Manchester City vs Manchester United: Preview, Team News and Stats

Manchester City welcome Manchester United to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday for the 179th edition of the Manchester derby as both sides look to build on midweek wins.

Preview and Stats

The champions cruised to a 4-1 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor to return to winning ways, whereas United beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 on former manager Jose Mourinho’s first return to Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar. (Photo: Courtesy )

The matches continue to come thick and fast for Man City as they gear up for a festive period in which the quality and depth of their squad will be tested to the limit.

December could hardly have got off to a better start as Pep Guardiola’s side eased to only their second win from their last six games across all competitions at Turf Moor, with misfiring striker Gabriel Jesus also ending his drought in the process with a well-taken brace.

However, City will be facing tricky times before Christmas seeing them come up against United, Arsenal and Leicester City, the latter of whom current bisect the champions and runaway leaders Liverpool.

Man City have not won successive league games since the start of November, which is a wildly inconsistent spell by their standards, and a patchy recent home record against their near-neighbours suggests that they may have their work cut out to end that relative drought this weekend.

Pep Guardiola. (Photo: Courtesy)

On the other hand, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side has won just one of their last 11 away league outings stretching back to February, losing six of those including defeats at Everton, West Ham United, Newcastle United, and Bournemouth, as well as draws at Huddersfield Town, Southampton, and Sheffield United.

Unsurprisingly given such rotten form, clean sheets have also been difficult to come by, with their last away Premier League shutout coming in February – a run of 12 matches in which they have been unable to prevent the opposition from scoring.

Team news

The champions are still without all-time record goalscorer Sergio Aguero due to a thigh problem, with the Argentine hoping to return for next Sunday’s clash against Arsenal.

Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane remain long-term absentees who are unlikely to feature before February, but Oleksandr Zinchenko could be in contention to return to the squad following knee surgery in October.

Guardiola has Ilkay Gundogan back available after suspension, although the midfield trio of Rodri, David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne shone in midweek and will hope to retain their places.

Sergio Aguero. (Photo: Courtesy)

Such a busy December makes for peak rotation season at City and there could be changes on Saturday, although Guardiola does also have next week’s Champions League game against Dinamo Zagreb in which to rest players with his side already through.

Solskjaer must be envious of Man City’s potential for changes given his own injury concerns, which have grown courtesy of Anthony Martial’s absence.

The French forward missed the win over Spurs due to a “slight injury” and is considered a major doubt for this match too, leaving the visitors with a decision to make over whether to start youngster Mason Greenwood against the champions.

Paul Pogba. (Photo: Courtesy)

The in-form Rashford is a certainty to start following his brace against Spurs, leaving him already just one goal short of his season-best for a Premier League campaign.

Andreas Pereira provides another potential option should Solskjaer want more cover in midfield, while Nemanja Matic could return to the fold for the first time since October having only narrowly missed out in midweek.

Paul Pogba remains a major doubt with his ongoing ankle troubles while Marcos Rojo is another outside possibility to feature, but Eric Bailly, Diogo Dalot and Timothy Fosu-Mensah are all sidelined until the latter stages of the month at the earliest.

Predicted lineups;

Man City: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Fernandinho, Mendy; De Bruyne, Rodri, D Silva; Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling.

Man Utd: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Williams; McTominay, Fred; James, Pereira, Rashford; Greenwood.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *