The most fiercely contested match of the season is here and its happening at Manchester, United Kingdom. Premier league log leaders Manchester City are set to host local rivals Manchester United at the Etihad stadium.
City are already 9 points clear of Man Utd and will be looking to extend that run. But the Manchester Derby has always taught us that anything can happen.
Man City have had a bright start to the campaign as they sit top, two points clear off Chelsea and Liverpool who are 2nd and 3rd respectively. Pep Guardiola will not have envisaged that at this time there will be three teams still unbeaten at this stage of the competition.
City have seemed even more dangerous this season than the last. Still same technical football and still the same high scoring side, they have been averaging 3 goals per match since the beginning of the season.
Wednesday’s 6-0 win against Shakhtar was City’s biggest ever victory in the Champions League and reinforced their status as favourites for not only domestic glory, but also to be crowned European champions for the first time in their history.
It will be difficult to see any team stopping City on current form, though; the blues have won 10 of their last 11 games across all competitions, scoring 35 goals and conceding just two in that time.
The Last meeting between the two sides was in April where Man Utd defeated them 2-0 at the Etihad, much to Pep’s frustration, although they still went on to win the competition. City will be looking to prevent a repeat of that evening tomorrow.
Kevin DeBruyne’s latest injury has ruled him out of contention for today’s game but David Silva, Ilkay Gundogan and Bernado Silva are all expected to play.
Top scorer Sergio Aguero will likely lead the line and Gabriel Jesus, who has been in fine form is also expected to have a role, but from the bench. Raheem Sterling is also passed match fit.
Man City possible starting eleven:
Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Mendy; Bernardo, Fernandinho, Silva; Sterling, Aguero, Sane
United on the other hand have not been in best of forms, but recent matches have had the team compared to the teams of the Ferguson years because of late goals and comebacks, against both strong and weak opposition.
The Red Devils have come from behind to win points in four of their last six games across all competitions, with three of those occasions seeing them securing victory with a goal in the 90th minute or later.
But considering United’s defensive record, it will be difficult to stop City’s sharp attack from doing damage to the team.
Mourinho’s boys have only kept one clean sheet in the league this season and have conceded 18 times in their 11 games – a figure it took them 25 matches to reach last term. Now if they concede more than two goals on Sunday then it would be their worst start to a season defensively since 1966.
“The Special one” has masterminded good away results against Juventus and Chelsea in recent weeks, though, and the Red Devils now have the chance to win four successive matches across all competitions for the first time since January.
Lukaku who has been injured is back in training and is set to feature but its Anthony Martial everyone is talking about. The French winger has scored 5 goals in the last 4 league games so far. Alexis Sanchez and Paul Pogba are also set to feature.
Man Utd possible starting eleven:
De Gea; Young, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw; Herrera, Matic, Pogba; Sanchez, Lukaku, Martial
Head To Head
Overall this will be the 177th Manchester derby, with City winning 51 of those compared to United’s 73.