This weekend marks one of the biggest fixtures in the football calendar – the Manchester derby. Pep Guardiola and his men will be hosting the Red Devils at the Etihad on Saturday afternoon. A chance to further their lead at the top and clinch the Premier League title for good. However, the Manchester City are coming off an embarrassing 3-0 loss to their title rivals, Liverpool in the midweek Champions League fixture.
The Citizens were caught off guard as Jurgen Klopp’s men dominated the match from start to finish. Pep’s side are at a further disadvantage going into the second leg of the Quarter Finals after failing to register a single away goal at Anfield.
Their untouchable season ended when the FA Cup got taken away by Wigan Athletic in the knockout stages and it seems their hopes of a strong European display is on the line. Pep obviously has one eye on the next Tuesday night fixture rather than this matchup.
City already have a 16 point lead over the visitors and winning or losing this tie will have little to no consequence in their path towards the league title. With just, 7 games left in the season, it is possible for United to catch up with the ‘noisy neighbours’ but highly unlikely. However, Jose Mourinho will be coming into this fixture to keep those hopes alive and make a statement.
Manchester City Team News
Guardiola is set to have full squad other than Kun Aguero and long-time absentee, Benjamin Mendy.
The former has missed out on the last three City fixtures and could be available for the next tie.
Manchester United Team News
Sergio Romero is tending to his knee injury and Daley Blind to his ankle. Phil Jones is expected to make a return to the starting lineup.
Romelu Lukaku has come into his shooting boots again scoring 4 in the last 5 fixtures. He will put the pressure on the Kompany-Otamendi partnership. David De Gea is also their best asset as far the defence is concerned. The Spaniard did remarkably well against Swansea City in the previous league tie, even making a double save against Tammy Abraham’s rebounded efforts.
Kevin De Bruyne was kept relatively quiet by Liverpool but the Belgian is always a threat with the ball. He will eager to channel that frustration into this fixture and improve his chances of becoming PFA Player Of The Year.
Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson; Danilo, Stones, Otamendi, Delph; Gundogan, D. Silva, De Bruyne; Sane, Sterling, Jesus
Manchester United (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Bailly, Young; Matic, Pogba; Sanchez, Lingard, Rashford; Lukaku
Manchester City Win: 19/20
Manchester United Win: 3/1