MANCHESTER CITY VS MANCHESTER UNITED PREVIEW
DATE :7TH APRIL, 2018
TIME : 5:30PM, BST
VENUE : ETIHAD STADIUM, MANCHESTER ENGLAND
REFEREE :Martin Atkinson.
Manchester City can win the Premier League title in Saturday's derby against Manchester United.
The Reds make the short trip across Manchester to the Etihad Stadium for the second Manchester derby of the season this weekend. United will be looking to avenge the 2-1 defeat against City at Old Trafford back in December and further consolidate second place in the Premier League, but it will be a difficult task against the table leaders , who will be looking to put their emphatic UEFA Champions League defeat at Liverpool in midweek behind them.
City beat 3-1 Everton at Goodison Park in Saturday's late kick-off which means Pep Guardiola's side can be confirmed champions as early as Gameweek 33, beating United's record of 2000/2001 for earliest title win by a week in terms of games played.
How are Manchester United faring? The Reds are in fine form, winning the last four games in the Premier League including notable victories over Liverpool and Chelsea at Old Trafford. United have also bounced back from the disappointing UEFA Champions League exit with successive 2-0 wins at home, either side of the international break against Brighton & Hove Albion in the Emirates FA Cup and Swansea City in the league last Saturday. Although, tomorrow match against their neighbors will be a test for Jose Mourinho's side.
What about City? Pep Guardiola’s side have enjoyed a formidable season so far, in which they have won the Carabao Cup, reached the last eight of the Champions League and are close to being crowned Premier League champions . The Etihad outfit have won their last five Premier League games, scoring 14 goals and conceding just twice, since a 1-1 draw at Burnley on February 3 and go into the match on the back of Wednesday’s disappointing 3-0 Champions League quarter-final first leg loss against Liverpool at Anfield. It's only the third time they have failed to score in a match this season and leaves them with an uphill taskahead of the second leg at home next Tuesday.
Historically, the Reds have a strong record against their neighbours heading into the 176th Manchester derby – winning 72 and drawing 52 of the previous 175 meetings. United also hold the edge in the 40 Premier League encounters between the sides, winning 20 to City’s 13 while there have been eight draws – including the goalless draws in last season’s corresponding fixture a year ago.
PLAYERS TO WATCH.
In a team packed with multi-talented superstars, Kevin De Bruyne has been in fine form for City this season and his contention for the PFA Player of the Year award. The Belgian playmaker, who has been pivotal in many of City’s wins this season, has scored 11 goals and registered 20 assists in all competitions this term. Capable of splitting any defence, De Bruyne is the chief orchestrator for Guardiola’s side and the Reds will have to be on alert to nullify his threat.
Saturday’s game will bring together the best defences in the Premier League this season, with United conceding 23 goals and City just 21 in 31 games so far. The Reds have kept clean sheets in the last two visits to the Etihad Stadium and David De Gea is leading the way in the race for the Golden Glove with 16 in the league, two more than City’s Brazilian stopper Ederson who is in second place.
Jose Mourinho confirmed Before last weekend’s victory over Swansea City that Phil Jones , Marcos Rojo and Ander Herrera have regained full fitness, which was a welcome boost for the Reds. He also said that, Daley Blind has returned to training and it remains to be seen if the Dutchman will be available for selection this weekend. But Sergio Romero is expected to be out “for a few weeks” after sustaining an injury on international duty. Meanwhile, City could be without top scorer, Sergio Aguero, who missed Wednesday’s 3-0 Champions League quarter-final first-leg defeat at Liverpool through injury. John Stones and Fabian Delph were unused substitutes at Anfield and could be involved on Saturday after recent injuries, but Benjamin Mendy is expected to remain sidelined.
PROBABLY LINE UP
MANCHESTER UNITED PROBABLY XI : De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Bailly, Young; Matic, McTominay, Mata, Sanchez, Martial; Lukaku.
POTENTIAL MAN CITY STARTING XI: Ederson; Delph, Kompany, Otamendi, Walker; Gundogan, De Bruyne, Fernandinho, D. Silva, Sterling; Jesus.