Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp believes that Manchester City will be “petrified” of Marcus Rashford when they welcome Manchester United to the Ethiad on Thursday night.
Man United’s 2-0 win over Burnley on Sunday took Jose Mourinho‘s men to within one point of their noisy neighbours ahead of the game on Thursday.
Last season’s contest back in March 2016 was emphatically decided by a sumptuous Rashford goal in the first half that effectively put an end to any title hopes harboured by Manuel Pellegrini’s men.
And Redknapp, writing for the Daily Mail, believes that City’s back four would have not forgotten about the torment sent their way by the teenager.
“Thursday night’s Manchester derby is a shootout for the top four — and momentum is firmly with United after City’s FA Cup semi-final defeat,” he said.
“United may have their injury problems but will be brimming with confidence after a good display at Burnley. City’s defenders will be petrified of Marcus Rashford, who settled this game last year and is in fine form.
“If City lose, this will be Pep Guardiola’s biggest test yet.”
One can’t help but feel a sense of predestination when it comes to the way in which Zlatan Ibrahimovic injured himself at the exact moment Rashford, following a dry patch, suddenly erupted into sensational form right before another visit to the Ethiad – the place that saw the 19-year-old consolidate his name on a truly global scale.
Pep Guardiola will be feeling the pressure. Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final defeat this Arsenal leaves them with no trophies this season; surrendering fourth spot to United would be unthinkable. Mourinho would love nothing better than to consign Guardiola to fifth spot, and you suspect Rashford figures at the centre of his plan to rip the final limb off City’s season on Thursday night.