Competition: Premier League – Manchester City vs. Manchester United
Venue: Etihad Stadium – Sunday, March 20 – 16:00 GMT (12:00 ET)
Match Odds: Manchester City 4/5 – Draw 5/2 – Manchester United 7/2
Manchester City’s title challenge has gone off the boil and they now look like a side who could even struggle to make the top four, let alone compete at the summit.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side have fallen off the pace in recent weeks and are now sitting in fourth place, only two points ahead of West Ham United in 5th. This is a massive game for the Citizens, as a loss to their bitter rivals would leave the sides separated by just one point.
City come into the game off the back of their 0-0 draw in the Champions League midweek, which was enough to see them advance to the quarter finals of the competition for the first time in their history.
Their last tie outing in the league was the disappointing draw against strugglers Norwich City, a game Pellegrini would have been expecting his side to take all three points in, but an average performance cost them.
Manchester United are still chasing the top four. They currently sit sixth in the table and inconsistent form has been a contributing factor as to why they are in the position of chasing a top four finish, rather than competing for the title.
Louis Van Gaal’s side were knocked out of the Europa League midweek by Liverpool and will look to bounce back here. A top four finish is not beyond them and given the nature of this unpredictable Premier League season no club can be written off.
The worry for United will be that they have only won one of their last eight away games in the top flight. City have the second-best home record in the division and leaving with three points would be a huge achievement for Van Gaal as his players.
The reverse fixture ended 0-0 at Old Trafford and so hopefully there are more goals on display this time around.
Manchester City still have some key faces missing from their squad. Kevin De Bruyne, Fabian Delph, Vincent Kompany and Samir Nasri are all expected to miss out while Nicolas Otamendi is a doubt.
Manchester United’s squad is also riddled with injuries. Luke Shaw, Ashley Young, Phil Jones, Wayen Rooney and Will Keane are all out, while Ander Herrera is a doubt.
Manchester City’s last five: L/L/L/W/D
Manchester United’s last five: D/L/W/W/L
Key Stat: Manchester City have won six of the last ten meeting between these two sides in all competitions.
Key Player: Sergio Aguero – City’s talisman will need to drive them to win all of their remaining league games if they are to have any chance of winning the title now. He has 16 goals this season and will hope to add to that tally against City’s great rivals.
Manchester City 2-1 Manchester United – City to have too much for United and overpower them in the Manchester Derby this weekend. Both of these sides are out of form so it will be a close tie which will perhaps lack the quality we have become so accustom to for a game of this magnitude.