Manchester United vs Manchester City Preview

Big win on Derby Day for both Manchester teams

Manchester United will host Manchester City for the first Derby Day of the season. They will play tomorrow in the lunchtime kick off slot. For United this is a massive game as they have already embarrassed themselves against a rival and to beat City and go level on points with them going into the break will be huge.

For the blue side of Manchester, after a disappointing loss to Crystal Palace at home last weekend, City need to push closer to Chelsea and Liverpool. A win at Old Trafford would do just that. Ole has a fantastic record against Pep but all three of the defeats he’s suffered against the Spaniard have come at Old Trafford. Can Ole muster a huge win for the Reds or will Pep pile on the pressure? Here’s all you need to know:

Manchester Derby Match Information:

Teams: Manchester United and Manchester City
Date: Saturday 6th November 2021
Kick-Off: 12:30pm GMT
Stadium: Old Trafford
Managers: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Pep Guardiola
Referee: Michael Oliver

Team News:

Manchester United

Manchester United have a different issue to solve this week with team selections. United will be without Raphael Varane after he sustained a different injury against Atalanta on Tuesday. Varane returned to the team against Spurs following his groin injury but will be sidelined with a hamstring injury for 3-4 weeks. Paul Pogba is also unavailable as he serves his second game of his three-match suspension.

Manchester City

Ferran Torres will miss the Manchester Derby due to a metatarsal injury and Ben Mendy remains suspended pending the result from his trial. Aymeric Laporte is suspended following his red card last weekend so Stones should take his place at the back. Kyle Walker came off against Club Brugge with a foot injury and will be assessed before the match tomorrow.

Interesting Facts:

  • Pep Guardiola hasn’t won a Premier League Manchester Derby in two years. The last was a 0-2 win at Old Trafford in which Bernardo Silva and Leroy Sane scored for City back in 2019.
  • Since his debut Manchester Derby in 2016, no one has scored more goals in the Manchester Derby (4) than Marcus Rashford.
  • Manchester United have kept clean sheets in their last three league matches against City (2W, 1D).
  • Manchester City haven’t lost back-to-back league matches since December 2018 when they lost to Crystal Palace at home then Leicester City away.

Manchester United vs Manchester City Predicted Lineups:

Manchester United

United will almost certainly field a back five. It clearly showed against Atalanta that a back four is too fragile at the moment. Another concern would be David de Gea. The Spaniard has been in wonderful form but has conceded a lot of goals he shouldn’t have. He is too static on his line and not brave enough in the air. He cost United two goals against Atalanta and many have called for Henderson to start soon. I expect Dean Henderson to remain on the bench but be breathing down De Gea’s neck as he was last season.

At the back I expect Maguire to keep his place but along with Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof in a back five with Wan-Bissaka and Shaw providing width. In midfield, Fred, McTominay and Fernandes will start and the fact Pogba cannot play has relieved a lot of stress for Ole as he was simply awful against Atalanta. Up top, I expect Ronaldo and Cavani to start with their experience and linkup.

Predicted Team (3-5-2): De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred, Fernandes, Cavani, Ronaldo

Manchester City

Pep always does something strange and it’s difficult to tell what he’ll do but the back four and keeper should be a simple one to figure out. With no Laporte and potentially no Walker, it will be Ederson in goal with Cancelo, Dias, Stones and Zinchenko at the back. In midfield, I think Pep will keep Rodri and have Bernardo and De Bruyne in for an attacking bombardment against United.

Pep has favoured the false nine and so I don’t think he changes that for the derby. Foden and Jesus should start but it’s whether Grealish or Sterling plays. Grealish hasn’t been in great form whereas Sterling just ended his goal drought. I think Grealish will start but Sterling would be more suited for his forward runs past a vulnerable defence.

Predicted Teams (4-3-3): Ederson; Cancelo, Stones, Dias, Zinchenko; Rodri, De Bruyne, B. Silva; Jesus, Foden, Grealish

Predicted Score:

I think United will be happy not to see Laporte and Walker. Cancelo and Zinchenko aren’t the best defensively and both Dias and Stones can be error-prone. United will have seen what Palace did to City on the break and look to do exactly the same but with, with no disrespect, better forwards. Ronaldo and Cavani could cause City a whole lot of problems. United have to be compact and aggressive in defence and clinical and incisive in attack. City could punish them but United play well against them under Ole. This could turn the season round with a win.

Predicted Score: 1-0 to United

Author: Arjun Handa