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Match Preview : Manchester United vs Manchester City

Manchester Derby Manchester United vs Manchester City

Manchester United vs Manchester City | Premier League | Old Trafford | KO 16:30

Unbeaten in nine, there is arguably no better time for Manchester United to face bitter rivals Manchester City, who themselves enter this Sunday’s game in top form, having won the League Cup last weekend.

It might not have the ‘title deciding’ edge that this fixture had a few years ago, and both sides are focusing on different goals, but the Manchester derby is always a spectacle, and one they will both be desperate to win.

How Do Manchester United look?

On Thursday against Derby County, The Reds rested a few players from the starting 11, and a number of those are expected to return against City.

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Sergio Romero started against The Rams, as he often does in cup competitions, but number one David De Gea will most likely return at the weekend, despite his catastrophic error against Everton last week.

Summer signings Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James all missed the trip to Pride Park, and none are guaranteed a place in the 11 this weekend.

When asked on the latter two players’ fitness, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said “None of them have been training yet since the last game, so we’ve got to look at them on Saturday probably”.

On Maguire, Solskjaer said “He’s touch and go because he rolled his ankle but hopefully, he’ll recover quickly. I wasn’t going to rest him today [vs Derby], I didn’t give him a day off birthday-wise but I hope he’ll be fit”.

Paul Pogba, although back in training, will not be expected to make the squad, and Marcus Rashford is still out injured, and is aiming to return sometime before the end of the season.

Opposition: Manchester City

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An opponent that United know all too well, Manchester City are a well-oiled, hardworking, fast paced machine under Pep Guardiola.

They have, however, shown a number of frailties this season that hadn’t been seen before, particularly at the back.

Centre back Aymeric Laporte has missed a large part of the season due to injury, and is also out for this weekend’s match. John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi have failed to step up in the Frenchman’s absence, so midfielder Fernandinho has been forced to fill the void.

Although he has appeared comfortable playing in defence, it isn’t a natural fit for the Brazilian, and The Blues would much prefer having their first-choice centre half back, who wound up injured in their 2-1 victory over Real Madrid in Spain.

City’s greatest threat this season has undoubtedly been Kevin De Bruyne, who has been injured as of late, and for him to be missing in the derby would be a huge loss for the citizens.

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Boss Pep Guardiola has kept his cards very close to his chest with regards to De Bruyne, refusing to confirm whether the Belgian would make it in the squad at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Speaking about De Bruyne in his press conference, Guardiola said “He is getting better. I spoke this morning with the physio and he feels better. It’s not perfect but we will see.”

Star winger Leroy Sane has been injured for the entire Premier League season, and is close to a return, but will make his first league appearance of the season in this weekend’s derby.

Key Stats

In recent seasons, Manchester Derby victories have favoured the away sides.

In the last 12 derbies between the two sides, only twice has the home team won.

Away sides in these games, however, have won eight of the clashes, making the visitors statistically more likely to win a Manchester Derby.

This season, United have beaten City twice, both times at The Etihad; once in the Premier League and once in the League Cup semi-final second leg. City have beaten United once this season, winning 3-1 at Old Trafford in the League Cup semi-final first leg.


Manchester United 1-1 Manchester City. Goals from Anthony Martial and Sergio Aguero

Match Preview Writer

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