A rivalry steeped in local tension and a recent power shift, Manchester City were running away with the Premier League title at one stage, but have just been caught up by Liverpool, so Pep Guardiola will want to ensure his side don’t get complacent when their great rivals Manchester United make the short journey.
Things are starting to look very claustrophobic at the Premier League summit, with just six points the difference between City in first and Liverpool in second, though Jurgen Klopp’s recently-crowned Reds do have a game in hand on the current table-toppers, so any slip-up is likely to be brutally capitalised on.
Man Utd meanwhile appear to be riding the crest of a wave under Ralf Rangnick, with the club unbeaten in eight Premier League games, the longest current run without defeat in the competition, so they very much enter this Etihad showdown with confidence on their side and the wind in their sails.
The Red Devils currently find themselves ensconced in the top four, and it’s that coveted final Champions League place that they crave. With the chasing pack hot on their heels, points against the current league leaders is simply non-negotiable for Rangnick if the club want to stay in the top four beyond the weekend.
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Man City v Man Utd: Match Stats
The Paul Pogba-to-Bruno Fernandes assist-to-goalscorer combo is the most prolific in the Premier League this season, and with the former recently returning from a somewhat lengthy spell on the sidelines, he will be itching to resume that menacing relationship — though the last time Pogba visited the Etihad, he was the one doing the goalscoring, bagging a brace in a 3-2 win back in 2018.
City meanwhile have great goalscorers, but against Man Utd, they seem to get the thousand-yard stare in the final third. Riyad Mahrez has been directly involved in nine goals in his last eight Premier League appearances (six goals, three assists). But, he has failed to score in 11 games against Man Utd, his longest such barren run against any club. Raheem Sterling meanwhile is still yet to score in 18 Premier League appearances against Man Utd.
Pep Guardiola will be desperate to turn the tide and find a way for his typically-prolific forwards to abandon their attacking inhibitions against Man Utd, and start finding the back of the net as they do so often against seemingly everyone else. One player who may be itching to get on the scoresheet is Ilkay Gundogan, who is set to play his 150th Premier League match this weekend — what a way that would be to mark the occasion.
06 Nov 2021 – Man Utd 0-2 Man City – Premier League
07 Mar 2021 – Man City 0-2 Man Utd – Premier League
06 Jan 2021 – Man Utd 0-2 Man City – League Cup
12 Dec 2020 – Man Utd 0-0 Man City – Premier League
08 Mar 2020 – Man Utd 2-0 Man City – Premier League
Man Utd will be looking to win four consecutive away games in all competitions against Man City for the first time since a run of four between 1993 and 2000. Their last win came nearly a year ago to the day, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men securing victory through Fernandes and Luke Shaw.