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Premier League Match Preview – Manchester City vs Manchester United

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Match Preview – The Manchester Derby returns to the Etihad Stadium with plenty at stake for both teams.

Manchester City continue their bid for a fourth consecutive league title, whilst their red neighbours Manchester United look to keep pace with the top four as the 2023/24 Premier League season draws ever closer to its conclusion.

Here’s everything you need to know about Sunday’s mouth-watering derby.

Premier League Match Preview – Manchester City vs Manchester United:

Form

Manchester City: WDWWW

Manchester City have hit some remarkable form having not lost a game since the 6th of December 2023. They have won 16 of their last 18 matches, with only Crystal Palace and Chelsea denying them all three points points in that time period.

Their last five games have seen two 1-0 Premier League victories, a 6-2 demolishing of Luton Town in the FA Cup on Tuesday night, and a 3-1 victory over FC Copenhagen, as the knockout stages of the Champions League got underway.

Only the 1-1 draw with Chelsea is stopping the Citizens from being at the top of the league. As it stands they sit in second place, hot on the heels of Liverpool as they wait for the Merseyside club to make any sort of slip-up.

With just 12 games left for City, they cannot afford to drop any more points in the title race, such is the quality of the top three clubs this year. That’s much easier said than done, as after this weekend’s derby, the blue side of Manchester face Liverpool and Arsenal before March is up.

City were boosted by the return of superstar midfielder Kevin De Bruyne a few weeks back, but if they’re going to emulate last season’s heroics, they will need their star striker Erling Haaland to consistently find the net.

The Norwegian had been in a bit of a dull period by his own standards recently, despite being the Premier League’s top scorer. However, he silenced all critics on Tuesday night when he netted five times in the thrashing of Luton.

How many goals is that tonight, @ErlingHaaland? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/PnVsPAIXRT

— Manchester City (@ManCity) February 27, 2024

As for the team news, manager Pep Guardiola has the majority of his squad coming back to full fitness at the right time. Small niggles to Josko Gvardiol and Jack Grealish will most likely rule them out, but the rest of the first team is ready to be selected.

Manchester United: WWWLW

The Red Devils have enjoyed a rich vein of form in 2024, they were unbeaten in all competitions until last weekend when they lost 2-1 to Fulham. Over the past couple of months, it looked like Erik ten Hag had shrugged off a tough opening half to the season, and was about to ignite a firm chase of the Premier League’s top four.

But old habits reappeared in their loss to Fulham, and the gap to Aston Villa in fourth has opened up to eight points. They’re still in the fight, but if United want to be playing Champions League football next season, they cannot afford to drop any more points, increasing the pressure on what is already a heated derby.

United’s shining star this campaign has been 18-year-old Kobbie Mainoo. The midfielder has produced some excellent performances this year and has played a big part since breaking into the side.

All eyes on Sunday 👊#MUFC || #PL pic.twitter.com/wbIHgwgmdL

— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 1, 2024

The youngster is once again expected to take a deep-lying role on Sunday and is in line to get his first taste of the Manchester Derby, after being an unused substitute in the reverse fixture.

Changes are expected to be made when it comes to the Red Devils’ lineup. Injuries to Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia mean that they don’t have a fit left-back, which could lead to Sofyan Amrabat being shoe-horned into the role.

Midfielder Casemiro is nursing a concussion but is expected to play, whilst Mason Mount continues his recovery. The big miss for United is their striker and in-form man Rasmus Hojlund, whose recent goals have kept them in the hunt for the top four.

Previous Meeting

Man City are quickly closing in on United in the overall head-to-head stats between the two. Their 60 all-time victories have them now just 18 behind the amount that their neighbours have racked up.

Since Sir Alex Ferguson left the Red Devils, they have won 14 of the 26 meetings, and 11 of the 20 meetings since Guardiola took his role as manager.

United haven’t won at the Etihad for almost three years and were humbled when the sides met earlier in the season. Two goals from Haaland and a late settler from Phil Foden gave the Citizens a 3-0 victory in their rival’s backyard.

Nevertheless, in a derby of this magnitude, form, previous meetings and stats are all pushed to the side once the passion, grit and determination take over. It’s always a feisty occasion when these two juggernauts of football collide, and fans should expect nothing less on Sunday afternoon.

Predicted Lineups

Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Dias, Ake, Akanji; Rodri, De Bruyne, Silva; Foden, Alvarez, Haaland.

Manchester United: Onana; Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Amrabat; Casemiro, Mainoo, McTominay; Fernandes, Rashford, Garnacho.

Who is the referee?

Andy Madley.

Is this match on TV?

UK – Sky Sports Main Event.

What time is the kick-off?

15:30 GMT, Sunday 3rd March.

Odds

Manchester City – 1/4

Draw – 19/4

Manchester United – 10/1

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