Following their most impressive result of the season in a 2-1 away win at Juventus, Manchester United will remain on the road and this Sunday, they will take on the current Premier League leaders, Manchester City, at Etihad Stadium.
The Red Devils might be far from reaching the top of the standings, but there is no question that a win over The Citizens would increase the team’s morale just before the international break. It is unlikely that a win would modify their position too much, but topping the club’s biggest rival could have huge implications going forward. Especially on the emotional side of things. Clinching consecutive wins over Juventus and City would be a great sign moving forward.
Read on to find out everything you need to know prior to Sunday’s thrilling contest:
Manchester United have improved their fitness dramatically over the past few days, and Jose Mourinho has almost the entire squad available at his disposal. However, there haven’t been many changes compared to the side that played against Juventus. Marouane Fellaini, Diogo Dalot and Antonio Valencia remain out, as well as Marcos Rojo. Romelu Lukaku will be a game-time decision, but right now he could be in contention for a squad role. Paul Pogba trained indoors during Friday, but he shouldn’t have problems to feature here.
Meanwhile, Manchester City won’t have Kevin De Bruyne, who’s dealing with another knee problem. Ezequiel Mangala and Claudio Bravo are long-term absentees, with the Chilean goalkeeper set to miss the entire season due to an Achilles issue. Nicolas Otamendi and Ilkay Gundogan, who scored in the team’s most recent outing against Manchester United, both will be a game-time decision.
Manchester United might be inconsistent, but there is no question that the club is showing positive signs in recent weeks. They are coming off two consecutive Premier League wins over Everton and Bournemouth, but also defeated Juventus this Wednesday in the UEFA Champions League. Through 11 games in the English Premier League, Manchester United sit in seventh place with 20 points. They own a W6, D2, L3 mark, with 19 goals scored and 18 conceded.
On the other hand, Manchester City have been destroying their competition one week at a time. Josep Guardiola’s men sit at the top of the Premier League standings with 29 points (W9, D2, L0) and own a two-point advantage over Liverpool and Chelsea. They have scored 12 goals in their past two games across all competitions: they scored a 6-1 win over Southampton last week, and a 6-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Champions League this past Wednesday. They also own the league’s best attack (33 goals scored) and defence (four conceded).
What is our all-time record against Manchester City?
We have played The Citizens 177 times in all competitions, stretching back to 1891. The Red Devils have the edge with 73 wins to the Blues’ 51, while there have been 52 draws. Sunday’s game will be Jose Mourinho’s 20th against City as a manager in all competitions. He has won nine, drawn five and lost five so far. In the Premier League era, these two sides have met 42 times. Manchester United have won 21, City have won 13 and there have been eight draws.
Undoubtedly, this is going to be a tough game for Manchester United. Especially if we consider City are riding high playing at home. But United’s recent rise on form will be on evidence here. I expect them to steal, at least, one point away from this game to keep their undefeated run alive just before November’s international break.