10 December 2017
Kickoff 18:30 (CAT)
Something has to give when two in-form sides square up in Manchester to make a big title statement.
It’s all red and blue on Sunday in the Premier League. First, Merseyside comes to a standstill when Liverpool and Everton do battle but then the main event at Old Trafford; United and City meet in a top-of-the-table Manchester Derby that might well have a bearing on the destination of the title in May.
City’s imperious 13-match winning streak in the Premier League makes them the form team in Europe right now, but United haven’t lost in their last 40 matches at Old Trafford in all competitions. It’s very much a case of an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object. United have won their last four in all competitions but have been uncharacteristically loose in possession and defense, something not typical of Mourinho sides. City, although still games for fun, have only won their last three league games by a single goal and all of those goals came in the last ten minutes.
United will have to do without outstandingly talented and influential midfielder Paul Pogba, who’s suspended after his dismissal at Arsenal last weekend. That will ensure that Nemanja Matic will dovetail with Ander Herrera in Mourinho’s engine room. Michael Carrick is also out, and there are minor concerns over the fitness of Zlatan, Marouane Fellaini and Phil Jones. Commanding Ivorian centre back Eric Bailly will miss the match. City’s injury load is lighter, with slight doubts over playmaker David Silva. Long term absentee Benjamin Mendy is still out.
United, trailing City by eight points, surely cannot afford to lose here and still retain a genuine interest in the title race. José Mourinho has won matches like this many times in his career, and another one is essential this Sunday.
Zlatan at 1.50
Agüero at 1.05
Martial at 2.10
Sané at 1.95
Valencia at 7.50
Touré at 4.50
Big Match Facts
- Manchester United are undefeated in their last 40 home matches in all competitions.
- Manchester United have kept a clean sheet in seven of their last eight home matches in the Premier League.
- Manchester City have won a record-equalling 13 Premier League matches on the spin.
- Manchester City have scored at least two goals in their last eight Premier League matches.
- José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola have met as managers on 19 previous occasions; Guardiola leading the head to head by eight to four .