On Saturday, Manchester United and Manchester City will square off in what may be one of their recent Premier League games with the most evenly matched teams.
Since Alex Ferguson’s resignation as manager in 2013, United have won eight straight games and may have already matched their longest winning streak across all competitions.
Four points ahead of United in second-place, City suffered a defeat to Southampton on Wednesday in the Carabao Cup.
The team’s improvement is evident, according to City manager Pep Guardiola.
Burnley striker Wout Weghorst is close to joining United on loan, but he won’t be able to play since he would have required to be registered by Friday at noon GMT.
Due to a leg injury, Anthony Martial is questionable, thus Marcus Rashford, who has seven goals in his last six games, could start as a center forward.
Who scored these British goals in the Manchester Derby?
United are in a title fight, according to Guardiola.
Guardiola believes Erik ten Hag’s team is still in the title chase despite United having lost just once in 18 games since being defeated 6-3 by City in October.
“Why not, given the manner in which United is playing? They are playing well “said he. “The task to show ourselves once more is wonderful for us.”
Guaiola continued: “I had the impression that Man United was always strong and capable.
“It simply requires settling down, being patient, and giving the manager your undivided support. United is currently playing the same way it has throughout its history.
“I already stated that United had returned. Some claim they are not. They’ve returned. I sensed it and I knew it.”
The hosts must demonstrate how far they have gone since that humiliating loss to City in October, according to Ten Hag, whose team is nine points behind league leaders Arsenal.
“On the field, we must demonstrate how far they’ve come. The only truth, which is always on the field, “the manager stated.
“There has been a process in the previous months where we develop and advance; it does not happen suddenly. We need to play our game, be brave, and act with conviction.
“We learned from the experience [of the 6-3 defeat] and go on to make significant strides. We must keep going in that direction.”
Stones and Dalot will be left out.
John Stones, a defender for England, won’t be playing for City because of a physical concern. Stones also missed their unexpected midweek cup loss to the Premier League’s lowest team.
After losing at St Mary’s, midfielder Ilkay Gundogan claimed they lacked hunger.
Guardiola stated, “What occurred didn’t surprise me.” “Although we made an effort to prevent it, it nevertheless occurred as a result of our four Premier League victories in a five-year span.
“This can occur after back-to-back two occasions. We weren’t prepared to travel there. I was worried it may, and regrettably it did. I am not worried even though I don’t know if it will occur again.”
Erling Haaland, a striker for City, has 16 Premier League appearances and 21 goals. To tie the Golden Boot total from the previous three seasons, he only needs two more goals.
Due to a hamstring injury, United will be without fullback Diogo Dalot, and midfielder Donny van de Beek will miss the remainder of the campaign due to a knee problem.
Marcus Rashford “wants to be the main main,” according to Michael Brown on The Football News Show
Visit our Manchester City page to access the greatest Manchester United articles right away.
PREDICTION OF CHRIS SUTTON
I have a very clear idea in my head of how this game will play out.
Erik ten Hag has made significant improvements to Manchester United, and I don’t believe he receives enough credit for their growth from the season’s beginning.
Even though Manchester City has not been playing at their peak since the season resumed following the World Cup, I still predict that they will prevail.
Even if Kevin de Bruyne hasn’t been at his best and certain City players, like Joao Cancelo and Kyle Walker, appear to be out of form, part of their issue might be attributed to Pep Guardiola’s erratic team selections, or “Pep Roulette.”
When Kalvin Phillips started playing in midfield for the first time against Southampton on Wednesday in the Carabao Cup, he took a chance that didn’t work out.
Guardiola claims to have had some “crazy” ideas for how his team can defeat United, but I have a feeling it will involve starting Erling Haaland. It’s that simple: He will play his best team, and if they play to their potential, they will triumph.
In October, I was very certain that City would destroy United, but it turned out that I didn’t go far enough with my forecast; I stated 4-1, but the final score was 6-3. This time, it will be much closer, but Pep will still win and score the points.