With three losses in their last five Premier League (PL) games (W2, L3), Manchester United will be desperate to find victory against Manchester City in this 178th Manchester derby, and with it, take the title’s fate out of their fierce rivals’ hands.
But with no clean sheet in their last 11 competitive matches – United’s worst such streak since December 1998 – and having conceded more league goals (48) than in any other season since 1978/79, Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s men have an uphill battle ahead. Conceding hasn’t stopped them from winning in the past though – all ten of United’s PL home victories this season involved both teams scoring.
With the ‘Red Devils’ victorious in eight of the nine PL home games where they netted the opener, the first match goal could be decisive. However, based on City’s last ten league outings, United’s cross-city rivals come into this game as the best form team in Europe’s top five leagues (W10), and have scored the opener in a league-high 81.25% of their PL road trips.
Quick-starting City have also been winning at half-time in ten of their 11 top-flight away victories so far, although only half of their away league games have featured over 2.5 goals.
Players to watch: Paul Pogba has scored United’s only goals across their last four competitive games. Both were penalties, however he’s missed 30% of the PL spot-kicks he’s taken.
Six of Raheem Sterling’s 17 league goals for City have been netted in the 15 minutes immediately following half-time.
Stat attack: United have scored in both halves in 50% of their PL home games; City have done so in 43.75% of their PL away games.
There’s been an average of 5.0 yellow cards per match across the last five top-flight H2Hs.
United hold the bragging rights, winning 73 previous derbies (W73, D52, L52).
Will not play
(Achilles Tendon Injury)
De Bruyne K.
Referee: Marriner A. (Eng),
Venue: Old Trafford (Manchester)