Can United Silence Their Noisy Neighbours?

Last updated: December 9, 2020 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Saturday, 17:30
Venue: Old Trafford
Coverage: Sky Sports
Home Form: LWWWW
Away Form: WDLWW
Last Meeting: Man United 2 – 0 Man City
Competition: Premier League

The Manchester derby is set to entertain us with a brawl between bitter neighbours in Saturday’s teatime fixture. Manchester United come into this on top, with four consecutive league wins, against a side that is starting to find their form, netting seven goals in the last two games. United won all six points last season; revenge will be on Pep’s mind.

United go into this vital fixture against City on 19 points, just one above their rivals this weekend. A run of wins sees them in 6th place, five points behind the leaders and have a game in-hand. Their record against the ‘top-six’ so far has, however, been poor. Losing 1 – 0 against Arsenal, 6 – 1 against Tottenham, and was rather fortunate in the 0 – 0 against Chelsea. Home form has been their downfall with five of their six wins coming on the road.

The visit of City has come at the worst time for United; moral will be at rock-bottom after a 3-2 defeat by RB Leipzig 3 – 2 in Germany on Tuesday, a loss that eliminated them from the Champions League and consigned them to the Europa League and Thursday night football.

United only have themselves to blame in the defeat. The home side took a 3 – 0 lead through Man City loanee Angelino, Amadou Haidara and substitute Justin Kluivert before any real fightback from United. Paul Pogba’s introduction three-quarters into the game did add urgency and Pogba’s goal, alongside a Bruno Fernandes penalty, did give United fans hope of getting the draw they needed but they ultimately fell short. A devastating defeat, especially after a bright start to the group stage beating PSG 2 – 1 in Paris and thumping yesterday’s opponents 5 – 0 at Old Trafford.

Anyone who has been recently watching United will not be overly surprised by the loss against Leipzig. The game followed a familiar pattern of a terrible first-half showing, only raising their game when defeat seems inevitable, just as they did against West Ham United last weekend. The Hammers dominated Ole Gunnar’s side in the entirety of the first half prompting him to make crucial half time changes bringing in Marcus Rashford and Fernandes to turn things around for a 3 – 1 win. In their previous game against Southampton, they came from two goals down to win 3 – 2 win in an Edison Cavani inspired victory.

Being a Manchester United fan at the moment must feel like you permanently living on the Pepsi Max in Blackpool, every time you reach a high, you know a drop is just around the corner. A win against City is unlikely to erase the pain of their Champions League exit, but defeat will certainly heap pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjear.

Man City are back to winning ways after a rocky start but are still way adrift of the standards they have maintained over previous campaigns. The departure of David Silva and the age of Sergio Aguero shows the reality that the dominance they had over the last three or four seasons, in reality, is unachievable with the current set-up. A side that has struggled against the better sides losing 2 – 0 against Tottenham, 5-2 against Leicester City and drew 0-0 with Liverpool.

Bizarrely for a City side, it has been upfront that they have been struggling with injuries often leaving the side without an out and out striker. Riyad Mahrez thas been their saviour, scoring four goals and providing an assist in his eight appearances in the league, including a hat-trick in their 5 – 0 demolition of Burnley. City followed up the Burnley win with a comfortable 2 – 0 win against Fulham. As routine as the wins feel, they were very important wins to get Pep’s side back into their groove and confidence in front of goal, after managing just ten goals in the opening eight games.

Phil Foden has impressed for Man City in the Champions League but has only 16 domestic league starts since making his full debut two years ago. The 20-year old makes up for the lack of experience with energy and purpose named the second-fastest midfielder in the division and 10th overall. The 20-year-old has made four starts and four as a substitute this campaign and has two league goals and an assist to his name.

Team News

Manchester United won the last two derbies, collecting six points from the Citizens last campaign.

Ole Gunnar’s side lost 1 – 0 against Arsenal, 6 – 1 against Tottenham, and drew 0 – 0 against Chelsea.

Man City has scored seven goals in two games, having just managed 10 in the first eight games.

Pep is yet to win the big six sides losing 2 – 0 to Tottenham and a 1 – 1 draw with Liverpool.

Expected Line-Ups:

Manchester United (4-3-3): De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, Telles, McTominay, Pogba, Fernandez, Rashford, Greenwood
Subs: Henderson, Tuanzebe, Fred, Rojo, Mata, Lingard, Bailly, Dalot, McTominay, Matic, Beek, James
Injured: Jones, Martial, Cavani
Not available:
Man City (3-2-4-1): Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo, Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Mahrez, Sterling, Jesus
Subs: Steffen, Stones, Ake, Zinchenko, B. Silva, Foden, Garcia
Injured: Mendy, Fernandinho
Doubtful: Aguero
Not available:

So Far This Season

. . .
Man United This Season Man City This Season
6th League Position 7th
6 (5) Wins (away) 7 (2)
4 – 1 v Newcastle Biggest Win 5 – 0 v Burnley
1 (0) Draws (away) 3 (2)
1 – 6 v Spurs Biggest Defeat 2 – 5 v Leicester City
Fernandes (7) Top Goal Scorer Mahrez (4)
Y16, R1 Discipline Y14, R1
2 Failures to Score 1
20% Clean Sheets 40%
70% Both Teams to Score Games 50%
70% Over 2.5 Goals 30%
30% Under 2.5 Goals 70%
  • The two sides have met 46 times; United dominating the derby with 23 wins against City’s 15 wins and eight draws between them.
  • The Red Devils are creating an average of 1.6 chances created per match scoring 1.9 goals per match while the Citizens have an average of 1.9 chances created and 1.7 goals per game.
  • Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes has scored seven league goals and has also assisted four.
  • Riyad Mahrez tops City’s scoring charts with four goals, Kevin De Bruyne is the assists king on six.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
08/03/2020 EPL Man United 2 – 0 Man City Martial 30’
29/01/2020 Capital One Man City 0 – 1 Man United Matic 35’
07/01/2020 Capital One Man United 1 – 3 Man City B.Silva 17’
07/12/2019 EPL Man City 1 – 2 Man United Martial 29’
24/04/2019 EPL Man United 0 – 2 Man City B.Silva 54’

Conclusion & Betting Tips

United go into this game licking their wounds, after crashing out of the Champions League. Their current tactic of performing badly in the first half, only coming to life late in the game, backfiring spectacularly in Germany. With morale low, this could be the perfect game to put their European nightmare behind them. It could also, however, be the beginning of more problems at Old Trafford.

City by their high standards has struggled in the league this campaign. Ten games in and they already have two defeats, and three draws to their name. Injuries to key players and a lack of firepower to kill off games have hampered City, yet despite this, they are just six points off the top with a game-in-hand, and the goals have returned.

If this game had been at the Etihad, we might have fancied United in this one, due to their excellent away form. At Old Trafford, it’s a different story with heavy defeats against Crystal Palace and Tottenham and even a rare win for Arsenal there.

We are going for a City win, and it could be by a healthy margin. A -1 Handicap for a Man City win is priced @ 15/8 with bet365.