Manchester United aiming to end week on a high against Manchester City

Manchester United visit Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday aiming to force their way back into the title race. Jose Mourinho’s side head into the match nine points behind their big rivals, but a win at the Etihad Stadium would be a huge statement of intent.

United’s confidence will undoubtedly have been boosted by the superb 2-1 Champions League victory over Juventus in Turin on Wednesday. Cristiano Ronaldo had put the hosts ahead with a stunning volley, but Juan Mata’s curling free-kick and an Alex Sandro own goal gave United a deserved 2-1 win.

City extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 11 games with a comfortable 6-0 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk. Fans watching live streaming of the Manchester City vs Manchester United game will hope for a repeat of last season’s thrilling meeting at the Etihad back in April.

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The home side opened up a two-goal lead by half-time, but goals by Paul Pogba (2) and Chris Smalling secured an unexpected 3-2 success for United. City boss Pep Guardiola has almost a full squad to choose from this weekend, with just Kevin De Bruyne and Claudio Bravo ruled out of the game.

Romelu Lukaku is hoping to return to the United squad after missing the last couple of matches with a hamstring problem. Diogo Dalot and Antonio Valencia missed Wednesday’s trip to Italy and are unlikely to be fit enough for the derby clash.

While Sunday’s game is undoubtedly a major test for United, their recent record against their local rivals is very good. The Red Devils have won four and drawn two of their last eight meetings in all competitions and they hold a significant edge in their previous Premier League games.

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The Manchester duo have faced each other 42 times since the league’s formation, with United winning 21 and drawing eight of those matches. Three points this weekend would set United up nicely for what looks a favourable run of league games over the next few weeks.

Mourinho’s side meet Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on November 24, before travelling to face Southampton the following weekend. Home matches against Arsenal and Fulham offer United further opportunities to record victories and get themselves back into the battle for the title.

United have shown plenty of character over the last few days to beat Bournemouth and Juventus and another win on Sunday would be the perfect end to the week.

copyright: JW