Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester City vs Manchester United

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

Match Preview

The biggest Premier League game of the weekend sees Manchester City take on Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium in a tie which could have huge bearings on the race for Champions League football.

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.

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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.

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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.

Team News

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.

Key Points

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.

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Score Prediction

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.

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Sergio Aguero admits to having “big game nerves” ahead of League Cup final

Sergio Aguero is not the sort of player who appears to shy away from any occasion but the Manchester City striker has admitted he still gets nervous ahead of big games such as Sunday’s League Cup Final against Liverpool.

The City star is the most lethal striker in Premier League history, based on his incredible goals-per-minute ratio, but he has told Sky Sports that he still gets anxious ahead of big games in the lead up to Sunday’s final at Wembley.

“The butterflies are always there. That’s normal in any game. When it is a final, you just want to get the preparation over and play,” the Argentine forward said.

“Obviously you are wanting to do well, but as soon as you are out on the field that anxiety tends to go away once you start enjoying yourself in the game. Once you get on the ball, the nerves go.”

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Aguero has played in numerous finals during his career, from the Europa League in 2010 to the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and most recently the Copa America last summer.

He might claim to still get nervous ahead of such big games, but his goalscoring record suggests that those nerves rarely affect his performances.

It was Aguero’s goal that booked City’s place in Sunday’s final during the 3-1 win over Everton last month, while he has also found the net eight times in Manchester Derbies against fierce rivals United.

But more importantly, it is Sergio Aguero who scored arguably the most memorable goal in both Manchester City’s and the Premier League’s history when his dramatic stoppage time goal won City their first top flight title in 44 years.

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So if there’s one man who appears to stand up to any occasion, it’s Sergio Aguero.

Sunday’s showdown with Liverpool will give City the chance to gain revenge for the heavy 4-1 drubbing at the hands of the Reds back in November.

Aguero scored City’s only goal that day but it’s not one he remembers for the right reasons. He is looking to make things right this time around and knows that there’s a lot more a stake at Wembley.

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“It is a final, so they will give everything they can,” he said. “It is probably their best chance of a trophy and they will want to make their fans happy by giving their best performance.

“We expect a difficult game bearing in mind the defeat earlier in the season, but we will be going all out for some sort of revenge. They played well, but hopefully we have learnt from that and will get our own back in the final.

“It is very important to win Capital One Cup. It is an important trophy for us, the club have invested a lot to win trophies and it will be marvellous to win it again.”

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur

Competition: Premier League – Manchester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur 

Venue: Etihad Stadium – Sunday, February 14 – 16:15 GMT (11:15 ET) 

Match Odds: Man City 21/20 – Draw 5/2 – Tottenham 5/2

Match Preview

Manchester City welcome Tottenham Hotspur to the Etihad on Sunday in a game which could have a huge impact on the race for the Premier League title.

City were destroyed 3-1 last weekend by current league leaders Leicester, a result which could be pivotal in the title race, so need to bounce back and go on a winning run with just 13 league games left to play.

They now sit fourth in the league on 47 points, trailing Spurs, who are second on 48 points, so the intensity is raised even higher for a tie which is usually action-packed.

City know they have to win near on every game from here on in – they are more than capable but players need to step up and start showing why they were signed for such hefty transfer fees.

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Tottenham are in the best position to challenge for the title they’ve been in for some time. Their steady form has paid off and they’ve become a real force – the title is not an unrealistic aim.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side come into this one off the back of their hard-earned 1-0 win over Watford last weekend. They showed great resilience and took all three points, something they may not have done in previous seasons.

Squad quality and performance levels as well as player management from Pochettino have been impressive from Spurs and they should surely finish in the top four now. Although they’ll be aiming higher.

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The reverse fixture at White Hart Lane earlier in the season saw Spurs beat City 4-1 in what was a shock result. The Lilywhites will be hoping to cause another major upset to the Citizens here.

Team News

Manchester City’s injury woes continue. Seven first team players look set to miss out as Samir Nasri, Wilfried Bony, Kevin DeBruyne, Fabian Delph, Jesus Navas, Bacary Sagna and Eliaquim Mangala are out. Vincent Kompany could return.

Tottenham have just two injury concerns as Jan Vertonghen and Clinton N’Jie are sidelined.

Key Points

Manchester City’s last five: D/W/D/W/L

Tottenham’s last five: L/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: There have been more than two goals scored in ten of Manchester City’s last 11 home games in the Premier League.

Key Player: Sergio Aguero – The Argentine goal-machine has bagged seven in his last six Premier League outings and now has 14 goals in 18 league games this season. He will be expected to provide against a tough Spurs defence he knows how to break down, with ten goals in his last eight against them.

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Score Prediction

Manchester City 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur – Both sides cannot afford to lose this game. The race for the title is so intense and if results go against these sides this weekend they will find themselves with a mountain to climb to win the league. The game should be packed with attacking action. City would probably be the happier of the two sides with the point considering Spurs’ recent form.