Manchester City vs Manchester United Preview

The Reds have to beat Manchester City and send a message

The Manchester Derby couldn’t have come at a more pivotal time for United and City. United are aiming to retain control of their Champions League spot with games against City and Spurs before they take on Atletico Madrid in the Round of 16. City are pushing to extend their lead at the top to 6 points (albeit with a game in hand) and do the double over their rivals for the first time in 3 seasons.

Both teams have only lost one game (in 90 minutes) in their last 16 matches and are some of the highest chance creators in the league. The difference is, that City put the ball in the back of the net while United stumble and slip up in the final third constantly. The 0-0 draw with Watford epitomised this sloppiness as they easily could have won 6-0 but failed to take their big chances. United will not make as many against City so they have to take the chances they make. This will prove an interesting watch. Here’s all you need to know:

Manchester City vs Manchester United Match Information:

Teams: Manchester City vs Manchester United
Date: Sunday 6th March 2022
KO Time: 16:30 GMT
Stadium: Etihad Stadium
Managers: Pep Guardiola and Ralf Rangnick
Referee: Michael Oliver

Team News:

Manchester City

Pep has confirmed that he will not have Nathan Ake or Ruben Dias for the derby. Dias will be out for 4-6 weeks and will miss the trip to Anfield in a few weeks time. This means Laporte and Stones are the guaranteed starters at the back with Cancelo and Walker set to start too. Jack Grealish and Gabriel Jesus are fit to play but are likely to start on the bench.

Manchester United

Edinson Cavani and Scott McTominay are back in training and the latter is likely to start in the derby. Ralf Rangnick has said a couple of players are doubts but is yet to confirm who. Maguire and Shaw were rested against Watford and should start tomorrow. Rangnick confirmed Ronaldo will start the derby game.

Interesting Facts:

  • Manchester City have not won a Manchester Derby at the Etihad since the 2018 Memorial Sunday where they won 3-1 against Mourinho’s Reds.
  • In five of the last six Manchester Derbies, the winners of the match has been the only scorers of the match. Four of the last five Manchester Derbies have finished 2-0.
  • David de Gea has kept three clean sheets in his last ten Manchester Derbies.

Predicted XI and Score:

Predicted XI:

I expect Maguire and Shaw to come back to the starting XI. I cannot see any reason why Maguire would be left out. I would expect Varane to start with him, which is a shame for Lindelof who has impressed but I think Varane will deal better with Foden and Sterling. Wan-Bissaka has to start as does Shaw. They are simply the best fullbacks at the club. End of. McTominay should start after being sorely missed in the last two games. Fred could start with him as City’s mobile midfield will need restricting and Matic does not have enough in the tank.

Pogba could start on the wing or in the free role he had against Watford. Bruno will keep his place and as should Sancho as I think it’s unfair to give Elanga this much responsibility in such a crucial game from the get-go. Up front, Ronaldo will be isolated but I hope he stays patient for once, bides his time and takes his chances.

Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; Sancho, Fernandes, Pogba; Ronaldo

Predicted Score:

This is tricky as United have everything to win this game. City are without the leadership of Dias at the back and while I think Laporte and Stones are an excellent pairing, they make errors and United have to pounce. Can I see United keeping City out? Yes but only if they stay focused as they did against Watford. While Watford are in a mire, their attackers are excellent but were neutralised totally in the game. United have to do the same to City and push them back with relentless pressure and possession. A tricky task but one they could manage.

United to win 0-1

Author: Arjun Handa

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