HomeFeatured ArticlesManchester City vs Manchester United | Predictions, Stats and Key Players

Manchester City vs Manchester United | Predictions, Stats and Key Players

Preview of the Manchester Derby: A Crucial Clash for City and United

The Stakes for City and United

The Manchester derby will be played this weekend, with Manchester United making the short trip across the city. In recent seasons, this has been a problematic fixture for City, as they have often lost against their local rivals. They have won the last two meetings and will be hoping that they can strengthen their title challenge with another win this weekend. Although United have been poor in their recent performances, they often raise their game for this fixture and they have the attackers to cause problems in transition for the current champions.

City’s Title Race and Recent Form

Manchester City currently trail Liverpool by one point with the same number of fixtures played. Last weekend, they were unconvincing away to Bournemouth, but they managed to get the three points. Often, City become unstoppable at this point in the season. Their rivals will have been pleased to see that some vulnerabilities remain. Arsenal and Liverpool are soon to play the champions. Both fixtures will be huge in determining where the title ends up. Pep Guardiola will not want to drop any points this weekend ahead of that clash with Jurgen Klopp’s side. A professional performance is expected.

Photo: IMAGO

United’s Struggles and Hopes

There have been some pleasing signs in Manchester United’s performances in 2024, but the last two have been troubling. They were far from convincing during the week, despite their narrow win away to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup. Last weekend, they were outplayed by Fulham and their surge towards the Champions League places was stunted. They remain in a strong position compared to the teams below them. That being said, many think it is more likely United finish lower than 6th, rather than higher.

Interesting Stats and Key Men

Guardiola’s Derby Record

Pep Guardiola has won eight of his 15 Premier League Manchester derbies.

United’s Recent Etihad Performances

Manchester United have lost at the Etihad Stadium in the last two seasons, conceding ten times in the process.

Haaland: City’s Goal Machine

After a slow restart following his injury, by his standards, Erling Haaland went off during the week as he scored five goals in the FA Cup against Luton Town. It was an incredible striking performance and underlined his relationship with Kevin de Bruyne, as the Belgian midfielder provided four assists on the night. It is likely that both will line up this weekend and that is a worrying thought for Manchester United. The visitors have been conceding a lot of chances, even when their results had improved. It is likely that City will have a lot of chances this weekend. Haaland is the man that they are going to fall to and he looks to be getting back to his best. This season, he has contributed 27 goals across all competitions. It is likely to be over the 40 mark before the campaign ends.

Photo: IMAGO

Fernandes: United’s Captain Under Pressure

It hasn’t been an ideal first season with the captaincy for Bruno Fernandes and there has been talk about his own performances in recent weeks. The Portuguese international will be hoping that 2024 is much better for him individually and he still has the class to make a difference in big matches. In this fixture, United need their players to fight and put the work rate in. Fernandes will do this and Erik ten Hag will be hoping that his captain can lead by example on Sunday. This season, he has contributed three goals and five assists in the Premier League. It is on course to be his worst output in a Premier League season, which is a worry for Manchester United. If they are to climb the table, they need more from their captain in the final third. This weekend would be the perfect time to start.

Photo: IMAGO

Team News and Potential Impact

Manchester City’s Squad Availability

Jack Grealish has been ruled out by Pep Guardiola, which is a blow. He joins Josko Gvardiol on the sidelines. The rest of the Manchester City squad are available.

Manchester United’s Injury Concerns

Manchester United have a host of injuries. It is hoped that Rasmus Hojlund, Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Mason Mount, and Tyrell Malacia are all back involved in the next two weeks. All will be missing this weekend though. Luke Shaw and Lisandro Martinez are also in the treatment room.

Verdict: Predicting the Outcome

There should only be one winner this weekend. Manchester City are a far superior team and they can’t afford a slip up. Manchester United have the quality to cause them problems, but they are also liable to collapse if they fall behind. A comfortable home win is the likely outcome for this game.

Predicted Scoreline

Manchester City 3-1 Manchester United

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