Manchester United vs Manchester City Preview

Manchester United finalise this four game home streak with a visit from second placed Manchester City. A win would move United within a point of their noisy neighbours. A draw would put them level on points with Newcastle with the same number of games played however, the Magpies are tipped to win against Fulham on Sunday. A loss, while not a crisis, could see United drop out of the Top Four should Spurs find victory in the North Londo Derby.

While this is not a must-win game for Top Four, United will have loftier ambitions while on this run. Especially with City’s less than convincing form. United will want to push City and cause problems to the teams above them. If they can win their next three games, they may even be in the title race. There’s plenty to play for and United will have all the confidence in the world to play City. If United wanted to play City, now could be the best time to do it. Here’s all you need to know:

Manchester United vs Manchester City Match Information:

Teams: Manchester United and Manchester City
Date: Saturday 14th January 2023
KO Time: 12:30 GMT
Location: Old Trafford
Managers: Erik ten Hag and Pep Guardiola
Referee: Stuart Atwell

Team News:

Manchester United:

Manchester United are guaranteed to be without Donny van de Beek, Axel Tuanzebe and Jadon Sancho. While Donny and Axel are out with long-term injuries, Sancho is yet to train with the rest of the squad. Diogo Dalot is not available following his injury against Charlton. Bruno Fernandes will be a welcome sight back following suspension against Charlton. New signing, Wout Weghorst was not registered in time for the derby but could feature against Crystal Palace. Anthony Martial was not seen in training but still may be fit to start.

Manchester City:

Pep Guardiola confirmed that John Stones is City’s only unfit player. This does indicate that Ruben Dias will be available for selection but may start on the bench with Akanji, Laporte and Ake all fit and match-ready. Foden and Haaland both scored hattricks against United in the 6-3 loss earlier this season and could start again at Old Trafford. Haaland and De Bruyne did not feature against Chelsea in the FA Cup and were substitutes in vain in their Carabao Cup exit on Wednesday. They should be fresh and ready for the derby.

Manchester United vs Manchester City Interesting Facts:

  • Manchester City have won three Manchester Derbies in a row for the first time since 2014 where they won four derbies in a row between April 2013 and November 2014.
  • Four of United’s last five wins against Manchester City have come at the Etihad. Their only win vs City at Old Trafford in the last six years was in 2020 courtesy of Martial’s volley and the famous Scott McTominay sealer under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
  • Both Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have four goals in Manchester Derbies. No one from either of the current squads have scored more in Manchester Derbies.

Predicted XI:

Fred could be tipped to start ahead of Eriksen

United will resume Premier League action and thus David de Gea will have a chance for his first Derby clean sheet since December 2020. Maguire, Malacia, and the injured Dalot will come out I expect for Varane, Shaw and Wan-Bissaka.

In midfield, I would expect Casemiro and Fernandes to start. It will be interesting to see if Ten Hag chooses Eriksen or Fred. If Fred, then the manager expects to be requiring more energy and withstanding more pressure and if he picks Eriksen, he will want to have possession and dominate the ball. I think it would be smart to see Fred start and have Eriksen on the bench if needed.

Out wide, Antony is certain to play on the right provided we are not in for a shock full debut for Pellistri. If Martial is fit, he starts up front with Rashford out wide and if not, Garnacho will get his first Manchester Derby under way. I hope Martial is fit as without him we do struggle to keep the ball.

Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Shaw; Casemiro, Fred; Antony, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial

Predicted Score:

Manchester Derbies tend to be stressful ones for Manchester United fans, especially when United are winning. When City win, it’s usually a comfortable game for the Blues but when United win, they are usually under siege for at least two thirds of the game. United have everything to win this game both in possession and on the counter. They have to be clinical and they have to put City to the sword because, out of nowhere, they can score two, three, four goals and a lead is not only cancelled but obliterated. I will struggle to predict a win but a solid draw would keep United in the hunt with plenty of big games on the horizon.

United to draw 1-1

Author: Arjun Handa

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