Man City vs Man United: 5 things you need to know about the Manchester derby

5 things you need to know: Manchester City vs Manchester United

All eyes are on the 185th Manchester Derby with City on course to have one hand on the Premier League Trophy with a win over cross town rivals – Manchester United.

1. Implication on title race:

– The Blues will be looking to extend their lead at the top with a win over their local rivals; a win that would further strengthen City’s grip on this year’s Premier League title. Guardiola’s men are on a 21-match winning streak heading into this fixture after their recent 4-1 win against Wolves.

With an added incentive of extending the winning run, the City players will head into the game with hunger like none other. City are unbeaten in their last 28 games and have added a different gear to their game in this extraordinary season, overcoming all the difficulties which came their way.

– Manchester United started the season strongly and it looked like the man behind the wheel, Olé Gunnar Solskjær, would finally take the Reds onto to the next stage. But consistency is key and they’re a pauper at best. United currently sit 2nd in the Premier League table with 51 points from 27 games having won 14, drawn nine and lost four.

They have won only three out of their last 10 Premier League games but they will have added motivation to win this game; Ole and his boys will be eager to spoil Pep’s winning streak. Perhaps a larger perspective in terms of the title race makes this game a must win for the team who could be facing a top four battle if they fail to gather all three points on Sunday.

2. Team News:

For the first time this season, Pep Guardiola has a fully-fit squad at his disposal. Nathan Aké is the latest player to be declared fit & available to play again, after a long spell on the sidelines.

As for United, David De Gea, Phil Jones, Paul Pogba and Juan Mata are to miss out. In addition, the participation of Anthony Martial and Donny van de Beek is doubtful.

3. Head to Head:

City last played against their neighbours in the 2-0 Carabao Cup Semi-final win back in January, a ‘ballsy’ effort from John Stones and a Fernandinho volley helped City reach the Carabao Cup Final for the fourth consecutive time.

The last five Manchester Derby’s have been pretty even in terms of the match result, but a larger picture suggests that the Blues have consistently gotten the better of their bitter rivals over the course of past several seasons.

Overall, Manchester City have won 55, drawn 53 and lost 76 games against United. This will be the 185th Manchester Derby.

4. The Managers’ thoughts:

Pep Guardiola: “This game is important like the previous one, the previous one, and the next one. One at the time. I know how difficult United is – we experience it, every year they get better from the previous season, more than one year not losing away…

They have good results at the Etihad. We have the good opportunity to increase the distance. Today we spoke in training about what we have to do to beat them. The Premier League is 38 games, this is one. They [United] are a contender [for the title], in second. Everyone knows how important it is, we have a game plan and try to win the league.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Asked if he’s worried about losing a place in the top-four after a recent dip in form for his side, said; “Well there are still 11 league games to go. I’ve always said let’s get to March and April before we talk about the title race. We have given ourselves a very good chance to improve on last season. There are loads of quality teams and we can only control ourselves.”

5. Match Officials:

Referee Anthony Taylor who was the referee in City’s 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge will be joined by Assistant Referees Gary Beswick and Adam Nunn, along with Mike Dean as the Fourth Official at the Etihad Stadium.

Video Assistant Referee duties have been handed to Paul Tierney (VAR) and Harry Lennard (AVAR).

Via City Xtra FN

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