The Manchester conundrum: Which team is better after 5 games?


The Premier League season is well underway and 5 intense action-packed rounds have been completed.

At this stage, there are no shockers at the top of the table as Manchester United, Manchester City, and Chelsea complete the top 3.

The top 2 sides are Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils and Pep Guardiola’s Blues. The Blue side of Manchester is in fact just ahead by virtue of alphabet right now.

Both the Manchester-based clubs have won four games and have drawn one apiece having scored 16 goals and conceding just twice in the process.

It is early days, of course, and Chelsea are within one victory of the two Manchester clubs while Tottenham also lie in wait but there is an unmistakable sense that the major contenders in the title race this season will come from the North West.

United have faced West Ham, Leicester City and Everton at home along with trips to Swansea and Stoke City. As for Man City, they have faced Everton and Liverpool at home and made successful trips to Brighton, Bournemouth, and Watford most recently.

In terms of squad, both teams are finding absolute depth in the attacking department. The sides are led by creative hubs Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Kevin De Bruyne. With Romelu Lukaku and Sergio Aguero finding the nets every game, the sides look clinical. The possess decent bench strength too as City can easily call upon services of the very talented trio of Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva as and when required whereas Man United can ask Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, and Ander Herrera to make an impact.

No real weaknesses have shown up so far but if there are arguments to be made, for City, it can be said that Nicolas Otamendi is not a centre back to be trusted for big games. He has performed decently with John Stones in the past week in Vincent Kompany’s absence but his nightmarish performance against Mohammed Salah could be a worry for Guardiola as the games come thick and fast.

For United, the left-back position remains a cause for concern. Mourinho has deployed Daley Blind, Matteo Darmian and Ashley Young already in that position indicating that he is not yet ready to let one of them be able to call themselves the first choice. Luke Shaw is nearing a return for the Red Devils and the manager will hope that he can stay away from injuries and fulfil his vast potential.

Before the international break, United visit a resurgent Southampton side before hosting Roy Hodgson’s struggling Crystal Palace who are yet to even score.

City, on the other hand, welcome Palace at home before they face a daunting trip to Stamford Bridge to face Champions Chelsea.

Read: Man Utd players ratings vs Everton.

Read: Man City players ratings vs Watford.