Competition/Round: 2018/19 English Premier League Season – Matchday 12
Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Assistants: Gary Beswick, Adam Nunn
Fourth Official: Craig Pawson
TV Info: Sky Sports Premier League (UK); NBCSN, Telemundo (USA)
Live Stream: Sky Sports Go (UK); NBC Sports Live, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo, Fubo.tv (USA). Fubo.tv shows every Manchester City game with a high-quality and legal stream. New to Fubo.tv? Click here to sign up for Fubo.tv at a discounted rate.
Radio: BBC Radio Manchester (UK); SiriusXM FC, TalkSport Radio World (USA)
The Manchester derby.
One of England’s oldest rivalries, the first Manchester derby was held on 12 November 1881. Since this fixture, the Blues and Reds have faced each other 176 times in all competitions. This Sunday, Manchester City will host the 177 Manchester derby.
The Reds lead the head to head with 73 victories, 52 draws and 51 losses. United are one of England’s most decorated clubs, and they have outshone City for most of their history. In particular, United enjoyed a long spell of success under former manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Under his tenure, the Red Devils won 13 English Premier League titles and two UEFA Champions League trophies.
Despite United’s history and success, their “noisy neighbours” have also competed for silverware in the modern era. In fact, City have enjoyed their own fortune in recent history. Following the 2010/11 EPL season, in which they won the FA Cup, City have won both the EPL and EFL Cup on three occasions. Moreover, the Blues may be on course to retain the EPL title, something that has not been achieved in a FIFA World Cup year since the 1980s.
Most recently, the derby took a new twist when rivals Pep Guardiola and José Mourinho signed for Manchester City and Manchester United, respectively, in 2016. The two had a history managing Spanish clubs Barcelona and Real Madrid. This rivalry has continued during their time in England. Guardiola currently leads the head to head with seven victories, six draws and three defeats. Given Guardiola’s record against Mourinho, it seems City are favoured in this fixture.
Current club form also supports City. Whilst examining the start of the 2018/19 season, the Blues have won nine of their 11 matches in the EPL. They have conceded only four goals and scored a remarkable 33 goals. In contrast, the Reds have won only six of their 11 matches and scored 19 goals. They have conceded 18 goals in 11 matches.
Therefore, it is without a doubt that this fixture will see goals scored by both sides. But will the Blues run rampant in this affair? Or will United secure an important away victory? After all, United spoiled the party during their previous visit to the Etihad.
How will these teams fare in the 177 Manchester derby?
Claudio Bravo and Kevin De Bruyne remain injured. Both men will loathe the missed opportunity to play against their club’s biggest rival.
City gained reinforcements, however, in midweek. Whilst preparing for their match against Shakhtar Donetsk, Guardiola announced that Fabian Delph, Nicolás Otamendi and İlkay Gündoğan had overcome their injuries and they returned to training. This additional boost will allow City to field their strongest lineup against the visitors.
Meanwhile, Manchester United’s Diogo Dalot and Antonio Valencia are injured and will not feature in this match. Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku, who did not feature in United’s midweek game against Italian club Juventus, is a doubt.
The spotlight will surround Alexis Sánchez, however, as the Chilean snubbed City during the January 2018 Transfer Window. Following his decision to leave Arsenal, the winger became a favourite of Mourinho’s. With Lukaku likely out of this feature, the Reds will turn to Sánchez as their playmaker. Nonetheless, it is likely he will feature in this match.
Fred, the Brazilian formerly of Shakhtar Donetsk, also snubbed an opportunity to play for City. During the Summer 2018 Transfer Window, it was rumoured the Brazilian would sign for the Blues as Fernandinho’s eventual replacement. The deal did not materialize, however, and he joined the Red Devils. With this in mind, both Sánchez and Fred may try to prove a point as to why they joined the Reds instead of the Blues.
Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Mendy; B. Silva, Fernandinho, D. Silva; Sterling, Agüero, Sané
Manager: Pep Guardiola
De Gea; Young, Smalling, Lindelöf, Shaw; Matić, Pogba; Lingard, Mata, Martial; Sánchez
Manager: José Mourinho
One of the EPL’s most famous fixtures, pundits and fans alike have discussed this match for several weeks. In other words, there has been much hype surrounding this match.
City have been remarkable this season, having only conceded four goals in 11 EPL matches. Moreover, they boast a goal differential of +29, and this figure includes results against Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. Moreover, the Blues have kept seven clean sheets in 11 EPL matches, demonstrating they have tightened their defences. They also managed to score five or more goals in four of their 11 EPL matches.
Their form in the UEFA Champions League has improved as well. Following a shocking loss at home to Olympique Lyonnais, they have won their three subsequent matches. After four games, the Blues have scored 11 goals and conceded three. They are currently on track to win their group, and following their rout over Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk, they will be riding a wave of confidence heading into EPL matchday 12.
In contrast, United have struggled this season. The Red Devils have scored 19 goals in 11 matches, however their leaky defence has seen then concede 18. Moreover, they have had to fight on a few occasions to overcome weaker opposition by claiming last minute victories. This is very unlike the United of old. Should this trend continue, the Reds could be in for a long night at the Etihad Stadium.
They have also faced difficulty in their UEFA Champions League group. The Red Devils split matches with Italian club Juventus, having won once and lost once. They have not been effective in front of goal, managing only five goals in four matches. The Reds did beat Juventus in Torino, however, and this may give them confidence heading into the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
Overall, it seems the current comparison between these two sides is vast. City have stolen the spotlight whilst United have struggled this season. Moreover, United have conceded an abysmal amount of goals. Given the likes of Sergio Agüero and Raheem Sterling, City’s front line will surely put pressure on United’s defence. Should United hope to win this game, Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelöf will need to maintain their composure.
Nonetheless, it seems the Blues hold the edge in this match. City have simply been remarkable, and with United’s recent defencive woes, it is hard to see the Blues losing this match.
Manchester City 2-1 Manchester United