Manchester United vs Manchester City – English Premier League – Preview

Posted on by Sreya

The Manchester Derby is arguably one of the biggest fixtures of the English Premier League. Although the fortunes of both Manchester clubs have been polarising in the recent seasons, Manchester United will be higher than Manchester City on the league table for the first time in close to two years when the former host the latter tomorrow.

Team News & Formation

Robin van Persie has regained his fitness but is unlikely to feature in the starting XI. Jonny Evans is suspended. Chris Smalling missed United’s last game against Aston Villa due to illness and could return to the lineup. James Wilson has been listed as doubtful. For the defending champions, the last few weeks have been worrisome to say the least. Having already all but given up their chances to retain the Premier League title, their current fight is now with their greater known neighbours for automatic qualification to the UEFA Champions League for next season. Wilfried Bony is the only injury casualty, while captain Vincent Kompany will face a late fitness test.

Louis Van Gaal’s side have been on a winning streak in their 4-1-4-1 after the early season chopping and changing of formations by the Dutch manager. Wayne Rooney will start up front with Juan Mata and Ashley Young on either flanks. A section of United fan-base, however, believes that Angel di Maria should replace Young for this particular fixture. The midfield trio of Marouanne Fellaini and Ander Herrera, with Michael Carrick sitting just behind them will hold the key to the derby.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side generally adopts a 4-2-3-1 formation. Sergio Aguero is expected to start as the lone striker, with Samir Nasri, David Silva and James Milner behind him. The return of Pablo Zabaleta at right back will not only bolster the City defense, but also provide Pellegrini’s men with an added impetus while going forward.

Attacking Intensity, Defensive Setup, Form

Although Manchester City (63) has scored eight more goals than Manchester United (55), the United side boasts of a better shooting accuracy as well as conversion ratio. Aguero, in spite of scoring 17 goals this season, has been in a goal drought for the last 511 minutes he has played. Wayne Rooney, on the other hand, has grown in stature and performances as the season progressed. Juan Mata’s performance at Anfield and Ander Herrera’s gradual rise to prominence should generate hope among the United faithful.

Defensively, City have attempted more tackles while United have faced far more number of shots. Both sides have kept ten clean sheets but in a straight up contest between the first-choice goalkeepers of both clubs, David de Gea will get better of Joe Hart on any given day.

Free Prediction 

Manchester United sit just behind Arsenal among the in-form clubs of the English Premier League while Manchester City, on the contrary, do not feature in the top half, having won only nine points out of the last eighteen. Manchester City has won its last four matches in all competitions against Manchester United but has lost its last three away games. According to H2H statistics, United have won 39% of the head-to-head contests between both teams, while City have won 29% of the matches. The Manchester clubs are likely to play out a 2-2 draw tomorrow at Old Trafford.

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