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Confirmed XI: Henderson, Lindelof, McTominay, James, Fernandes, Rashford and Martial start against Manchester City

Manchester United face the biggest match of the Premier League season when they travel to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have drawn the last three matches in a row with the same 0-0 scoreline, which at this stage is a problem as United did not seem to be able to score any goals. Pep Guardiola’s City sit at the top of the Premier League, having a 14 point lead over United, which was not the case in January. Solskjaer’s side will need to find a way to break down the league leaders, which will be problematic as they are in great form, winning all of their last six matches, which will see them push to win the league at some point next month. United need to get a win on the board to save their season.

Last season, Solskjaer did the double over City, winning both at home and away, also beating them in one of the semi-final legs of the Carabao Cup, losing the other and seeing themselves knocked out of the competition, which was the same this season, although it was just a one-legged tie. United are unbeaten in their last ten matches in all competitions, their last seven in the Premier League. However, in the league, the majority of the last seven matches (six) were all draws which is not great form heading into the biggest match of the season for Solskjaer and his United squad. David De Gea looks to be out of action for the foreseeable future, after becoming a father so this will be an even bigger match for Dean Henderson.

Manchester United:

Henderson;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

Fred, McTominay;

James, Fernandes, Rashford;

Martial

Substitutes:

Grant; Bailly, Telles, Williams, Tuanzebe; Diallo, Matic, Shoretire; Greenwood

Manchester City:

Ederson;

Cancelo, Stones, Dias, Zinchenko;

De Bruyne, Rodrigo, Gundogan;

Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling

Substitutes:

Steffen; Walker, Laporte, Mendy; Bernardo, Torres, Fernandinho, Foden; Aguero

United and City have met 47 times in the history of the Premier League with this weekend’s Manchester derby the 48th in the English top flight. United have won 23 times, drawing nine times with City winning 15 times. United have scored 68 goals against City, conceding 61. United have been awarded a total of four penalties, scoring three of them with City being awarded one penalty and failing to score it. United have kept 17 clean sheets against City with the Blue side of Manchester keeping 10 clean sheets. United’s players have been shown 81 yellow cards and seven red cards with City’s players shown 106 yellow cards and one red card. City are currently 14 points clear of United and to avoid falling further behind, United need to win this match.

Earlier this season, it was a 0-0 draw between United and City in the first Manchester derby of the Premier League. United met City in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup, losing that match 2-0 at the start of January. Almost a year ago on the 8 March 2020, United and City met at Old Trafford in the Premier League last season. It was the last match that United played in front of supporters at home and they beat City 2-0 with Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay scoring the goals. Last season at the Etihad, played on the 7 December 2019, United were the victors with a 2-1 victory with Marcus Rashford opening the score from the penalty spot in the 23rd minute and Martial doubling the lead six minutes later. Nicolas Otamendi scored a consolation.

Written by John Walker

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