It is time for the Manchester Derby! Man United are ready for revenge after the heavy loss in the first half of the campaign, but that was ultimately the game after which Erik Ten Hag’s side drastically improved their results. Now, in fourth place and with realistic chances to get into third ahead of Newcastle, United will be hoping to further destabilise Pep Guardiola’s side after their League Cup exit on Wednesday.
Man United could be without several players for this match. Diogo Dalot’s injury against Charlton is yet to be assessed but he could be out of contention for the Saturday match. Donny van de Beek has been ruled out for the rest of the season, while Axel Tuanzebe is still injured. Then there is Jadon Sancho who is still doing his individual fitness programme. Apart from that, we will see Bruno Fernandes return to the fold after his suspension against Charlton, while the likes of Raphael Varane, Luke Shaw, Casemiro and Christian Eriksen should all be back in team after not getting started in the League Cup. It also remains to be seen if United will manage to bring in Wout Weghorst on loan from Burnley in time for this match.
As for Man City, John Stones will not play after missing the Southampton defeat. Ruben Dias could be back in City’s back four, while no other problems are worrying Guardiola in terms of personnel. Kevin de Bruyne and Rodri did not start against the Saints and they will be expected to be in the lineup for the Manchester Derby.
Manchester United are in ideal form, with their eight consecutive wins in three different competitions, and with 11 wins in the last 12 games, it is hard to expect the Devils will ever face their city rivals in better run of results. Their last four home wins since the end of the World Cup all came with three goals scored, while conceding just once against Everton. This implies United will feel good about themselves ahead of this match, although none of the rivals were anywhere near close City’s level – Forest, Bournemouth, Everton and Charlton Athletic. Nevertheless, we might be in for a fun Manchester Derby.
That is even more clear after some of City’s recent results, as Pep Guardiola’s side was shockingly eliminated from the League Cup quarterfinals after a 2-0 loss to Southampton. This match made United become the only remaining English club still competing in four different competitions, while City will have more time to bring focus back on Premier League, where they are five points behind Arsenal. That difference would have been smaller if it was not for CIty’s unexpected 1-1 draw against Everton on the last day of 2022. Since, they defeated struggling Chelsea 1-0 in the league and 4-0 in the FA Cup, showing just what they are capable of.
Considering the Devils’ great form in the last couple months and City’s recent stutterings, we predict Manchester United will get a 1-1 draw against Manchester City on Saturday. The early kick-off matches sometimes can bring interesting results and this one would be just fine for Ten Hag’s side. With the lack of centre-forward options, a point would be quite a good result which would further complicate City’s title race against Arsenal.