Neighbour City Travel to Old Trafford
Last updated: March 4, 2020 by Leon Marshal
|Last Meeting:||Man City 1 – 2 Man United|
The battle of Manchester is on with the Theatre of Dreams the venue. Sunday’s clash will see an enticing encounter between the two greats. Manchester United are on the best form of the season with their current run of 8 games unbeaten in all competition, winning 8 points from the possible 12 in the league. The reigning champions travel to Old Trafford looking to avoid a double by their city rivals.
One of the biggest news stories involving the Red Devils has been the VAR decision that saved them a point against Everton last Sunday. Dominic Calvert-Lewin late goal at Goodison Park was ruled out for offside, a decision that was contentious at least. Fans of rival clubs are suggesting that VAR is rather kind to United, a statement backed up by the numbers as they have benefited from VAR on eight occasions, the highest number in the league. City has had just one beneficial VAR reversal by comparison.
Another talking point from Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Everton was the form of United’s number one, David De Gea. Usually one of the most consistent players, the Spaniard took too long to make a clearance and gifted a goal to Everton inside three minutes. Despite some smart saves later in the game, De Gea has made the most errors leading to goals (7) since August 2018, fueling rumours that Dean Henderson, who has impressed while on loan at Sheffield United, could be recalled.
A player who isn’t struggling for form is Bruno Fernandez. The £47million January addition to the United team looks every bit a United player and has breathed life into a team that was looking very stale before Christmas. In Paul Pogba’s absence, Bruno has run the midfield with some sublime passes and an eye for goal that has already seen him net two in four Premier League games. The 25-year old Portuguese has had more strikes on goal than any other player, his out of the box effort showed the versatility he brings to the attacking side. United have not lost a game since his arrival and he has made an immediate impact since making the move from Sporting Lisbon.
Manchester United had a great record against the ‘Big Six’, but recent results have tarnished this. In the last two meetings against the top clubs, they lost by a 2-0 scoreline to Arsenal and Liverpool.
Manchester City was made to work hard in their 2-1 victory in the EFL Cup Final against Aston Villa at the weekend. Needing a save by keeper Claudio Bravo in the closing stages from a Bjorn Engels header to prevent extra time. The win at Wembley in the EFL was their third League Cup win in succession and their fourth in five years.
It is likely that another cup competition, the Champions League, will be City’s top priority this season. Liverpool’s lead in the Premier League is so healthy that even their surprise 3-0 defeat to Watford changes very little. The added spice of a potential two-year ban of two-years from European football for alleged financial irregularities makes this almost a do-or-die opportunity this season. City certainly showed their intent with an excellent 2-1 win away at Real Madrid.
While European aspirations can often put pressure on a team, the squad depth at Manchester City is incredible. 19-year old Phil Foden, in particular, was oozing excellence in a man of the match performance in the 2 – 1 triumph at Wembley in the Carabao Cup final. The teenager was 11 years old when Aguero won Man City their first Premier League trophy and set up the Argentine for the opening goal. Elsewhere in the team, 22-year-old Gabriel Jesus is having a fine season; ten goals puts him third in the club’s scoring charts, behind Raheem Sterling (11) and the ever-dangerous Sergio Agüero, who has sixteen.
Aymeric Laporte’s injury would be the biggest worry as their most important player defensively hoping he will be back in the team for the crucial fixtures. They face Sheffield Wednesday tonight in the FA Cup then face United, Arsenal, Burnley, Real Madrid and the visit of Liverpool at the beginning of April.
The Citizens already have the Carabao Cup in the bag and have the Champions League and the FA cup to play for. A European trophy would be top in their priority.
Aguero is just one goal behind the leading park of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Jamie Vardy in contention for the Golden boot.
Marcus Rashford is on a career-high tally of 14 goals this season despite missing the last six games with a back injury.
The Red Devils are have seen the silver lining of VAR with the most decisions going in their favour (+8); their weekend challengers have just 1.
|Manchester United (4-3-1-2):||De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindeloef, Maguire, Shaw, McTominay, Matic, Fred, Fernandes, Greenwood, Martial|
|Subs:||Romero, Bailly, Williams, Mata, Lingard, Pereira, Ighalo, James|
|Injured:||Pogba, Rashford, Tuanzebe, Mensah|
|Man City (4-2-3-1):||Ederson, Walker, Fernandinho, Stones, Mendy, Rodri, Guendogan, De Bruyne, Mahrez, B.Silva, Aguero|
|Subs:||Bravo, Otamendi, Cancelo, D.Silva, Jesus, Foden, Sterling, Zinchenko|
So Far This Season
|Manchester United This Season||Manchester City This Season|
|11 (4)||Wins (away)||18 (9)|
|4 – 0 v Chelsea||Biggest Win||8 – 0 v Watford|
|9 (4)||Draws (away)||3 (1)|
|0 – 2 v West Ham||Biggest Defeat||1 – 3 v Liverpool|
|Rashford (14)||Top Goal Scorer||Aguero (16)|
|Y54, R0||Discipline||Y47, R3|
|8||Failures to Score||2|
|50%||Both Teams to Score Games||56%|
|39%||Over 2.5 Goals||74%|
|61%||Under 2.5 Goals||26%|
- The two Manchester teams have faced off forty-five times so far in the League, The Red Devils have won 22 times while the Citizens have fifteen wins and eight draws between them.
- Sergio Aguero’s tally of 16 goals is just one short of top scorer Aubameyang’s 17 goals while Antony Martial is Man United’s main man on the pitch with ten goals.
- Pep Guardiola’s side comes into this fixture on four consecutive wins in all competitions including retaining the Carabao Cup while Man United have collected 8 of the last 12 points.
- Manchester United have an average of 1.36 chances created per match compared to the City’s 2.89 chances and an average of 1.5 goals per match against City’s 2.52 goals per match.
Head to Head
|Last 5 meetings between the two sides|
|Date||Competition||Game Result||First Goal-scorer|
|29/01/2020||Carabao||Man City 0 – 1 Man United||Matic 35′|
|07/12/2020||Carabao||Man United 1 – 3 Man City||B.Silva 17′|
|07/10/2019||EPL||Man City 1 – 2 Man United||Rashford 23’|
|24/04/2019||EPL||Man United 0 – 2 Man City||B.Silva 54’|
|11/11/2018||EPL||Man City 3 – 1 Man United||D.Silva 12’|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
United have experienced a second wind in their stuttering league campaign, and with ten games of the campaign left, they are within three points of the all-important fourth place. Bruno’s January arrival has changed the mood at Old Trafford, but it still has the feel of a club in transition. City has handled the news of their European ban well, and on the pitch, the disappointment hasn’t affected results. The club is appealing the ban to The CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) who could yet find in City’s favour. We, however, feel that it’s on the pitch that City will put the smile on fans faces, City will win this one! 7/1 for a 2-1 City scoreline at 888sport is good value, this increases to 10/1 for a 3-1 victory for the team in blue.