Manchester City welcomes their fiercest rivals and second-placed Manchester United in the 185th edition of the Manchester derby. A win for Pep Guardiola’s men would in all probability seal the Premier League title. Both teams come into this fixture in contrasting form. While Manchester City is on a 21-game winning run in all competitions, Manchester United is coming off 3 scoreless draws in all competitions.
Why Should You be Watching?
There is absolutely no reason why you should be needing a reason to watch this encounter. United has pretty much been the best away team this season and is unbeaten in 21 PL away matches. On the other hand, City themselves are on a 21-game winning run in all competitions. All in all, this should be an exciting attacking match where both teams would be wanting to go for the win.
In what would have been dubbed as the title decider at the start of the year, both teams have since then been on contrasting form. Manchester City now leads second-placed United by 14 points. A win for Manchester City will likely seal the title for Pep Guardiola’s men. On the other hand, United will be looking for nothing less than a win to close the gap on their city rivals.
Manchester City PL form: WWWWW
Manchester United PL form: DDWDD
Head to Head
In the overall H2H, United lead City with 76 wins to 55 while 53 clashes have ended in a draw. United have won three of their last six meetings between them in all competitions. In their last meeting, City defeated United 2-0 in the EFL Cup that took place at Old Trafford. United has won three out of the last four Manchester derbies held at the Etihad stadium. Last season, the same fixture ended in a 2-1 victory for Ole’s men.
TEAM NEWS AND Predicted Lineups
The Sky Blues
With the return of Nathan Ake, City have no injury concerns. For the first time in the season they have a full squad to choose from.
Defence– Cancelo, Stones, Dias, Zinchenko
Midfield- De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan
Attack– Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling
David De Gea is unavailable following the birth of his first child. In his absence, Henderson who started in the 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park should stay in goal. Also missing due to injury are Phil Jones and Juan Mata. . Pogba and Van de Beek are also expected to be unavailable due to recent injuries. Lindelof who missed the Crystal Palace clash due to a back issue should return to partner Maguire in defence.
GK- Dean Henderson
Defence-Shaw, Maguire, Lindelof, Wan-Bissaka
CDM– Fred, McTominay,
Attack– Rashford, Fernandes, James
Players to Watch Out For
Manchester City has just conceded nine times in the PL this term. This has been primarily attributed to the strong partnership between Ruben Dias and John Stones this season. The latter had been mostly frozen last season and was expected to be sold in the summer. However, the partnership has been so prolific this season, that has led to Laporte being on the bench in spite of returning from injury.
Sterling had a quiet start to the season and has only got better as the season progressed. In the absence of KDB and Aguero, Sterling has been impressive. He has ensured City hasn’t suffered for the missing experienced duo.
Kevin De Bruyne
Manchester City has been prolific this season even in the absence of last year’s PFA player of the year. City’s assist king has missed quite a part of the team’s dominant run and yet has 16 assists this season in all competitions. With City’s talismanic returning to full fitness and having had crucial minutes under his belt in the last couple of game weeks, there is no reason why he won’t play a crucial part in the derby and the end of the season.
Mr. Manchester United, as he is fondly called these days, has had quite an impact since signing for United. Bruno has 40 goal involvements in 41 matches for the club. However, he only has one non-penalty in eight fixtures against the big six this season. If United are to get anything out of the derby, much of it will be down to the influence the Portuguese will have.
Luke Shaw has been in excellent form this season. He doesn’t shy getting forward down the wing and will be a key in United’s attack from the wing. However, it will be his defense that will be more important to stop the likes of Sterling and De Bruyne.
Having signed for United in the summer, Cavani has been a revelation for the Reds. He’s had an impact whenever he has played and has been an impact substitute. He has got the crucial goals and his big-match experience should come in handy for the Red Devils.
Although City start as favorites based on current form, Manchester United has been playing well away from home. Overall, this game shouldn’t disappoint with Manchester United particularly looking for the win. A win for United would help them get their title race back on track while a win for City will certainly seal the title.
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