Match: Manchester derby: Manchester United vs Manchester City (Premier League)
Time and date: 18:30, December 12, 2020
Venue: Old Trafford
The first Manchester derby of the 2020-2021 season is coming at the period both clubs are still trying to find their rhythm in the league. Though in recent weeks, the two Manchester clubs have been experiencing a steady rise in their ranking on the league table, they are yet to hit that form they are both known for.
Manchester United have been having it tougher in recent weeks especially when you look at their performance in the Champions League. They started the European club competition like a house on fire as they stayed at the top of Champions League group H until the final two games of the group stage.
All Manchester United needed to qualify for the second round of the European competition before they met with Paris Saint Germain at Old Trafford was a draw. Unfortunately, coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his boys suffered a home defeat in the hands of PSG.
The defeat was not still enough to kick United out of the competition. They needed to get a draw away at RB Leipzig last Wednesday, but United could not do more than falling 3-2 in Germany. The defeat relegated them to UEFA Europa League.
As for Manchester City, they enjoyed a fantastic Champions League group stage campaign as they were among the clubs that qualified for the next round of the competition before they played their last group game of the competition.
However, in the Premier League, they are currently sitting on the 8th spot on the league table, one point away from the 7th placed Manchester United. So far this season, Pep Guardiola and his boys have recorded 5 league wins, 3 draws, and 2 defeats. They have garnered 18 points in 10 league games.
While Manchester United have recorded 6 wins, one draw, and 3 defeats so far this season. They have garnered 19 points in 10 league matches. A win in today’s Manchester derby will take United two points closer to table-toppers Tottenham Hotspur temporarily.
Tonight, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be banking on the fact that he has enjoyed three wins out of 5 meetings with Pep Guardiola. If the stats work in favor of the Red Devils’ manager, that will go a long way to buy Solskjaer more time as United’s coach.
Manchester United Premier League form: DLWWWW
Manchester United form (all competitions): WWWLWL
Manchester City Premier League form: DWDLWW
Manchester City form (all competitions): LWWDWW
Manchester Derby: Team News
Manchester United will host Manchester City tonight without Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani who sustained different degrees of injuries during their Champions League match against RB Leipzig.
However, there is a possibility that Solskjaer might be tempted to rush the fitness level of Martial due to his outstanding record against Manchester City. He is the only player in the current United’s set up that has scored against City three times in the last four Manchester derby.
With Paul Pogba’s performance when he was introduced into United’s Champions League game against Leipzig, it will be difficult for Solskjaer not to start the French midfielder tonight.
On the other hand, Manchester City are without any major injury worries. Most of the club’s top players are fit and available to play tonight’s Manchester derby.
The big problem for coach Pep Guardiola would be, who will start in tonight’s game. However, all indications point that the coach might be tempted to start Gabriel Jesus ahead of the club’s all-time highest goalscorer Sergio Aguero.
Manchester United probable starting lineup:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Telles; McTominay, Fred; Mata, Fernandes, Rashford; Greenwood
Manchester City probable starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Stones, Dias, Mendy; Rodri, Fernandinho; Mahrez, De Bruyne, Sterling; Jesus