Prediction: Correct Score – 1-1
Manchester United will be aiming to do the double over their rivals Manchester City this weekend as they host the latest instalment of the derby of Sunday afternoon.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Red Devils are in relatively positive health heading into the match and will be aiming to earn another win to boost their hopes of UEFA Champions League football. Elsewhere, it has been business as usual at the Etihad Stadium despite their European ban, with a win at Old Trafford surely in their crosshairs.
Coming into the match, Manchester United are actually in very good form. The Red Devils have not lost in any competition since their defeat to Burnley in late January. In all, that is nine matches undefeated – the club’s longest such run in all competitions since Solskjaer was first appointed. Within that time, they have also enjoyed progression in a few competitions. They reached the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League with a 5-0 success against Belgian outfit Club Brugge at Old Trafford, whilst they also overcame Championship outfit Derby County in the FA Cup, a match in which former Red Devils hero Wayne Rooney made an appearance. Despite that, United did feel a little fortunate in their previous Premier League match. Having fallen behind to Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s goal, Bruno Fernandes equalised, only for the Everton striker to fire home in the late stages. The goal was ruled out for offside though with Gylfi Sigurdsson apparently in the line of sight of David De Gea. That point from Goodison Park kept them fifth and now just three points behind Chelsea.
Paul Pogba is reportedly set to return to training next week, with this game coming too early for the French midfielder. He remains on the sidelines with Marcus Rashford, Lee Grant and Timothy Fosu-Mensah. There are also some defensive worries for Solskjaer, with skipper Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka set to be subject to late fitness tests, as well as Daniel James. Bruno Fernandes will look to continue his hot streak since his arrival having notched three goals and two assists in all competitions.
As are the high standards set by Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium that a five-match winning run in all competitions is nothing particularly out of the ordinary. However, within that run, they have picked up some impressive results, none least their 2-1 comeback win against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. The Citizens also managed to progress to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup as they too beat a Championship side by overcoming a stubborn Sheffield Wednesday side at Hillsborough. Heading into the clash at Old Trafford, they now have a great chance to chalk up another clean sheet. Following their wins against West Ham United and Leicester City, they have the opportunity to chalk a third consecutive shut-out in the Premier League for the first time in the 2019/20 campaign.
One man who could potentially be a miss for the current reigning champions is Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian midfielder has been in inspired form for the club so far this campaign but is set to be subjected to a late fitness test. Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane are both still on the sidelines as they continue their respective recoveries.
Key Facts To Consider
- Manchester United have the better head to head record between the two teams (W75, D52, L54)
- The two sides have already met on three occasions this season, with Manchester United winning two
- The Red Devils have not done the double against Manchester City since the 2009/10 season
- Sergio Aguero has eight goals in 12 career Premier League appearances against Manchester United
- The Red Devils could move into the top four with a victory on Sunday
With both sides coming into the clash in good form, there should be a great game in prospect at Old Trafford. Manchester United will be very motivated to earn another win against their rivals and continue their push for a top-four position. A draw looks to be the most likely result on Sunday afternoon.
Prediction: Correct Score – 1-1
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