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Saturday, April 13, 2024

PREVIEW: Manchester City vs. Manchester United

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After confirming their places in the F.A. Cup quarter-finals, Manchester City and Manchester United lock horns in a crucial Manchester Derby tomorrow at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester United have only lost once this year with the defeat coming in their last Premier League match against Fulham. The Red Devils were a bit fatigued that day after a run of hard-fought wins and that resulted in getting overrun by The Cottagers. Calvin Bassey opened the scoring for the visitors and Harry Maguire equalised the scores in the 89th-minute. However, Alex Iwobi brought gloom upon the home side with his very late added-time goal to put an end to United’s winning run.

While Erik Ten Hag’s men did progress to the next round of the F.A. Cup courtesy of a late Casemiro header, they found themselves overworked. It was yet another day when they struggled to gather a comfortable victory.

Manchester United have the worst goalscoring record amongst the top ten this season, netting only 36 goals till now. Rasmus Hojlund went on a scoring spree for a few consecutive matchdays but he too is set to miss a couple of games due to a recently acquired injury.

Tomorrow’s visitors are eight points away from 4th-placed Aston Villa and three points from the derby could send shock waves around the table and in form for the respective clubs.

Meanwhile, Manchester City come into this match on the back of a thrilling 6-2 victory versus Luton Town in the F.A. Cup fifth round. Erling Haaland led the charge as he netted five times during the match and Mateo Kovacic did the icing on the cake in the 72nd-minute. The Hatters’ Jordan Clark scored his brace as a personal achievement but his team could not sustain the attacking impetus of City.

Pep Guardiola’s men overpowered United this season last year when they posted a statement 3-0 scoreline at Old Trafford. Erling Haaland netted a brace with Phil Foden adding the third late in the match. Man City have been dominant in the Manchester Derbies in recent seasons and they have won six of the last eight clashes against their opponents from across town, scoring 20 goals in the process.

Manchester City are just a point short of league leaders Liverpool in the league standings, which could potentially make them go top as The Reds could concede a banana skid against Nottingham Forest. However, dropping points may prove dangerous for them at this stage now as Arsenal and Aston Villa are closely following the Blue Moon.

Results from their last five matches across all competitions

Manchester City:

W W W D W

Manchester United:

W L W W W

Team News

It proved to be a costly win for Manchester City against Luton Town as they lost Jack Grealish to a recurrence of his groin injury. Pep Guardiola ruled him out until the international break of this month.

Ederson, Ruben Dias, Rodri, and Phil Foden were rested at Kenilworth Road and will be on the starting line-up tomorrow. Scorer Mateo Kovacic is expected to be benched with Matheus Nunes.

As for Man United, they have a long list of injuries to deal with as Tyrell Malacia, Anthony Martial, Lisandro Martinez, Mason Mount, Luke Shaw, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are out with long-term injuries.

Harry Maguire joins the list of absentees for the match after missing out on Wednesday.

Bruno Fernandes and Raphael Varane are fit to start the game as Kobbie Mainoo might get the nod in the midfield.

Predicted XIs

Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Dias, Stones, Ake; Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne; Doku, Haaland, Foden.

Manchester United (4-2-3-1): Onana; Dalot, Varane, Lindelof, Amrabat; Casemiro, Mainoo; Antony, Fernandes, Garnacho; Rashford.

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