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Manchester United v Manchester City - key battles

Published 09/09/2016

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has had few problems adapting to the Premier League
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has had few problems adapting to the Premier League

Jose Mourinho's Manchester United take on Pep Guardiola's Manchester City for the first time at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Here, Press Association Sport assesses three key areas where the game could be won and lost.

ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC v JOHN STONES Two players at opposite ends of their careers who have both started the season in impressive form. Ibrahimovic has had no trouble finding the net early in his United career and has experience on big derby days in Spain, Italy, France and Holland. He will look to dominate the same territory Stones has to protect, and the aerial battle should be particularly important. Stones has licence to bring the ball forward under Guardiola but may have other priorities on this occasion.

PAUL POGBA v DAVID SILVA

Whether or not the pair are in close proximity at all times, they will lead the respective battles for control of the midfield. Pogba will cover more ground, using his long, easy strides to power forward and back, while Silva's modus operandi involves finding pockets of space and playing between the lines. If either man manages to dictate their own terms, the result could follow close behind.

RAHEEM STERLING v LUKE SHAW

The England pair spent most of the international break training together at St George's Park, so there should be no secrets. Sterling has been reinvigorated by Guardiola's arrival at City and, when confident, is a tricky, rapid threat on the right flank. Shaw is expected to be fit despite not travelling to Slovakia and can expect the most thorough examination of his fitness since returning from a year out.

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