Competition: Premier League – Manchester United vs. Manchester City
Venue: Old Trafford – Sunday, April 12 – 16:00 BST (11:00 ET)
Match Odds: Manchester United 8/5 – Draw 12/5 – Manchester City 13/8
Louis Van Gaal and his Man United team come into the game in high spirits after their 3-1 win at home to Aston Villa last time out extended their recent good run to five straight wins in the league.
United also boast the best home record in the league with 13 wins out of 16 (D1, L2), and have won ten of their last 11 games at Old Trafford.Embed from Getty Images
Manchester City’s objectives this season have changed drastically from winning the league to now just making sure they qualify for the Champions League after Crystal Palace inflicted more misery on Manuel Pellegrini‘s side at Selhurst Park on Monday night.
The 2-1 defeat to Palace marked City’s third loss in five games and they’ve now won just four of their last 11 games in the Premier League (D3, L4) – a run of form that will not cut it for a team that was hoping to retain their title.
One thing that City have in their favour is their dominance of this fixture in the last few years – they’ve won all of the last four Manchester derbies and have only lost two of the last nine against United in the league.
It’s set to be another classic and one of those fixtures that captures the eyes of the whole nation – not many would have envisaged United being above City in the league at this stage of the season, but that’s the current situation and that makes this game even more important.
Robin Van Persie will not feature for Man United despite his return to training this week, while defender Jonny Evans continues his suspension. Luke Shaw is out with a hamstring injury and Chris Smalling is a slight doubt through illness.
Man City skipper Vincent Kompany is a doubt with a hamstring injury, while strikers Wilfried Bony and Stevan Jovetic are both unlikely to make the squad due to ankle and muscular injuries respectively. Defender Dedryck Boyata is out with a knee injury.Embed from Getty Images
Manchester United’s last five in the Premier League: W/W/W/W/W
Manchester City’s last five in the Premier League: L/W/L/W/L
Key Stat: Manchester City have won six of their last seven Premier League games against Manchester United.
Key Player: Wayne Rooney – His importance to Man United cannot be stressed enough. If he performs, United have always got a chance and we can expect him to be the difference once again on Sunday. Rooney has scored five out of the last seven of United’s goals in the Manchester derby (in the Premier League).Embed from Getty Images
Manchester United 2-1 Manchester City – Putting it simply, United are in great form and City are not. Of course, current form and league position goes out of the window to a certain extent in a local derby, but home advantage and their current run should see Louis Van Gaal’s side edge it and heap further pressure on his opposite number Manuel Pellegrini.