Premier League leaders Manchester City take on second-placed Manchester United in the Manchester Derby at the Etihad on Sunday, 7 March 2021.
Despite the considerable 14-point-gap between the two Manchester giants, the Manchester Derby will once again spark interest as Pep Guardiola’s side look invincible right now and their remarkable momentum could move them another step closer to the title.
United completed a Premier League double over City last season and will hope to claim a victory that will hardly damage City’s title-winning marathon, but it would surely boost their own confidence ahead of an important week and of course, it’s always great to beat your city rivals.
After winning three of their four duels with City last season, United have failed to score in the two of their matches against the Citizens this season and their most recent encounter was just two months ago – a 2-0 victory for Man City at Old Trafford in the League Cup semi-finals.
All in all, from 184 meetings between Manchester United and Manchester City in all competitions, United have won 76, drawn 53 and lost 55.
Manchester City Betting Preview
Pep Guardiola’s side have won their last 21 matches in all competitions, scoring 55 goals and conceding just eight, and are marching towards multiple trophies in a stunning manner.
Unbeaten in 28 matches, Manchester City have remarkably only gone behind once over the period and they look so invincible right now. Now they have the opportunity to establish a new club record for matches without defeat in all competitions and to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League table.
Ilkay Gundogan came off the bench late in the 4-1 win against Wolves and he’ll surely return to the fold here, being the club’s engine, particularly when Belgium playmaker Kevin De Bruyne was sidelined.
Summer signing Nathan Ake could be in contention for Manchester City, with Pep Guardiola reporting no fresh injury concerns ahead of the Manchester derby, though we highly doubt that Guardiola will throw him into a game of such magnitude given that the versatile Dutchman is yet to feature since the 2-0 home win against Newcastle United on Boxing Day. .
Aymeric Laporte could drop out of the side as John Stones is expected to return alongside Ruben Dias in what seems to be the most solid centre-back pairing not only in England, but in all European leagues right now.
Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus scored a brace in midweek but even that may not be enough to earn him a start in Sunday’s derby, considering Pep Guardiola’s tactical approach.
A well-rested starlet Phil Foden, who is flourishing this season, is expected to return to the starting side here after only managing 25 minutes across City’s last two games – he only featured against West Ham last weekend.
Raheem Sterling should be an automatic starter, although his record against Manchester United is extremely poor (the England ace is yet to score in 22 matches against them for city and for former club Liverpool, and only has two assists in them), leaving Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva to compete for the final spot in City’s attacking trio.
The former has been directly involved in 30 goals in 38 starts across all competitions for City at the Etihad (15 goals, 15 assists), and the Algerian was once again impressive against Wolves in midweek.
Manchester United Betting Preview
The Red Devils were involved in three consecutive goalless draws across all competitions over the past couple of days, starting with the stalemate against Real Sociedad last week, and then doing the same against Chelsea and Crystal Palace in the Premier League.
Of them, the draw against Real Sociedad in the UEFA Europa League was meaningless as United did their job in their first leg (a 4-0 victory), yet the performances against an improved Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel, and particularly the clueless performance against Crystal Palace in midweek were disappointments.
Not quite the form Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would want to carry into a derby against a rampant City side that currently looks unbeatable and is favored to succeed on several fronts.
Last season, though, United recorded a League double against City, when goals from Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay sealed a 2-0 victory at Old Trafford in March, following an impressive 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium earlier in the campaign.
United’s ace Bruno Fernandes has neither scored nor assisted in his last three appearances and the Portugal international will be eager to reignite his attacking contribution in another big game.
Dean Henderson should once again start in goal as David De Gea returned to Spain for the birth of his first kid, while his fellow compatriot Juan Mata and Phil Jones are both injured.
Victor Lindelof and passionate midfielder Scott McTominay will likely return to the starting XI on Sunday, as well as Daniel James, who started at Chelsea last weekend, as the Wales winger could get the nod over Mason Greenwood.
Paul Pogba, Donny van de Beek, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial will all be assessed ahead of the game, meaning that the Uruguay veteran Edinson Cavani could get another start.
Possible Starting Lineups of Manchester City and Manchester United
Manchester City: Ederson – Kyle Walker, John Stones, Ruben Dias, Joao Cancelo – Kevin De Bruyne, Rodrigo, Ilkay Gundogan – Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden. (4-3-3)
Manchester United: Dean Henderson – Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Aaron Wan-Bissaka – Fred, Scott McTominay – Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Daniel James – Edinson Cavani. (4-2-3-1)
Spooky Express Betting Prediction
Manchester City are -212 favorites to extend their winning streak against odds of +532 on United, while another draw (as at Old Trafford in December) can be backed at +336 with Xbet.
We have the convincing league leaders, who seem to be unstoppable right now, against their city rivals, who remain the only side unbeaten away from home in the Premier League this season (8-6-0) and their 21-game unbeaten streak – since the 2-0 defeat at Anfield in January 2020 – could be seriously challenged here.
Furthermore, the Citizens have not lost back-to-back home league matches against their Manchester rivals since April 2010.
The Red Devils, on the other hand, have the chance to win three successive away games at Manchester City in all competitions for the first time since 2000, and Solskaer himself could become the first manager in United’s history to win each of his first three away meetings against their Manchester rivals in all competitions.
Spooky Express Free Play: Both teams to score – Yes -114 @ Xbet for 6/10 Units