Preview: In form United welcome City to Old Trafford. Will their Carabao Cup upset give United an advantage?

Beating City at the Theatre of Dreams will be a big boost for United and Ten Hag

Manchester United -v- Manchester City

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Saturday 14 January 2023, KO 12:30 GMT

Manchester United face Manchester City in the second Manchester derby of the Premier League season on Saturday afternoon. The last time these two teams faced each other, City were the victors, going 4-0 up before Antony scored. City then went 6-1 up before Anthony Martial scored a goal and a penalty to give United some face in defeat. Despite the score and the result, it was a better outcome for United than it could have been.

United are now on an eight-match winning run, scoring three goals in each of their three matches, putting them in a much better position against City this weekend. In the last eight matches, United have scored 21 goals, conceding four and keeping five clean sheets. City’s form is good but in recent weeks Everton managed to get a 1-1 draw and on Wednesday evening in the quarter final of the Carabao Cup, Southampton knocked them out.

Pep Guardiola will have to change the mentality of his team ahead of this derby at Old Trafford which will see United use their current form to try and get one over them. Guardiola seemed to be rattled by Southampton, the bottom team in the Premier League knocking them out of the competition that they have been most successful in. It goes to show that form is temporary and even the teams that have world class players in every position can still lose.

Manchester United – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

Charlton Athletic 3-0 W, Everton 3-1 W, Bournemouth 3-0 W, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 W, Nottingham Forest 3-0 W, Burnley 2-0 W

Goals: 15 – Marcus Rashford, 5 – Anthony Martial, Antony, 3 – Bruno Fernandes, Own Goal, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho, 2 – Casemiro, Christian Eriksen, Fred, Alejandro Garnacho, Scott McTominay, 1 – Diogo Dalot, Luke Shaw

Assists: 8 – Christian Eriksen, 5 – Marcus Rashford, 4 – Bruno Fernandes, 3 – Casemiro, Alejandro Garnacho, 2 – Anthony Martial, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luke Shaw, 1 – Diogo Dalot, Anthony Elanga, Scott McTominay, Facundo Pellistri, Jadon Sancho, Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Manchester City – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

Southampton 2-0 L, Chelsea 4-0 W, Chelsea 1-0 W, Everton 1-1 D, Leeds United 3-1 W, Liverpool 3-2 W

Goals: 27 – Erling Haaland, 9 – Phil Foden, 8 – Julián Álvarez, Riyad Mahrez, 3 – Kevin De Bruyne, 2 – João Cancelo, Ilkay Gündogan, Bernardo Silva, 1 – Nathan Aké, Rúben Dias, Jack Grealish, Rico Lewis, Rodri, John Stones

Assists: 14 – Kevin De Bruyne, 5 – Bernardo Silva, 4 – João Cancelo, Rodri, 3 – Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Erling Haaland, 2 – Julián Álvarez, Ilkay Gündogan, Riyad Mahrez, John Stones, 1 – Manuel Akanji, Ederson, Sergio Gómez, Kyle Walker

Previous Meetings & Connections

United and City have met 51 times in the Premier League with United winning 24 matches, drawing nine matches and City winning 18. United have scored 74 goals, winning six penalties, scoring five. City have scored 73 goals, winning one penalty, not scoring it. United will need to step up their game in this derby after losing the last one 6-3. Their top four chances will rely on this at this time. Beating City, Crystal Palace and Arsenal will be key to that.

United have kept 18 clean sheets with City keeping 11. Discipline has been an issue in this fixture with United players shown 89 yellow cards and seven red cards and City players shown 108 yellow cards and one red card. United have done well this season under Ten Hag and the Dutchman will be pushing his side to continue the road that they are on. City will be tough to beat but United do owe them something and it is not as if they have not beat them before.

Billy Meredith, Denis Law, Brian Kidd, Terry Cooke, Peter Schmeichel, Andrew Cole, Carlos Tevez, Owen Hargreaves, Abbie McManus, Jane Ross, Aoife Mannion, Charlie McNeill (academy) and Jadon Sancho have played for both teams in Manchester. Law, Kidd, Schmeichel, Cole and Tevez are the only players on this list to have lifted the European Cup/UEFA Champions League with City never having achieved that feat in their short history.

Team News

Axel Tuanzebe, Donny van de Beek and Jadon Sancho have all been ruled out of the clash with City at Old Trafford on Saturday. Van de Beek has a knee injury which is still being assessed and both Tuanzebe and Sancho are working on their return to action. Diogo Dalot is the only other doubt for United after he came off injured against Charlton Athletic earlier this week, which could see him miss the derby, which will be a blow for United.

Erik ten Hag has many options for the derby though with Aaron Wan-Bissaka still in good form after covering for Dalot after the returned from the FIFA World Cup with a thigh injury. Brandon Williams is also fit, so could see himself given the opportunity on the bench for United. Raphael Varane and Luke Shaw were rested for the Charlton match, so will be fresh for the City match, as were Anthony Martial and the suspended Bruno Fernandes.

Ruben Dias is the only player to have been ruled out of the derby at Old Trafford on Saturday for City. John Stones is a doubt but has a 50% chance of being fit for the clash at the Theatre of Dreams. City have not been the swashbuckling team in recent weeks, struggling to beat Chelsea 1-0 recently, then beating them 4-0 in the FA Cup. The Southampton defeat in the Carabao Cup will be the big thing City need to get over. It game at a great time for United.

Predicted Manchester United Starting XI – 4-2-3-1

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Shaw;

Casemiro, Eriksen;

Antony, Fernandes, Rashford;


Predicted Manchester City Starting XI – 4-3-3


Walker, Stones, Akanji, Aké;

De Bruyne, Rodri, Gündogan;

Mahrez, Haaland, Grealish

Match Prediction

United are in very good form at this stage of the season. Granted, there are some big matches coming up for them but good form builds confidence and that confidence helps keep the good form. United are in a strong position ahead of the second Manchester derby of the season, this time being played at Old Trafford. Last time around at the Etihad, United were 4-0 down before they scored their first goal, ending up losing 6-3.

United have some stability in the squad this season with a much better defensive record based on the past seasons and United have already won 20 matches this season, which was all they won last season and United are not even at the half way point in the Premier League – which will come against Crystal Palace next week prior to United heading to Arsenal for another big match this season. United could possibly win all three of those matches.

The City match will be tough though as the ‘noisy neighbours’ will be seeking to come back from their Carabao Cup exit at the quarter final stages at the hands of Southampton, which was a big shock for them considering it is the most successful competition for City of late. United just need to keep their heads and do what they have been doing in recent weeks – they are a much better unit than they were back in October, which is a good sign.

Manchester United 3-2 Manchester City

Written by John Walker

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I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.