All eyes will be on Old Trafford when Manchester United and Manchester City square off against each other in the Premier League round 20. The Red Devils are eyeing their fifth consecutive league win, and they are surely capable of matching Pep Guardiola’s troops in front of home fans.
Since Marcus Rashford has been impressive in front of goal of late, the opposition back-line should have him at bay. Jadon Sancho continues to miss out with injury, but he should be the only absentee in the home team.
Meanwhile, the Citizens rolled over Chelsea 4-0 in the FA Cup round 4, and they are now on a quest to put an extra pressure on league leaders Arsenal. Given Man City’s attacking potential with Erling Haland up front, I think that both teams will score. The Norway superstar is back to the starting XI, while Ruben Dias has yet to overcome a hamstring injury.
Manchester United have been in fine form since the World Cup break with six wins in as many games across all competitions ahead of Saturday’s Manchester derby for the early Premier League kick off.
Man City are looking to bounce back after a disappointing EFL Cup exit at the hands of Southampton. Boss Pep Guardiola did opt to rotate for that fixture, presumably with one eye of this game, but the likes of Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne did feature for significant minutes in the second half and they still came up short.
The visitors have dominated this fixture of late, however, winning each of the last three meetings with an aggregate score of 12-3 – and they may be able to bring an end to United’s purple patch on Saturday.
The loss to Southampton was just City’s fourth of the season across all competitions (including the Community Shield) and they have won every game following a defeat, most recently a 3-2 EFL Cup success after a Premier League defeat to Brentford in their final pre-World Cup outing.
United’s winning run is perhaps a little misleading as they have not faced a team from the top half of the Premier League during that run and two of those victories came against lower ranked opponents in the cups.
City won the reverse fixture 6-3 back in October thanks in part to an Erling Haaland hat-trick and they can do the double over their local rivals, although this meeting at Old Trafford should be a little closer.
Derbies, and early Saturday kick offs for that matter, can occasionally fail to deliver but there are reasons to expect an entertaining encounter between these two title contenders this weekend. Both teams have scored in the two previous meetings and just four points and two places separate these sides in the table.
United have only failed to score in one of their home league games and have scored in each of their last nine at Old Trafford across all competitions, hitting 24 goals in total during that run, while both teams have scored in three of City’s six games after Qatar. As these teams are both in good scoring form we could be in line for a high-scoring affair on Saturday.
Haaland clearly stands out as a goalscorer contender but we also have to look at United marksman Marcus Rashford. The England forward has scored in all six games since the World Cup – hitting seven goals in total – despite only starting four of those and he has also provided two assists, so I think Rashford will continue his hot-streak even if United are unable to extend their own winning run.
Inspecting their prior head to head clashes dating back to 12/12/2020 tells us that Manchester United have won 1 of them and Manchester City 4, with the tally of drawn games standing at 1. 20 goals were shared by the two clubs during those clashes, with 6 of them from The Red Devils and 14 netted by The Citizens. The average number of goals per game works out to 3.33.
The previous league contest between the two was Premier League match day 9 on 02/10/2022 when the final score was Manchester City 6-3 Manchester United. That day, Manchester City managed 54% possession and 22 attempts at goal with 10 of them on target. The goalscorers were Phil Foden (8′, 44′, 73′) and Erling Haaland (34′, 37′, 64′). For their opponents, Manchester United had 12 shots on goal with 8 on target. Antony (56′) and Anthony Martial (84′, 91′) scored.
Team News: Manchester United
There are not many personnel worries, with just one fitness concern for the Manchester United gaffer Erik ten Hag to contend with from of an almost fully healthy group of players. Axel Tuanzebe (Unknown Injury) will miss out.
Team News: Manchester City
Thanks to a completely healthy squad to choose from, the Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola does not have any fitness concerns to speak of coming into this game.