The wait is finally over. The world has been anticipating with bated breath, a Manchester Derby that takes on even greater significance than it normally would do. Pep Guardiola’s and Jose Mourinho’s feisty rivalry enters a new chapter as the pair clash for the first time in England and if past encounters are anything to go by then we are in for an absolute treat. The Theatre of Dreams - the stage is all yours.
After a season of underachievement in the league for both Manchester clubs in 2015/16, appointing two of the world’s most talented and charismatic managers will surely ensure that these North-West heavyweights are fighting for the title come Spring 2017, rather than for the final Champions League spot.
An FA Cup victory aside (Wayne Rooney’s 2015/16 shirt can be found on our website), Manchester United have endured a torrid few years since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson. However, Mourinho is seen as a natural heir to the great man’s throne and if a similar dynasty can be built with Rashford, Pogba and Martial at the forefront, then the glory days will return to the red half of the city. In the meantime, Red Devils supporters can look forward to their team playing with a ruthlessness and even arrogance that was sorely missing under Louis van Gaal.
As for Manchester City, their players will have to get used to the most intricate and technical approach in the world game. Guardiola takes no prisoners and has a history of falling out with star players if they do not fit into his philosophy. Today's opponent Ibrahimovic would love get one over on his old boss after being shown the door at Barcelona, whilst most recently, Joe Hart was seen as surplus to requirements and sent on loan to Torino. Other big names Sergio Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne have stayed firmly put though and both players’ shirts from 2015/16 can be purchased on Football Shirt Memory for only £49.99.
This game cannot come soon enough and although Guardiola has had Mourinho’s number over the years, we think it will be honours even! What are your predictions?