Football Previews

Man Utd v Man City predictions, preview & expected XIs

By Harry Edwards

Published: 17:50, 23 April 2019

Manchester City will be looking to take control of the Premier League title race when they face rivals Manchester United on Wednesday.

Pep Guardiola’s men are two points behind league leaders Liverpool but have played one match fewer, with the Manchester derby being their game in hand in one of the best title races in Premier League history.

Read on for Manchester United v Manchester City live stream options, team news, predicted XIs, stats and TV channel info.

When is Man Utd vs Man City?

Competition: Premier League

Venue: Old Trafford

Date: Wednesday, 24 April

Kick-off: 8:00 PM BST

Where can I watch live?

UK residents will be able to watch Man Utd v Man City on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League, channels 401 and 402 respectively on Sky, and 501 and 502 for Virgin Media users.


Man Utd wins: 73 Draws: 52 Man City wins: 52

Match preview

In the final weeks of the 2011/12 Premier League season, Manchester City won the Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium in a game which ultimately shaped the destination of the title – with the citizens finishing ahead of their rivals on goal difference.

This season, Pep Guardiola will be hoping for a similar result to put the destiny of the title in City’s hands with Liverpool the team pushing the defending champions all the way.

Presently, City sit two points behind Liverpool with a game in hand – and both are on remarkable Premier League runs. Liverpool have won their last six league games, while City have gone 10 in a row.

But standing in front of City on Wednesday are rivals Manchester United who are still fighting for a top four finish this season, and looking to turn around poor form.

Since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took permanent charge at the end of March, United have won two and lost four of their six games including conceding seven goals in their past two matches against Barcelona and Everton.

However, the two wins United have managed have come at Old Trafford, slender 2-1 wins over Watford and West Ham United. Despite the fears for United fans of Liverpool winning the Premier League, those at Old Trafford will be hoping for another home victory on Wednesday to keep their top four – and Champions League – hopes alive.

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Can Ole Gunnar Solskjaer turn the season around?

Things had been going so well for United after Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho in December. The Red Devils had wrestled their way into the top four battle alongside Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Chelsea.

But poor recent form has seen United slip slightly away from the race and now the Red Devils have two season-defining games in the space of a week, facing Chelsea on Sunday after Wednesday’s Manchester derby.

Only a win for United will do to keep them in the race for the top four with both Arsenal and Spurs also playing their games in hand in midweek, with the Gunners facing Wolves and Spurs hosting Brighton.

Given Brighton’s poor form, Spurs will be expected to win and further secure their place in third but Wolves will cause problems for Arsenal – leaving an opening for United.

A win over City would bring United level with fourth-placed Chelsea ahead of Sunday’s meeting – in which Solskjaer’s top four dreams will be made or broken.

Will Man City take control of the title race?

For probably the first time in a long while, Liverpool fans will be cheering for a Manchester United win. The Reds are chasing a first league title since 1990 and know Manchester City must drop points before the season is over for that to be possible.

But City have not dropped points in the Premier League since the end of January, when they were beaten 2-1 by Newcastle United at St James’ Park.

Since then, 10 straight league wins have come including victories over top six sides in Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham – though they all came at the Etihad.

However, City have done well in their away games against top six sides this season, beating Arsenal and Tottenham while drawing with Liverpool – courtesy of Riyad Mahrez’s missed penalty – and losing only to Chelsea.

City also won the last meeting between these two sides at Old Trafford, coming out 2-1 winners in December 2017 – en route to winning the Premier League title.

Should they beat United, City may well fancy their chances of retaining their crown going up against Burnley, Leicester and Brighton with no additional burden of the Champions League.

Team news

Manchester United could undergo several changes from the team which started against Everton as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks to keep their top four hopes alive, meaning Ashley Young and Ander Herrera could start. Luke Shaw is also set to return after serving a two-match suspension.

Meanwhile, Kevin De Bruyne will miss the game after picking up a hamstring injury in Man City’s win over Tottenham, while Benjamin Mendy could also return.

Predicted Line-ups

1. Solskjaer to frustrate

Though a win will do wonders for Manchester United’s top four hopes, Solskjaer may look to frustrate rivals Man City in order to avoid defeat – knowing a win over Chelsea could keep the Red Devils in the race.

As such, we’re predicting both Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic to start in midfield for United alongside Paul Pogba with hopes of breaking the midfield down.

Elsewhere, Ashley Young and Jesse Lingard should come in to replace Diogo Dalot and Anthony Martial respectively after poor performances against Everton, with Shaw also returning – shifting Lindelof back to central defence.

Predicted Manchester United XI (4-3-3): De Gea; Young, Lindelof, Smalling, Shaw; Herrera, Matic, Pogba; Lingard, Lukaku, Rashford.

2. Fernandinho returns

Last season, an injury to Kevin De Bruyne ahead of a big game would have been a blow, but fortunately that isn’t the case this year. The Belgian has had a sporadic role due to previous injury problems and Bernardo Silva is more than capable of dropping deeper to cover, joining Ilkay Gundogan and a returning Fernandinho in midfield.

This opens up space for Leroy Sane to get a rare attacking start, forming a front line ready to rip United’s defence to shreds. Despite Benjamin Mendy also in contention to return, Oleksandr Zinchenko may continue after a good performance against Tottenham.

Predicted Manchester City XI (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Laporte, Stones, Zinchenko; Fernandinho, Gundogan, Bernardo Silva; Sterling, Aguero, Sane.

3. Alexis Sanchez to start

Manchester United have had many problems this season, one of which has been the form of Alexis Sanchez.

The Chilean has massively underwhelmed since signing in January 2018 and reports suggest he could already be on his way out of Old Trafford.

But the Evening Standard have backed Sanchez to start on Wednesday ahead of Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard as United look to shock Man City. They have also picked Scott McTominay to start and Diogo Dalot to retain his place in the team.

Evening Standard‘s predicted Manchester United XI (4-3-3): De Gea; Dalot, Lindelof, Smalling, Shaw; McTominay, Matic, Pogba; Sanchez, Rashford, Lukaku.

4. Double Silva

Manchester City have a wealth of options in midfield and are not lacking in replacements for Kevin De Bruyne.

As well as fielding just Bernardo Silva in midfield, City can also introduce David Silva to the trio – as the Independent have predicted. They expect the two Silvas to line up alongside Fernandinho, with Sane coming in further forward, while Mendy also starts in defence.

Independent‘s predicted Manchester City XI (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Mendy; Fernandinho, Silva, Silva; Sterling, Aguero, Sane.

Squawka Prediction

Despite their capitulation against Everton at the weekend, Manchester United are likely to cause bigger problems against their rivals. That said, Man City should still have enough to come out on top. 3-1 Man City.


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