A must-win Manchester derby up next for Manchester United

Goal.com

The last meeting between arch-rivals Manchester United and Manchester City ended in a victory for the Red Devils but it turned out to be an inconsequential result. It was the second leg of the League Cup semi-final and the winners on that night failed to overturn the deficit from the first leg and City were deserved winners on aggregate. 

The fourth and final Manchester derby of the season will take place on Sunday when these two go head-to-head in the Premier League. Man Utd will be at Old Trafford for the fixture in which they must win to keep up with Chelsea in the race for the top four. 

Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial scored in the first half to secure a 2-1 win for their team away from home in the league game earlier this season. Now at home, they have the chance to do a double over their 'noisy neighbours' for the first time since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson. 

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Unlike the buildup to the last faceoff, Ole Gunnar Solskj√¶r's team has form on their side ahead of the upcoming Premier League clash. They are unbeaten in nine matches and are on the back of a 3-0 win over Derby County in the FA Cup. This should set up the squad with plenty of confidence ahead of the encounter.

Man Utd GFX
Man Utd GFX

After back-to-back defeats to Manchester United (in the League Cup leg) and Tottenham Hotspur (in the Premier League), Manchester City have corrected their course brilliantly. Although they looked complacent and lethargic midway through the season, Pep Guardiola has steered his side on a five-match winning run, which includes a terrific 1-0 win in the first leg of the Champions League Round-of-16 against Real Madrid. 

Upfront, Sergio Aguero and Marcus Rashford are competing for the Golden Boot this season with 16 and 14 goals respectively. Both players have been in fine form of front of goal and the teams have felt their absence when they have had to sit out games. While Aguero shrugged off a niggle and started City's midweek win over Sheffield Wednesday, Rashford, who is injured, will be a huge miss for the Red Devils. 

Guardiola will hope Kevin De Bruyne can play a part in the derby as he remains an injury doubt for the derby. Aymeric Laporte also picked up an injury against Real Madrid and remains doubtful for the game. Solskjaer's biggest concern will be at the back, where Harry Maguire will be required to pass a late fitness test. 

Manchester City remain favourites on paper. They have pumped in 69 goals so far in the Premier League, more than any other team. Against a vulnerable United defence, it's a stat they will remember.  

 

 

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