Premier League: Manchester City vs Manchester United preview, team news, predicted lineups, prediction

The Manchester derby draws the attention of millions worldwide

By Web Desk
March 02, 2024
The match will be played at Etihad Stadium. - Reuters

Manchester City is poised to make another significant statement in the Premier League title race as they welcome their injury-plagued local rivals, Manchester United, on Sunday at the Etihad.

The Manchester derby, a highlight in the Premier League calendar every season, draws the attention of millions worldwide. However, the odds heavily favour the home side ahead of kick-off.

Both teams were involved in FA Cup fixtures midweek, with Manchester City convincingly defeating Luton Town 6-0 and Manchester United requiring a late winner against Nottingham Forest. The Red Devils cannot afford many slip-ups in the coming months if they are to secure qualification for the Champions League, but injuries to key players have once again hit Erik ten Hag's squad.

Team News:

Manchester City has only two genuine injury concerns at present. Jack Grealish limped off during the FA Cup win over Luton, having just recovered from a groin issue. The England international will not feature against Manchester United, and Josko Gvardiol remains a doubt. Although the Croatian is "training without much pain," according to manager Pep Guardiola, either Manuel Akanji or Nathan Ake is expected to play at left-back.

Ten Hag's squad has been affected by recent injuries, with Manchester United still without Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Anthony Martial, Mason Mount, Tyrell Malacia, and Rasmus Hojlund. The clash with Forest added to their woes, as Bruno Fernandes played through the pain on Wednesday night, and Casemiro, recovering from a head injury suffered in the defeat to Fulham, secured United's place in the FA Cup quarter-finals with the only goal.

Given the issues at right wing with Antony and Amad Diallo not being favoured, Ten Hag could opt for a 4-3-3 formation, moving Fernandes to the right.

Predicted Lineups:

Manchester City (4-2-3-1): Ederson; Walker, Dias, Akanji, Ake; Rodri, Stones; Silva, De Bruyne, Foden; Haaland.

Manchester United (4-3-3): Onana; Dalot, Varane, Lindelof, Amrabat; Mainoo, Casemiro, McTominay; Fernandes, Rashford, Garnacho.

Prediction:

Manchester City comfortably secured a 3-0 victory in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford earlier this season, demonstrating their clinical touch with the midweek thrashing of Luton.

Although Manchester United is in a better position now than in October 2023, injuries may have derailed their late top-four charge. With key players absent and others out of position, this match could be a straightforward assignment for Guardiola's side. The treble winners, almost at full strength, are expected to take advantage of the visitors' many absentees with a comfortable win.

Manchester City 3-0 Manchester United.

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