The Manchester Derby has become a showcase of arguably the best footballing city in the modern world- both City and United have left marks in European and English football in recent years. Though Manchester City has been the dominant side in previous meetings, United is in the better run of form of late- and they look like they’re raring to be unleashed into Old Trafford and capture their 6th win in a row. Manchester City, on the other hand, just lost to Crystal Palace, and will be looking to move out of their recent slump in form.
Latest News: Wilfried Bony looks likely to be out of the match after he was injured in the pre-match warmup at Selhurst Park. Chris Smalling looks set to return from illness, while Robin Van Persie seems like he’ll miss the match.
United have won their past 5 in the Premier League, scraping by Newcastle and Sunderland before grabbing comprehensive wins over Aston Villa, Tottenham and Liverpool. Meanwhile, Manchester City has recently lost to Burnley and Crystal Palace. City stands 9th in the form guide, while Manchester United is 2nd behind Arsenal.
Predicted Lineups: United will likely continue with their 4-3-3, with Chris Smalling returning for Phil Jones. The team has been playing well, so it is likely there won’t be too many changes. Angel Di Maria has two assists in his last two substitute appearances, so expect him to come in for Ashley Young.
On the other side, Manchester City is not likely to change their current 4-4-2, and Sergio Aguero will continue to pair Edin Dzeko up front. Yaya Toure returning against Crystal Palace will worry United, while Gael Clichy seems to have ousted Aleksandar Kolarov at left back. Pablo Zabaleta will probably replace Bacary Sagna at right back and Samir Nasri should come in for Jesus Navas on the right side of midfield.
Tactics: Manchester City doesn’t field a defensive midfielder and their centre-backs are very poor, so United will have Marouane Fellaini and Wayne Rooney on them so Angel Di Maria and Juan Mata can penetrate the space. Ander Herrera will wreak havoc everywhere and Michael Carrick will control the game. Manchester City, on the other hand, will look to push Gael Clichy further up the pitch in an effort to force an error out of Antonio Valencia. The winger who is playing as a fullback can be hesitant in the box and Clichy can take advantage of that. Valencia does get very involved in the attack, though, and Mata and Valencia should prove a handful for Clichy.
Prediction: Manchester City looks poor as of late, and United lost because of one poor play from Chris Smalling last year. United looks steady this year, and as long as Michael Carrick is around to pull the strings, Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini, Angel Di Maria and Juan Mata behind Wayne Rooney will be too much for the Citizens.
Score: Manchester United 2-0 Manchester City; Goals; Rooney, Mata; MOTM Di Maria