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How United could look in the Manchester derby against City; 4-2-3-1 with Martial, Rashford, Fred, Garner, Wan-Bissaka, and Williams all featuring?

Manchester United will be back in action on Tuesday evening, welcoming Manchester City to Old Trafford in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg. It is hard to be excited ahead of United matches of late as the squad is dwindling due to injury and is crying out for reinforcement, which seems to be played down by the manager, whether he has plans to delve into the January transfer market, we shall soon see but he needs to.

United have not won a match in 2020 – losing 2-0 to Arsenal on New Year’s Day and enduring a 0-0 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup not even registering a single shot on target in the match and now a replay will be played during a week which United were not scheduled to play which is the last thing the club needed at this time with so many player out injured and youth not being utilised as maybe they should.

Something will need to give at some stage which is why delving into the transfer market this month is needed as United are still struggling from the lack of reinforcement in the summer, especially in midfield with just Fred and Nemanja Matic the only experienced players in the position whilst Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay are injured. There is also a lack of creativity at the club which needs to be sorted. A big job to do.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Manchester City in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

The Spanish number one should be restored to the starting XI to face City on Tuesday evening in place of Sergio Romero, who faced Wolves in the FA Cup. The Argentinian looked as if he could not participate after suffering an injury, which is something United cannot afford to turn into something big at this stage of the season so treating him like he is injured and picking De Gea instead will stop anything from becoming nefarious. De Gea will be relishing the match against City with United looking to beat them again after their 2-1 win last month.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Brandon Williams

Aaron Wan-Bissaka should be recalled into the squad to face City steer being an unused substitute against Wolves at the weekend. His performance helped United beat City in their last match in December and he could do the same again. Brandon Williams needs to keep his place as in my opinion, he is the first-choice left-back at the club based on what he offers. Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire (providing he recovers in time) could keep their places too, based on the lack of replacements in the central defensive position. Phil Jones could start ahead of Maguire though.

Midfield: Fred, James Garner

The midfield needs some nurturing at this moment in time as United are paying the price for not replacing Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini in the summer. With Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba both injured and Nemanja Matic plating 90 minutes at the weekend, the likes of James Garner and/or Dylan Levitt may need to be brought into the squad. Garner should start in this scenario with Levitt involved in the squad, although with the likes of Andreas Pereira, he may not make the actual squad this time, which has happened before for him.

Attacking Midfielders: Mason Greenwood, Daniel James, Marcus Rashford

United need to find a better way to attack their opposition. There has been little creativity at stages this season and with United’s poor midfield shape, this is part of the problem. In this game, I feel Mason Greenwood could start on the right with Marcus Rashford on the left. Daniel James, who can play on either flank should be tested behind the striker, which could help United get something from the game – they need to. This might work for this match but going forward, United need to look at the transfer market as two or three more injuries could be costly.

Striker: Anthony Martial

The Frenchman has a lot to live up to if he is going to become one of the legendary strikers the club has seen over the years and he needs to do a lot more to carry the club, like his predecessors have. He’s in double figures at this stage of the season, which is good considering he had an eight-match injury layoff earlier in the season. Martial can be that player if he finds the right spaces behind the opposition defence but he needs creativity and that is a major problem at this moment in time.

Substitutes: Sergio Romero; Phil Jones, Diogo Dalot; Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Angel Gomes, Nemanja Matic

Solskjaer will need to utilise the bench in order to try and get a result against City. This will be a match with a aggregate scoreline so he could aim to see what happens on Tuesday and try and better it at the end of the month, like what happened in Paris last March. I expect Sergio Romero to be back on the bench and if he does not start in place of Maguire, Jones will be on the bench. Diogo Dalot could be the fullback on the bench. Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Angel Gomes and Nemanja Matic could also be available if needed.

Preview: United set to face City with little creativity and looking lacklustre in both the midfield and attack

Manchester United -v- Manchester City

Carabao Cup

Old Trafford, Manchester

Tuesday 7 January 2020, KO 20:00 GMT

Referee: Mike Dean Assistants: Ian Hussin; Darren Cann Fourth Official: Lee Mason

VAR: Kevin Friend VAR Assistant: Stephen Child

Manchester United will be back in action on Tuesday evening, welcoming Manchester City to Old Trafford in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg. It is hard to be excited ahead of United matches of late as the squad is dwindling due to injury and is crying out for reinforcement, which seems to be played down by the manager, whether he has plans to delve into the January transfer market, we shall soon see but he needs to.

United have not won a match in 2020 – losing 2-0 to Arsenal on New Year’s Day and enduring a 0-0 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup not even registering a single shot on target in the match and now a replay will be played during a week which United were not scheduled to play which is the last thing the club needed at this time with so many player out injured and youth not being utilised as maybe they should.

Something will need to give at some stage which is why delving into the transfer market this month is needed as United are still struggling from the lack of reinforcement in the summer, especially in midfield with just Fred and Nemanja Matic the only experienced players in the position whilst Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay are injured. There is also a lack of creativity at the club which needs to be sorted. A big job to do.

Form: United winless in 2020 winning three, drawing once and losing twice in their last six matches; City unbeaten in 2020 with five wins and one defeat in their last six matches.

Manchester United: DLWWLW

Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-0 D, Arsenal 2-0 L, Burnley 2-0 W, Newcastle United 4-1 W, Watford 2-0 L, Colchester United 3-0 W

Manchester City: WWWLWW

Port Vale 4-1 W, Everton 2-1 W, Sheffield United 2-0 W, Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-2 L, Leicester City 3-1 W, Oxford United 3-1 W

Top Scorers: 48 goals scored by United this season with Marcus Rashford scoring 16; 85 goals scored by City this season with Raheem Sterling leading with 20.

Manchester United Goals: 16 – Marcus Rashford, 10 – Anthony Martial, 8 – Mason Greenwood, 3 – Daniel James, Scott McTominay, 2 – Own Goal, 1 – Victor Lindelof, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira, Brandon Williams, Ashley Young

United ended 2019 in style by winning six times, drawing twice and losing once during the month of December. However, on New Year’s Day, Solskjaer’s side fell to a 2-0 defeat against Arsenal at the Emirates then three days later, drew 0-0 to Wolves in the FA Cup at the Molineux – not having a single shot on target. Something has got to give with United delving into the transfer market to aid the season.

Manchester City Goals: 20 – Raheem Sterling, 15 – Sergio Agüero, 13 – Gabriel Jesus, 7 – Kevin De Bruyne, 6 – Riyad Mahrez, 5 – Bernardo Silva, 4 – Ilkay Gündogan, 3 – Phil Foden, Nicolás Otamendi, David Silva, 2 – Rodri, 1 – João Cancelo, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Kyle Walker, Oleksandr Zinchenko

City ended 2019 in stile winning six times and losing twice during the month of December. In 2020, they have beaten Everton and Port Vale, scoring seven goals and conceding just twice. Granted, their reign as the Premier League champions may be short-lived with Liverpool sitting 14 points clear – with a game in hand but City still hold dominance against most teams in the league and beyond.

Team News: United without McTominay, Pogba, Rojo, and Tuanzebe through injury whereas Bailly and Fosu-Mensah are not match fit. Martial and Lingard could recover from illness in time whereas Shaw could miss this match too through illness.

United with be without four players due to injury; Scott McTominay will be out of action until the end of February with a knee injury, Paul Pogba could return before the end of the month with an ankle injury, Axel Tuanzebe (thigh) and Marcos Rojo (other) could be out for the next three weeks. Eric Bailly and Tom Fosu-Mensah have recently returned to training after recovering from knee surgery.

Harry Maguire could be missing from the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against City after he suffered during the first half of the FA Cup draw with Wolves on Saturday and might not recover in time ahead of Tuesday’s match. Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and Luke Shaw missed the match due to illness with the latter having a 50% chance of recovering in time to face City at Old Trafford.

City will face United without Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane (both knee injuries) whereas Nicolas Otamendi did not face Port Vale and could be missing from the team that faces United. Goalkeeper Ederson Moraes could well be back in the team to face United after missing the FA Cup fixture due to illness. Other than that, Pep Guardiola has a full squad for his first trip to the Theatre of Dreams this season.

Predicted Starting XI: Martial to lead the line; Rashford, James and Greenwood in support with Garner and Fred in midfield?

I fully expect David De Gea to be back in the starting XI against City on Tuesday evening and there is a chance that Phil Jones features against the noisy neighbours if Maguire does not recover in time. Brandon Williams should keep his place in the team as he played well against Wolves and is a better option ahead of Shaw. In midfield, Dylan Levitt or James Garner could get a game playing alongside Fred.

Match Prediction: United seeking to overturn recent poor form with a defeat and a draw in the two matches played in 2020 so far; City will be seeking to get the better over United after their victory last month at the Etihad.

United and City have played a total of 179 matches in this history of both clubs with the first match being played in 1891. United have won 74 times, drawn 52 times and lost 53 times. The last defeat to City came in the Premier League back in April 2019, a 2-0 defeat at the Old Trafford with Bernardo Silva and Leroy Sané scoring in the second half of the game. City did the double over United last season, winning 3-1 at home.

At the start of December 2019, United met City at the Etihad in the Premier League, winning 2-1 after Marcus Rashford scored a penalty in the 23rd minute of the match with Anthony Martial doubling the lead six minutes later. A late consolation from Nicolás Otamendi spoiled the party a little with United not keeping a clean sheet. This will be the second Manchester derby this season, with two more to come.

Manchester United 2-1 Manchester City

Review & Ratings: Rashford and Martial sink City at the Etihad; Wan-Bissaka, McTominay, Fred and Lingard dug deep in hard-fought victory

Manchester United beat Manchester City 2-1 at the Etihad in the Premier League on Saturday evening. Marcus Rashford opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 23rd minute after being fouled inside the box with the penalty awarded by VAR. Anthony Martial doubled United’s lead six minutes later, shocking the home side. United have ended a great week and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be proud.

It was a great start for United, who seemed to throw everything they had at City. Marcus Rashford won a penalty in the 23rd minute of the match after Bernardo Silva fouled him in the box. The referee did not award the penalty, with City on the attack but after a break in the game, VAR gave the penalty with the United forward finding the back of the net easily. He could have scored twice in quick succession after the penalty.

Six minutes later, United were 2-0 up after Anthony Martial found the back of the net. United were running riot at the Etihad. United’s attacking players were too much for City’s defence, who looked like they needed yet more investment. Daniel James got the assist as the Frenchman beat Ederson at the near post, putting United 2-0 up, unlucky that they had not scored more. City will be hurting, which makes it feel so much better.

City got themselves back into the game in the 85th minute of the match after Nicolas Otamendi scored a bullet header from Riyadh Mahrez’s cross into the box to get one back for City, who just did not do enough to get the better of United throughout the match. It was a pretty determined second half from City, who now have a massive chase on their hands to retain the Premier League title this season.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

City seemed out of the game, despite creating lots of chances but messing them up. De Gea made one great save to deny David Silva. It was a frought ten minutes (including added time) after Nicolas Otamendi got one back for City.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

The right-back had a great game against City and really put his all into his position to help United get the result they needed and a result City did not want. Wan-Bissaka dealt with Raheem Sterling to the best of his abilities.

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2 Victor Lindelof

I thought the Swede played well in the first half but seemed lose some momentum in the second half when City started their onslaught t try and change the scoreline. He held well though but this could be a weakness for United moving forward.

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5 Harry Maguire

The England defender seemed to raise his game ever so slightly against City, which was needed against the reigning champions, who mayc not be champions for long.

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23 Luke Shaw

It was a good game for Shaw. His first Premier League start since August and what a game to come back into the starting XI. He showed a massive amount of commitment and it was a shame he had to come off at the end.

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39 Scott McTominay

Glad to have him back at full speed. His energy, determination and hunger is a great thing for his teammates to see. He may not be gifted with world class ability but he is a player that United need in the squad. City will have hated coming up against him.

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17 Fred

The Brazilian midfielder has raised his game on a match by match basis, getting better every time. He put so much of his ability into this match and will cause problems for Paul Pogba going forward, unless the Frenchman plays forther forward. Got his with a few lighters from the scummy City fans and seemed to have a monkey chant thrown at him. He did not react though, which will anny the neanderthal aiming to abuse him.

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Review & Ratings: Rashford and Martial sink City at the Etihad; Wan-Bissaka, McTominay, Fred and Lingard dug deep in hard-fought victory

What a game for the Welshman. Another assist which is showing that he's a much better player, in terms of impact, ability that Alecis Sanchez, who just could not be bothered in his time at United putting money over everything else. James will only get better and he's given a lot this season and will have surprised his teammates and his opposition.

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14 Jesse Lingard

The first 30 minutes of the match was the best for Lingard against City. He has improved recently, and boy did he need to. That goal in Kazakhstan could have been the turning point for him. City would have preferred him to be lacklustre.

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10 Marcus Rashford

I feel sorry for those that did not rate Rashford. They always seem to hide, or for some, adopt a new opinion forgetting what they previously had said. It is what you get with a semi-fickle fan base. Scored the penalty to put United ahead but could have bagged another two goals before Martial doubled United's lead.

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9 Anthony Martial

The Frenchman returned from injury and looked pretty sharp, which is needed from the player leading the line.

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Substitutes

15 Andreas Pereira

Replaced Martial 74'. Got booked almost as soon as he came on, taking Raheem Sterling out. Played his part in the victory.

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Review & Ratings: Rashford and Martial sink City at the Etihad; Wan-Bissaka, McTominay, Fred and Lingard dug deep in hard-fought victory

Replaced Shaw 88'. Came on late, did what he needed. Not enough time to have an impact.

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38 Axel Tuanzebe

Replaced Lingard 89'. Came on at the death with stoppage time to play. Should be given more time to impress this month. Will be happy with the result.

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Goals: Nicolas Otamendi 85′; Marcus Rashford 23′ (pen), Anthony Martial 29′

Assists: Riyadh Mahrez 85′; Daniel James 29′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw (Young 88′); McTominay, Fred; James, Lingard (Tuanzebe 89′), Rashford; Martial (Pereira 74′)

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Williams; Mata; Greenwood

Bookings: Bernardo Silva 22′, Kevin De Bruyne 79′, Kyle Walker 90+4′; David De Gea 54′, Andreas Pereira 74′

Confirmed Starting XI: Martial starts against City; James, Lingard and Rashford support; Tuanzebe on the bench

Manchester United have travelled to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City in the Premier League this evening. After beating Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United jumped to to sixth place in the Premier League and are 11 points adrift of Pep Guardiola’s City and a further 11 points short of league leaders Liverpool.

The victory over Spurs gave United something to boost their confidence after a run of three matches without a victory and two Premier League draws against Sheffield United and Aston Villa, teams which were promoted from the Championship last season. It was not a good pair of results for United. Back to winning ways though, Solskjaer and United will be boosted and should take a game to City, who are not as good as they might think.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

McTominay, Fred;

James, Lingard, Rashford;

Martial

Substitutes:

Romero; Young, Tuanzebe, Williams; Mata, Pereira; Greenwood

Manchester City:

Ederson;

Walker, Stones, Fernandinho, Angel;

De Bruyne, Rodri, D. Silva;

B. Silva, Jesus, Sterling

Substitutes:

Bravo; Mendy, Cancelo, Otamendi; Gundogan, Mahrez, Foden

United and Manchester City have played 178 times in the history of both clubs. United has won 73 times, drawing 52 times and losing 53 times. The first match was played in 1891; a 5-1 victory for Newton Heath (United) in the FA Cup. United have not beaten City since the 2017/18 season, which incidentially came in this fixture, a 3-2 victory at the Etihad with Paul Pogba inspiring United with two quick goals coming from 2-0 down.

Last season, United lost both home and away to City; 3-1 at the Etihad and 2-0 at Old Trafford. This season, City are not as good as they once were and with problems in defence, it could be a match for United to take advantage. After beating Spurs on Wednesday evening, Solskjaer’s side should be up for the challenge of beating City. However, some will worry more about Liverpool winning the Premier League if this happens.

How Manchester United could look against Manchester City; 4-2-3-1 with United’s fluid attack set to become problematic for City’s defence? Pogba to return?

Manchester United will have to be at their best this weekend as their second big test of the week will commence at 17:30 GMT on Saturday evening as they face Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League. With their 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday evening, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side rose to sixth in the Premier League but still find themselves 11 points behind their noisy neighbours, who are 11 points adrift of league leaders, Liverpool.

The starting XI might not change much from the team which faced and beat Jose Mourinho’s side at Old Trafford unless Solskjaer is able to include Paul Pogba, which may sound a bit premature, unless he is much fitter than has been alluded to over the past few weeks. We know that he has been training this week, so who knows? One thing is for sure though, United need to raise their game and show grit, fight and determination.

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

The Spanish number one was unlucky not to keep a clean sheet against Spurs on Wednesday but Dele Alli’s superb finishing got one back for Mourinho’s side at De Gea’s expense. Still, a win is a win and keeping a clean sheet, although good, is not necessary. De Gea is a great goalkeeper and the confidence of a big win over Spurs will help him look forward to the clash against City and hopefully be that player that the noisy neighbours cannot break down the resolve of with United reigning supreme in the first Manchester derby of the 2019/20 season.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw

The defence did well against Spurs and I think all but Ashley Young will keep their places in the starting XI this weekend. Luke Shaw should replace the veteran in the squad after playing just three minutes plus stoppage time in the 2-1 victory over Mourinho’s side. Aaron Wan-Bissaka has done well turning defence into attack and becoming a problem player on the right flank, which was problematic over the past few seasons. The duo of Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire looked better against Spurs and Lindelof does raise his game when playing against better teams.

Midfield: Fred, Scott McTominay

The midfield worked their socks off against Spurs at Old Trafford and despite sitting out for about a month, including the international break, Scott McTominay did well to do what he did against Mourinho’s side. The Scottish international really is a player who brings confidence, composure and fight into the midfield. If Pogba is fit, he should not play in this area of the pitch, but further forward, occupying the number ten position in the centre of the attacking midfielders, behind the striker, which did him well last season. Fred had a great game against Spurs, and as he has shown in recent weeks, the more he plays, the better he seems to be getting. He has a way to go though.

Attacking Midfielders: Daniel James, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford

I think Solskjaer will retain the 4-2-3-1 formation away this weekend, which goes against his recent plan in which he reverted to a 3-4-3 formation, which largely has not worked. Daniel James, fresh from his promising appearance against Spurs will keep his place as will Jesse Lingard, who scored his first goal of 2019 against Astana in Kazakhstan last Thursday and showed some promise of his own against Spurs, despite needing to do a lot more to warrant a place in this team, especially if Pogba is fit. If the Frenchman is ready to start, Lingard will lose his place. Marcus Rashford, fresh from scoring a brace against Spurs will also keep his place. He has scored 12 goals for United this season and is confident enough to keep that run coming.

Striker: Mason Greenwood

Mason Greenwood started against Spurs on Wednesday evening and showed exactly what a true striker should have shown. He literally has no nerves which play on him, which is a good sign of a player who is ready to play in a first team environment in a top-flight league. Greenwood might be young in terms of age but as far as experience goes, the four goals he has scored this season, in line with the appearances he has made, both this season, during the summer and last season, it has certainly helped him show himself as a player for the future, and for now. I think he played better than Anthony Martial could have against Spurs.

Substitutes: Sergio Romero; Ashley Young, Axel Tuanzebe, Brandon Williams; Paul Pogba, Andreas Pereira, James Garner

The bench will be important against City as this will give Solskjaer something to think about if the team he has chosen is not able to cause any damage to City. Sergio Romero returned to the bench against Spurs. The likes of Ashley Young, Axel Tuanzebe and Brandon Williams could add something in defence, if needed with Paul Pogba (if fit enough), Andreas Pereira, and James Garner adding something in attack, creativity and pace. With Martial likely to be injured, there is a lack of attacking players to feature on the bench, unless youth is looked towards.

Preview: The victory over Spurs will have boosted United’s confidence to take on City; Solskjaer needs to rally his troops to get a much-needed win over City

Manchester City -v- Manchester United

Premier League

Etihad Stadium, Manchester

Saturday 7 December 2019, KO 17:30 GMT

Referee: Anthony Taylor Assistants: Gary Beswick; Adam Nunn Fourth Official: Mike Dean

VAR: Michael Oliver Assistant VAR: Marc Perry

Manchester United will travel to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday evening. After beating Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United jumped to to sixth place in the Premier League and are 11 points adrift of Pep Guardiola’s City and a further 11 points short of league leaders Liverpool.

The victory over Spurs gave United something to boost their confidence after a run of three matches without a victory and two Premier League draws against Sheffield United and Aston Villa, teams which were promoted from the Championship last season. It was not a good pair of results for United. Back to winning ways though, Solskjaer and United will be boosted and should take a game to City, who are not as good as they might think.

Form: United have three wins in the last six matches whereas City have just two. Based on this, it is the form of Guardiola’s team which is more worrying.

Manchester United: WDLDWW

Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 W, Aston Villa 2-2 D, Astana 2-1 L, Sheffield United 3-3 D, Brighton And Hove Albion 3-1 W, Partizan Belgrade 3-0 W

Manchester City: WDDWLD

Burnley 4-1 W, Newcastle United 2-2 D, Shakhtar Donetsk 1-1 D, Chelsea 2-1 W, Liverpool 3-1 L, Atalanta 1-1 D

Top Scorers: United has scored 14 goals in their last six matches with City scoring just 11 goals which could be a good confidence booster ahead of the clash at the Etihad on Saturday evening.

Manchester United Goals: 12 – Marcus Rashford, 5 – Anthony Martial, 4 – Mason Greenwood, 3 – Daniel James, Scott McTominay, 1 – Andreas Pereira, Brandon Williams, Jesse Lingard, Own Goal, Victor Lindelof

United has seemingly turned a corner this season. Solskjaer’s side has scored 14 goals in their last six matches, which is a good goalscoring record, well something to start with anyway. They have won three times, drawn twice and lost just once in those six matches. Now, with the season nearing the half way point, it is time for the real Manchester United to stand up and be counted, which is needed to properly turn the corner.

Manchester City Goals: 15 – Raheem Sterling, 13 – Sergio Agüero, 7 – Gabriel Jesus, 5 – Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva, 4 – Kevin De Bruyne, 3 – Ilkay Gündogan, David Silva, 2 – Rodri, Nicolás Otamendi, 1 – Phil Foden, Kyle Walker

This season is not the greatest for Manchester City, who in the not too distant future were branded the best team of the Premier League era by some ‘fan boy’ journalists. Yet the same team are just not playing well against big teams and seem to be playing second fiddle to Liverpool, who are well in the lead in the league table. Pep Guardiola is a chequebook manager, this is evident. Sorry, not sorry.

Team News: Anthony Martial to miss the clash against City? Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic likely to return?

Solskjaer has yet more injury worries this season which has seemingly ruled Anthony Martial out of the clash with City this weekend. He also missed the 2-1 victory over Spurs on Wednesday evening. Eric Bailly, Tim Fosu-Mensah and Diogo Dalot are also out of this match with their returns more likely in the latter end of December, which will boost the manager, the squad and the supporters.

Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic have a slim chance of being back in action this weekend, however, that will be something the manager confirms on Friday during his press conference ahead of this match. Marcos Rojo should be close to returning, however, that may be unlikely for this match. Solskjaer might have the same players available which beat Jose Mourinho’s Spurs on Wednesday.

Guardiola could be without up to four players with Aymeric Laporte, Leroy Sane, and Sergio Aguero already ruled out of contention. Oleksandr Zinchenko could be close to returning for the reigning Premier League champions, however, it would see he has a small chance of returning this weekend. City will be boosted by their victory over Burnley but their current form is hardly something to brag about.

Predicted Starting XI: Greenwood, Rashford, Lingard, and James to continue in attach against City; Shaw back in the starting XI with McTominay and Fred keeping their places in midfield?

Solskjaer would probably like to make some changes to his starting XI against City, however, unless the likes of Pogba and Matic are fit to start, it is unlikely that he will be able to do this. I would expect to see the same starting XI which faced Spurs on Wednesday but with Luke Shaw starting ahead of Ashley Young in the left-back role. Pogba or Matic may be fit enough to make the bench but we will have to wait and see what Solskjaer says in his press conference one Friday morning.

Match Prediction: United are the underdogs against City at this moment in time and have ben for a number of years now. However, with confidence Solskjaer’s side could take advantage.

United and Manchester City have played 178 times in the history of both clubs. United has won 73 times, drawing 52 times and losing 53 times. The first match was played in 1891; a 5-1 victory for Newton Heath (United) in the FA Cup. United have not beaten City since the 2017/18 season, which incidentially came in this fixture, a 3-2 victory at the Etihad with Paul Pogba inspiring United with two quick goals coming from 2-0 down.

Last season, United lost both home and away to City; 3-1 at the Etihad and 2-0 at Old Trafford. This season, City are not as good as they once were and with problems in defence, it could be a match for United to take advantage. After beating Spurs on Wednesday evening, Solskjaer’s side should be up for the challenge of beating City. However, some will worry more about Liverpool winning the Premier League if this happens.

Manchester City 1-2 Manchester United

copyright: JW