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Manchester United v Manchester City – The Opposition

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A Look At The Blues Cross-City Rivals

(SP)BRITAIN-MANCHESTER-FOOTBALL-CHAMPIONS LEAGUE-MANCHESTER CITY FC VS OLYMPIQUE DE MARSEILLE Xinhua/xinhua via Getty Images

Pep Guardiola takes his Manchester City side on the short journey from Manchester to Salford as they face United in the Premier League. Victory for City will take the blues above the reds, and if results go the right way, City could potentially be fourth in the league by Saturday evening.

Form

United have had an indifferent start to the season, but have won the last four Premier League matches and sit sixth in the league on 19 points. While their away form has been good, United’s home form leaves something to be desired. They started their season with a surprise 3-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace. Their next home match saw the reds lose again, this time to Spurs when the Londoners repeated City’s scoreline form 2011, recording a 6-1 victory at Old Trafford.

After drawing 0-0 at home with Chelsea, United lost to Arsenal before recording their first home league win of the season, beating Wet Brom 1-0, so it looks like a good time to take a trip across the city.

United have made it to the quarter finals of the League Cup, knocking out Luton Town and Brighton in previous rounds, and face Everton for a place in the semi-final. However, United finished third in the Champions League group stages and drop into the Europa League.

Danger Men

Bruno Fernandes is United’s main threat, having scored 11 goals form 17 games, with a shot accuracy of 62%. Marcus Rashford is another big threat to the blues, scoring 10 goals from 33 shots, giving him a shot accuracy of 79%.

The same pair lead the way on the assist chart, with Fernandes top of the board with 6. The Portuguese international has a pass accuracy of 75%, completing 671 of 889 attempted passes. The highest pass accuracy percentage is held by Juan Mata, who currently stands at 89%, however the former Chelsea man has only played 8 games this season.

Who’s The Boss?

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been in charge at United since December 2018. Having previously played for the club, Solskjaer scored the last ever goal for United in a 3-1 defeat to City, equalizing Nicolas Anelka’s early strike.

Solskjaer is a an under pressure after United exited the Champions League and reports say he will be sacked if United lose the derby on Saturday.

Played For Both

A number of players have made the transition from red to blue and vice versa. Brian Kidd started his career at United before moving to Maine Road. He returned to United in 1991 as assistant manager to Alex Ferguson, and eventually came back to the blue side as Roberto Mancini’s assistant in 2009.

Denis Law signed for City in 1960, before signing for United via a solitary season at Torino. Law returned to City in 1973, and scored a backheel goal against United at Old Trafford, which many blues still claim sent the reds down.

Peter Barnes, John Gidman, Terry Cooke, Peter Schmeichel, Andy Cole, Andrei Kanchelskis, Peter Beardsley and Terry Cooke have all worn the red and blue, while City legend Shaun Goater was released by United. City keeper Tony Coton also moved to United as goalkeeping coach.

But arguably, one of the biggest transfers from red to blue came in 2009, when Carlos Tevez made the switch to Manchester. The Argentine played a pivotal role in City’s FA Cup triumph in 2011 and an even bigger role when the blues won the title for the first time in 44 years in 2012.

City have had their fair share of managers, and two in particular both played for United at one time. Steve Coppell joined City from Crystal Palace in 1996, however 33 days and 6 games in, Coppell quit, citing the pressure of the job, winning just 2 of those games.

Mark Hughes joined the blues in 2008 after Sven Goran Erikssen was sacked, but shortly after his appointment, ADUG bought the club and gave the Welshman almost unlimited funds to turn City into a major force. Hughes was given 18 months before being sacked in December 2009.