Manchester United vs City Preview: Can United continue their fine run against their City rivals?

Old Trafford will be center of attraction as Manchester united will host City rivals Manchester City in the 189th Manchester derby on Saturday in an intriguing Premier League showdown.

Following a humiliating 6-3 loss to the Citizens at the Etihad Stadium in October, the Red Devils will be out for vengeance.

Before their defeat by City, Man United has had much to be happy about. Erik ten Hag has led his team on an impressive run of form, losing only one of their past 18 competitive games (a 3-1 setback at Aston Villa in early November) and winning all six of their games since the World Cup break.


The most recent victory for United was in the EFL Cup, where they defeated Charlton Athletic 3-0 at home on Tuesday night to advance to the semifinals. Summer addition Antony and in-form attacker Marcus Rashford both scored goals.

The Red Devils have already won 20 of their first 27 competitive games under Ten Hag, who needed less games than any other manager in club history to accomplish this milestone. A top-four finish in the Premier League and domestic cup success are now firmly in their sights for this season thanks to the Dutchman, who appears to have restored faith at the Theatre of Dreams.

Man United has accumulated more points (35) than any other team since and including their 2-1 victory over Liverpool on August 22. During this time, they have won 11 of their 15 games, and they presently sit fourth in the Premier League rankings, level on points with Newcastle United in third.

The defending Premier League champions Man City, who have won the last three Manchester derbies by an average score of 12-4, will put their impressive run to the test. The Citizens are the only team against whom the Red Devils have dropped more home Premier League games (eight).

However, Man United’s overall performance and recent success at home—where they have won nine straight games and recorded seven shutouts—makes them strong favorites going into Saturday’s match.

If Ten Hag and company win, they will be just one point behind City in second position and six points behind leaders Arsenal, who will play after the North London derby on Sunday.


Previous Meeting

Manchester City 6-3 Manchester United: 2 October 2022 (Premier League)

After one of the all-time great Manchester derbies earlier this season, this derby game has a lot to live up to. The highest scoring competitive Manchester derby game ever was the 6-3 victory for Man City on October 2 at the Etihad Stadium (nine goals).

The previous two times Manchester City scored six goals against Manchester United, they did so on the road. This was the first time they did so at home against United in any tournament (6-1 in January 1926 and 6-1 in October 2011).

For the second time against Man City, Man Utd allowed six goals in a Premier League encounter, just the fourth time overall (also 6-1 at Old Trafford in October 2011). 4 of those goals came before half-time – the fourth time that they have conceded four first-half goals in a Premier League match since October 2020 (also versus Spurs in October 2020, Liverpool in October 2021 and Brentford in August 2022).


Recent Form

In excellent form, Manchester United enter this derby in a great shape. The Red Devils have  earned more points in the Premier League than any other team since their victory over Liverpool on August 22, including that game (35). They have won 11 of their last 15 games (D2 L2), which is a dramatic turnaround after losing their previous four league games.


In Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first eight games in control of the club, United has won eight straight games overall, which is their best run since January 2019. (as caretaker, at that time). Since José Mourinho took over in January 2017, they haven’t won nine straight games. Aston Villa, Fulham, Burnley, Nottingham Forest, and the other seven opponents United has defeated during its winning streak are Aston Villa, Fulham, Burnley, Nottingham Forest, Wolves, Bournemouth, Everton and Charlton  of which aren’t quite of the calibre of Manchester City, however. Manchester United under Erik Ten Haag have kept three consecutive clean sheets in the Premier League .  The Red Devils haven’t kept four straight clean sheets since March 2021, but August 2017 marked the last time they did it while also winning every game.


Ten Hag is on the verge of leading  Manchester United to four straight Premier League victories for the second time in his tenure as manager; the first time was between August and September of this year. The last time Manchester United had a winning streak this long (five straight games) was in April 2021 under Solskjaer. Ralf Rangnick never led the team to a four-game winning streak in the league. The last time Manchester United had a winning streak this long (five straight games) was in April 2021 under Solskjaer. Ralf Rangnick never led the team to a four-game winning streak in league play.


The Manchester United team enters this derby with their best home league form during a seven-game span since November 2017 (21/21 points), having collected 19 of the 21 points available in their last seven Premier League games at Old Trafford (W6 D1 L0).


Defeats in the Premier League from last season would be equaled if Manchester City were to lose this game (three). They have let up as many points in their last eight Premier League games (W5 D1 L2) as they had in their previous 16 league contests before to this run (W5 D1 L2) (W13 D3 L0).


The best recent streak of any side in the 2022–23 Premier League belongs to Manchester United, who have scored in each of their past eight league games. They last went scoreless in a 0-0 home tie with Newcastle United on October 16; since then, they have scored 14 goals in eight league games while giving up only five.


This will be United’s third match in this specific timeslot (12.30 uk) on a matchday this season in the Premier League – the previous two have ended with 1-0 wins, against Southampton and Wolves respectively.

Team News

While Donny Van de Beek and Axel Tuanzebe are ruled out due to injury, Ten Hag is optimistic that Man United right defender Diogo Dalot will be able to play on Saturday after being substituted in the first half against Charlton with a hamstring issue.


Jadon Sancho is also unlikely to play because he is still working on his own fitness regimen, but Ten Hag is able to welcome back playmaker Bruno Fernandes, who was suspended for the victory over Charlton and will likely play with Casemiro and Christian Eriksen in midfield.

Alejandro Garnacho, Harry Maguire, and Tyrell Malacia are all expected to move to the bench as Rashford, who has scored in each of United’s six games since the World Cup break, Raphael Varane, who was rested in midweek, and Luke Shaw are all likely to be recalled to the starting lineup.


Wout Weghorst’s winter-window transfer appears to be close to being finalized, but it is uncertain whether he will be registered in time for the Saturday game’s 12:30 p.m. kickoff. Anthony Martial, who was rested in midweek, is anticipated to lead the line from the get-go.


Man City’s Ruben Dias is still sidelined with a hamstring issue, while John Stones, another center back, wasn’t totally healthy to feature against Southampton in the league cup but should recover in time to start at Old Trafford.


In fact, the 28-year-selection old’s will likely result in Nathan Ake starting at left-back instead of Joao Cancelo and Sergio Gomez, with Kyle Walker returning to right-back following a surprise start in the center against the Saints.


In place of Cole Palmer and Kalvin Phillips in the starting lineup, Kevin De Bruyne and Rodri are anticipated to return to center midfield. Haaland, who has the most goals in Europe’s top five leagues with 21, will lead the attack.



Riyad Mahrez has scored nine goals while serving as a replacement for Guardiola, the most of any substitute in the Spaniard’s whole managerial career in the top division. However, the in-form Algerian might be reinstated to the starting lineup on Saturday after being given a rest in midweek, with either Foden, Jack Grealish or Julian Alvarez completing the front three.


Manchester United possible starting lineup:

De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Shaw; Casemiro, Eriksen; Antony, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial


Manchester City possible starting lineup:

Ederson; Walker, Stones, Akanji, Ake; De Bruyne, Rodri, Bernardo; Mahrez, Haaland, Grealish


Players to Watch

Manchester United: Marcus Rashford

In this derby, Marcus Rashford is the player that Manchester City’s defense must worry about the most. He has scored in each of his previous six competitive Man Utd appearances (seven goals total, including a brace against Charlton Athletic in midweek; three in the Premier League, one in the FA Cup, and three in the League Cup). This is already his best scoring streak for United in all competitions. For United in all competitions, this is the first time Rashford has scored seven goals in a span of six games.

Rashford has already scored 18 goals for club and country in 2022–23 (15 for Manchester United and three for England), which is already 13 more than in 2021–22 (five), and is currently only seven goals shy of his previous United and England record in a season (25 in 2019-20).

In all competitions, the 25-year-old Man Utd player is averaging a career-best 123 minutes per goal this year, and only in his first season as a pro (22.2% in 2015–16) has he converted a higher percentage of his shots than in 2022–23 so far (21.4%). His 20 goal involvements (15 goals, 5 assists) are the most at Manchester United this season in all competitions, surpassing Martial (13), Bruno Fernandes (seven), and Christian Eriksen (10). (seven).

Rashford is attempting to score four consecutive goals for the first time since January 2019 after scoring in each of his last three Premier League games for Manchester United. However, he has only managed one goal in his last five competition games against Man City.

Manchester City: Erling Haaland

Erling Haaland seems like the obvious choice here, but how can you overlook a player who has already tallied 27 goals in 23 outings in competition for Manchester City this year? The next best player is Kylian Mbappé of PSG, with this total being seven more than any other player representing a team in one of the top five European leagues.

Despite making only 16 games in the Premier League, Haaland has scored 21 goals there. He has only failed to score in four of these appearances, and so far in the competition , he has averaged one goal every 62 minutes. The player with the second-best average minutes-per-goal among all Premier League players with 20 goals is Sergio Agüero, who has 108 minutes, or 46 minutes more than the next player.



Manchester United 2:1 Manchester City



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