Manchester Derby Preview: Match facts, Analysis, Team News, and Prediction

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Manchester City, after a rather sluggish start to the current Premier League campaign, are well on their way to the title as we speak. They have managed to find their way to the top of the standings and are currently leading the next team on the log by 14 points.

The Citizens also play the same team occupying the second spot on the log, Manchester United, on a Super Sunday match-up that promises to go one way or the other.

Manchester United blew their opportunity to ride the top spot till the end having secured the number one spot weeks ago, however, a host of inconsistent performances has allowed their city rivals to catch up to them and even open a massive gap between them.

They can maybe reduce the deficit today at the Etihad and hope City slip up but that seems like a tall order.

City have managed 15 consecutive wins in the Premier League and it doesn’t feel s though United would be able to stop them as they look sharper than ever.

Team News

Manchester City have no players in the treatment room for the first time this season as they look set to face Manchester United on Sunday.

The Citizens have a fully-fit squad available for the derby at the Etihad Stadium as Nathan Ake is now available after a muscular problem.

After making six changes for the midweek win over Wolves, manager Pep Guardiola is again likely to shuffle his pack as the Premier League leaders chase a 22nd successive win in all competitions.

Manchester United on the other hand would have Dean Henderson starting between the sticks in this one after first-choice stopper David de Gea returned to Spain for the birth of his first child.

Anthony Martial and Donny van de Beek missed Wednesday’s goalless draw at Crystal Palace through injury, but manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is “hoping to get one or two back” this weekend.

Paul Pogba is unlikely to return from his thigh injury, but Victor Lindelof could start as United continues to manage an ongoing back issue. Juan Mata and Phil Jones are out.

Stats and facts heading into the match (Backed by Opta)

  • Man City have lost three of their last five home league games against Manchester United (D1 L1), including a 1-2 defeat last season. They’ve not lost consecutive home league games against Man Utd since April 2010.
  • Manchester United are looking to win three consecutive away games in all competitions against Manchester City for the first time since a run of four between November 1993 and November 2000.
  • Manchester City have kept a clean sheet in both of their meetings with Manchester United this season (0-0 Premier League, 2-0 League Cup). The last team to record three shutouts against the Red Devils within a single season was Arsenal in 1998-99.
  • Manchester City are unbeaten in 28 games in all competitions – if they avoid defeat here they will set a new club record for games without defeat. The Citizens have also won each of their last 21 matches, the third ever longest run in all competitions among teams in the big five European leagues.

Prediction

There’s no seeing any other outcome other than a City win in this one, however, it’s a derby.

Whenever two rivals collide, there’s some tendency to get surprising results but still, City looks prime to knick this one.

Verdict: Manchester City 3-0 Manchester United

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