Friday pressure briefing: City pride at stake in Manchester derby

Victory for Pep's men will bring them the Premier League title and deal a bitter blow to their fierce rivals

The only thing better than sealing the Premier League title?

Doing so in front of your fierce rivals.

Pep Guardiola’s champions-elect have the chance to do exactly that this weekend when they host Jose Mourinho’s United.

Manchester City have done the double three times over Manchester United in the Premier League, only Liverpool have done so more often in the competition (4).

Indeed, United have lost eight of their last 13 EPL games against Man City (W3, D2) – their previous eight top-flight defeats against Man City came over a 49-game period stretching back to March 1978.

The times, it seems, are changing in Manchester.

Sure Manchester derby 06042018

This is now the fourth time City will go into this fixture in the Premier League starting the day top of the table – they have won their previous three, with all wins coming at Old Trafford.

Should the Citizens complete another seasonal EPL double over their neighbours on Saturday evening, they’ll claim the titles with more games to spare than any side in English top-flight history.

And Pep, too, will get one over on a personal rival, drawing level with Mourinho by cementing a league title in three of Europe’s Top 5 leagues.

This will be the 21st managerial meeting between Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola, the most either manager has faced another. Guardiola has won nine of the previous 20 meetings (D7 L4), the most defeats Mourinho has suffered against another manager in his career.

Guardiola is unbeaten in his first three Premier League meetings with the Red Devils (W2 D1); only one other manager has ever gone unbeaten in his first four Premier League meetings with Manchester United, with Ruud Gullit doing so between November 1996 and November 1998.

Mourinho will hope Romelu Lukaku will be buoyed on after reaching 100 EPL goals last week - the Belgian striker is back in form and has impressive Seasonal Pressure Index score 74/100.

Pep, meanwhile, will hope his midfield return to form after midweek. David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne have dominated opponents all season, earning a remarkable Seasonal Pressure Index scores 98 and 91 respectively, which leaves them the top two performers under pressure in the EPL this season.

United are unbeaten in their last two trips to the City of Manchester Stadium. But City are unbeaten in their last 27 home league games (W22 D5), winning the last 14 in a row. 

Only twice has a team ever had a longer winning run at home in the Premier League (Man City 20 between March 2011 and March 2012, and Man Utd 19 between October 2010 and October 2011).

Who will handle the pressure?

The Goal Pressure Index is presented by Sure, Official Partner of Chelsea FC, Everton FC and Southampton FC. Join the conversation on Twitter @Sure.

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