Manchester derby at Old Trafford
Manchester United host Manchester City at Old Trafford on Saturday, looking to respond after their Champions League exit in midweek.
Just a point separates the two teams in the Premier League with United in sixth and City in seventh. Both sides have a game in hand on the top teams.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have won their past four league games in a row, but once again had to do it the hard way against West Ham last weekend.
They came from a goal down to beat the Hammers, with Bruno Fernandes once again inspiring a comeback that saw them score three goals in 13 minutes.
The Portuguese midfielder has seven goals and four assists this season in the Premier League. He has won the Premier League Player of the Month award for November – the third time he has won it since joining last January.
Introducing your @EASPORTSFIFA Player of the Month for November…
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 11, 2020
If they lose against City, it will be the first time in a season they would’ve lost four home league games before Christmas since 1972.
United have won just once at Old Trafford in five home matches this season, losing three times – against Crystal Palace, Tottenham and Arsenal. Only Burnley and Sheffield United have scored fewer goals at home this season. United have scored just three at home, with two of those being penalties.
It is the fifth time that United will have gone straight into a derby after Champions League elimination. It happened in 1993, 2001, 2004 and 2007.
Man City eased to a midweek win in the Champions League and were able to rest players such as Ederson and Kevin De Bruyne ahead of the derby.
Sergio Aguero scored for City in the win over Marseille as he made his return from injury, but Pep Guardiola has already said he won’t start against United.
The Blues have won their last two league matches comfortably, beating Burnley 5-0 and Fulham 2-0, but have their lowest points tally and goal tally at this stage of a season since Guardiola arrived.
Also, they have lost five of their last six trips to top-six rivals.
United did the league double over City last season, winning 2-1 at the Etihad and 2-0 at Old Trafford in March – the last game at the stadium that had fans present before the enforced break. It was the first time they had done the double over City for 10 years.
Anthony Martial volleyed in after an improvised scooped free-kick from Fernandes, and Scott McTominay curled in from mistake into an empty net after a mistake from Ederson.
However, City have won four of their last seven league matches at Old Trafford and have won seven Premier League away games at the stadium, more than any other visiting side, with six of those coming in the previous nine seasons.
Featured image: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manager of Manchester United and Pep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on March 08, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)