Man Utd face Man City in the English Premier League on Sunday evening in the Manchester derby. United have eked out three successive victories whilst City have won both fixtures since the FIFA break. The Blue half of Manchester has tasted victory in four of the last five meetings between the clubs.
Man Utd Form
United lost four of their first seven league matches with some very poor performances. After a 3-1 home loss to Brighton, they were beaten 4-3 away to Bayern Munich. After grinding out a 1-0 win at Burnley, a 1-0 home loss in the league to Crystal Palace followed. When they lost 3-2 at home to Galatasaray three days later, their European hopes were dealt a blow.
Since then, they have found a way to somehow win three consecutive matches. A 2-1 home win over Brentford saw two injury-time goals to rescue the victory before winning 2-1 at Sheffield United thanks to Diogo Dalot’s long-range strike. In midweek, they beat FC Copenhagen 1-0 at home thanks to Andre Onana saving a 97th-minute penalty.
Man Utd Team News
Erik Ten Hag has a number of question marks once again. The return of Sergio Reguilon in midweek means a more balanced defence. Harry Maguire’s strong form could see him preferred to Victor Lindelof at centre-back next to Raphael Varane. Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are still ruled out.
Casemiro has missed the last couple of matches so the midfield two could be Scott McTominay and Sofyan Amrabat with Mason Mount and Christian Eriksen left out. Antony is expected to get the nod on the right. Jadon Sancho is still suspended internally by the club.
Man Utd Motivation
Right now, Ten Hag is focused purely on results and trying to rebuild confidence and create momentum. They would arguably take a point here to keep the improved run going.
A pragmatic approach is expected, and they may play like the away team. Expect a compact setup with Rashford leading counter attacks.
Man City Form
After an imperious start to the season, including winning their first six league matches, City hit an unexpected dip. A 1-0 loss at Newcastle in the Carabao Cup preceded a 2-1 loss at Wolves. They only produced 0.87 xG from 23 shots whilst Wolves netted twice from one shot on target (plus an own goal).
Two late goals sealed a 3-1 win at RB Leipzig and then a late goal saw them lose an even match 1-0 at Arsenal after 12 consecutive wins against those opponents. Since the international break, that blip has been put behind them. They were excellent in the first half of a 2-1 home win over Brighton (only allowing one shot) and then went to Young Boys and won 3-1 with 26 shots and 4.25 xG.
Man City Team News
Manuel Akanji will miss this match due to suspension. Kyle Walker could return to start in his place. John Stones is set to return in the middle and Nathan Ake and Josko Gvardiol will battle for the left-back role.
Kevin De Bruyne remains out injured in midfield. Bernardo Silva and Julian Alvarez are set for recalls with Mateo Kovacic and Matheus Nunes set to drop to the bench. Phil Foden is expected to return to the XI with Jack Grealish dropped and Jeremy Doku switching to his favoured left side.
Man City Motivation
Guardiola will play to win this match. United are struggling at Old Trafford and are there for the taking. A draw wouldn’t signal a crisis, but it allows teams around City to open up a gap.
City will attack, look to dominate the ball, but also have an air of pragmatic to stop counters.
Man Utd have won their last 3 matches in all competitions.
Man Utd have lost 2 of their last 3 home matches in the league.
Man City have lost 2 of their last 3 away EPL matches.
Man City have won 4 of their last 5 Manchester derbies.
Man City’s Haaland has scored 3 goals in his last 2 matches after a 4-match drought.
United are slowly trying to turn their season around. City had a blip but they looked close to their best again. An away win seems the most likely with Guardiola largely having the measure in this derby of late.