Premier League 2018/19, Manchester City vs Manchester United: Match Preview and Predicted Lineups
The Premier League gets hotter with the most anticipated match of the season, the Manchester derby taking place on Sunday. League leaders Manchester City host neighbours United at the Etihad in a clash between two giants of English football.
Recent form has been kind to City and United both but quality appears to be on the former's side. Manager Pep Guardiola has spent big money wisely and developed a philosophy which has gelled his team together in a cohesive unit.
United's manager Jose Mourinho, one of the legends of the beautiful game, will be no pushover and look forward to repeating his team's April exploits over their rivals at the same ground.
Aguero and Sterling can take the game away from United
Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling had a great game last weekend in which they netted one and two goals respectively. The duo also combined to provide four assists. They look dangerous and given that Manchester United's defence looks fragile, both Aguero and Sterling will be licking their lips.
Pep Guardiola will miss the services of Kevin De Bruyne who is out injured but David Silva has taken the Belgian's place in the centre of midfield and essayed the role of the key playmaker.
Defensively, City have been top-notch with John Stones and Aymeric Laporte leading the heart of the defence with confidence.
Predicted line-up: Ederson; Mendy, Stones, Laporte, Walker; David Silva, Fernandinho, Bernardo Silva; Sterling, Aguero, Mahrez.
United's resurgence will give Jose Mourinho some hope
On paper, Manchester United look fragile and weak. However, recent form is with them and they would be using emotion and sentiment to win at the Etihad. Alexis Sanchez, Paul Pogba and Chris Smalling combined to win there in April to delay City's winning party and the trio will be geared up to do the same again on Sunday.
In the April derby, United came from behind to win the game emphatically and that should prove an inspiration to the Red Devils when they travel across town for the biggest clash in the Premier League on Sunday.
Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez have been in fine form and if the three of them combine together on Sunday, City's defenders will be mere spectators. Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera have pulled the strings from midfield and manager Jose Mourinho is mightily impressed with both of them.
Left-back Luke Shaw and centre-backs Smalling and Victor Lindelof have been brilliant and they would be looking to continue their form on Sunday and get another away Manchester derby win.
Predicted line-up: De Gea; Shaw, Smalling, Lindelof, Young; Matic, Fellaini, Pogba; Martial, Sanchez, Mata.