one better of the proven winner if he is to have a stake in the Premier League title race.
Pep Guardiola's past comments on Cristiano Ronaldo resurface
Sports Brief had earlier reported that Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola has previously lavished praise on Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ahead of the first Manchester derby of the season, with the two sides to lock horns on Sunday at the Etihad Stadium, Guardiola's previous comments on Ronaldo have resurfaced.
Ronaldo is currently under fire after putting in a lethargic show against Spain in the UEFA Nations League. He has been dropped by Erik ten Hag this season from league matches.
Source: Sports Brief News