Manchester United vs Manchester City Preview | Team News, Stats & Key Men

Manchester United vs Manchester City Preview | Team News, Stats & Key Men

This will be the fourth Manchester Derby of the season so far. Manchester United have won two of those, with Manchester City winning the other. It will be interesting to see how City approach the game, as they do have less to play for than the home side. Despite the recent Liverpool loss, it would take an extraordinary chan of events for the title race to open up. Meanwhile, United are challenging for a top four finish and they are currently only three points off Chelsea in 4th.

The last few weeks have been positive for Manchester United, as they have avoided defeat in their last nine matches across all competitions. They remain in two cup competitions and continue to compete for a top four finish in the Premier League. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been widely criticised at times this season, but he could be set for an excellent first full season at the helm. His record in this fixture has been good and he will be looking to make it three wins from four. They remain the outsiders, but their recent good form will give the players confidence that they can take the bragging rights once again.

Manchester City return to league action following their Carabao Cup success last weekend. Their record in domestic cups under Pep Guardiola has been excellent. Although there will be disappointment that they have failed to put up a good title defence, there remains an opportunity for the club to win three trophies this season. That would arguably be their best season under the Spanish manager. There may be little to play for in the league, but they will be determined to win this weekend. It is a chance for them to prove that they are far ahead of their rivals.

Interesting stats

The away side has won in this fixture in six of the last seven meetings across all competitions. During this campaign, all three matches have been won by the away side.

Manchester City have never lost a Premier League match in March under Pep Guardiola.

Key men

Fernandes

The January signing has been a revelation since joining the club. It looks like he could be the piece that ties the team together, as they have been much better following his arrival. There is excitement about the possible return of Paul Pogba, as they could work very well in the same team. For now, Bruno Fernandes is the key player for this Manchester United team. It speaks volumes about his ability that he has already taken that responsibility at the club. He was used to being relied on at Sporting and he has quickly assumed a similar role at Old Trafford. Since signing for the club, he has contributed three goals and two assists across all competitions. This weekend, he will be relishing his chance to shine in a Manchester Derby.

Aguero

The Argentine striker has been excellent for a long time and his record in big games has been impressive. It was his goal that led to Manchester City progressing in the FA Cup. There will be rotation in upcoming weeks, but it is likely that he will start this weekend. Aguero is chasing the record for the most goals in this fixture. At the time of writing, he is on 9, just two behind Wayne Rooney’s record of 11. It is likely that he will surpass that if he remains at the club for another season. If he does manage to break that record, it will be another achievement that consolidates his legendary status account. Manchester United have been improved in recent weeks, but they could still be overpowered by City. Like in previous derbies, Aguero remains the main goal threat that they need to worry about.

Team news

It is hoped that Harry Maguire will be fit to start in defence, following a knock saw him sit out of the FA Cup match. Daniel James and Aaron Wan Bissaka are both doubts.

Kevin de Bruyne is the major doubt for Manchester City and his fitness will be monitored until kick off. Leroy Sane is nearing a return, but this weekend will come too soon.

Verdict

This could be one of the most entertaining matches of the season. Manchester United don’t have the ability to defend deep and contain Manchester City. They will need to take a more positive approach at home, which should lead to an open game. They have more quality in the middle of the park following the arrival of Fernandes. He could have a big impact on the game. There should be goals in this one.

Manchester United 2-2 Manchester City