The first Manchester derby of the season gets underway this Sunday, with United travelling to the Etihad Stadium to take on rivals Manchester City. This game is the latest in a long rivalry between the two clubs and, the two managers Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho also face off again.
Manchester City have started off this season the same way they finished last, having swept all before them in the Premier League so far. They sit top of the table with 29 points, two clear of second-placed Chelsea, having scored 33 goals this season and conceded just four. They swept Southampton aside last week, going into half time 4-1 up and they’ve improved since last season, if that was even possible.
As for United, their defence has been under intense scrutiny all season, following Mourinho’s criticism of his defenders and lamenting the board for failing to sign a new centre back over the summer. They’ve struggled since the start of the season too, as they’re currently sat in seventh place with 20 points, level with Bournemouth and conceding 18 goals this season. David De Gea is still yet to keep a clean sheet in the Premier League this campaign.
Manchester City vs. Manchester United Predictions
Manchester United’s win over Juventus in midweek adds excitement to what many thought would be another easy City victory. It’s important to remember though that United denied their rivals from winning the title at the Etihad last season, coming from a two-goal deficit to win the game. Mourinho in the past has come out in the big games and killed them by being defensive, but he can’t afford to do that in this one as they’re not good enough defensively. If they are to have any hope in this game, they’re going to have to go out with the aim of scoring goals and not sitting back.
Manchester City vs. Manchester United Betting Tips
- Manchester City to score over 2.5 goals: 6/5
- Anthony Martial to score first: 12/1
- Fernandinho to be booked: Evens
Head to Head
- Manchester City have not lost any of their last 53 Premier League matches against sides starting the day outside the top four (W44 D9 L0), since a 4-0 loss at Everton in January 2017.
- Manchester United, who won 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium last season despite being 2-0 down, are looking to achieve a second successive Premier League victory at the ground for only the second time, having previously done so in November 2008 and April 2010.
- Pep Guardiola has never lost consecutive home league matches against a single opponent in his managerial career.
- Anthony Martial could become the seventh player to score in five or more successive Premier League matches for Manchester United after Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Wayne Rooney, Eric Cantona, Dwight Yorke, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robin Van Persie. Van Nistelrooy achieved that feat four times, while Rooney managed it twice.
Manchester City Team News
Kevin De Bruyne has been ruled out for up to six weeks following ligament damage suffered during City’s Carabao Cup win over Fulham last week. Claudio Bravo is also a long-term absentee, while Leroy Sane and Vincent Kompany are likely to be on the bench.
Predicted Manchester City XI: Ederson Moraes, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Aymeric Laporte, Benjamin Mendy, Bernardo Silva, Fernandinho, David Silva, Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero
Manchester United Team News
Antonio Valencia returned to training earlier this week, having missed the last few weeks with injury. However, Chris Smalling is still out. Jose Mourinho faces a dilemma as to who to start upfront, with Romelu Lukaku dropped for last week’s win over Bournemouth with Marcus Rashford scoring the winning goal in injury time.
Predicted Manchester United XI: David De Gea, Ashley Young, Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw, Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba, Alexis Sanchez, Anthony Martial, Romelu Lukaku