Manchester City could win the Premier League this Saturday with a win over Manchester United, so this is not going to be your common derby. The stakes will be quite high considering the possible outcome of this match. The Citizens will try to become the new Premier League champions in front of their fans, while The Red Devils will look to defeat their bitter rivals and avoid them winning the title in front of their noses.
Jose Mourinho announced a couple of new regarding the list of absentees ahead of this game. The defensive line will get a massive boost since both Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo are back in training, and so is Ander Herrera who left his muscular injury behind. The two names that won’t be available for the weekend, however, are Sergio Romero and Daley Blind. The Argentinian goalkeeper is expected to be out “for a couple of weeks” due to the injury sustained against Spain, while the Dutchman is back in training but lacks match fitness.
On the other hand, Pep Guardiola might have to deal with the absence of Sergio Aguero since the team’s top scorer missed midweek’s match against Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League through injury and will likely be a game-time decision. John Stones and Fabian Delph are also available following their recent injuries, but Benjamin Mendy remains out.
Manchester United only have the Premier League and the FA Cup to concentrate after their UEFA Champions League exit at the hands of Sevilla. And quite honestly, United’s recent form has been very good, though. They are riding a four-game winning streak at the Premier League level, including huge wins over Chelsea and Liverpool at Old Trafford. The title race might be over, but The Red Devils have a decent grip in the second position of the standings. Right now it seems that’s their main goal.
On the other hand, Manchester City have been far and away the best team in the English Premier League this season. They have won their past five league contests, and are just one win away from reaching the title. But that’s not all of their success, as they also won the Carabao Cup and reached the last eight in the UEFA Champions League, stage where they lost 0-3 against Liverpool earlier this week. It would be absolutely shocking if they don’t win the title, but chances are they will lift the trophy sooner than later.
Historically, the Reds have a strong record against our near neighbours heading into the 176th Manchester derby – winning 72 and drawing 52 of the previous 175 encounters. 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. United lost the reverse fixture this season, however, as goals from David Silva and Nicolas Otamendi cancelled Marcus Rashford’s strike and gave The Citizens a huge 2-1 win at Old Trafford.
This match is a coin toss since both squads are fairly even. Home-field advantage and overall form could give Manchester City the edge, but Manchester United can definitively perform on the road. As such, I believe this game will end in a draw. There is not much separating these two sides.
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