English Premier League. Week 33
Saturday, April 7, 2018, 17:30 PM UTC
Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England
Referee: Michael Oliver, England
Manchester City are only one step away from the English Premier League title… or, are they? If Pep Guardiola’s team manage to win the Manchester derby, they will be announced EPL champions of season 2017/18 having six other EPL clashes ahead. Following their first-leg fiasco against Liverpool in Champions League quarterfinals, the Citizens are expected to the possible and impossible to regain the victorious spirit ahead of the second-leg and secure the first title of the season during the same week. Jose Mournho and his team, however, are not expected to give up easily, as derbies, and Manchester derbies in particular, are matters of honor and can never be easy clashes for any of the parties.
Manchester City – The team are on unbelievable run in English Premier League, with only one loss in 31 games. The only defeat is against Liverpool, the team against which they could not perform in Champions League play-off either (3-0). The Merseyside side obviously being an uncomfortable opponent for the Citizens as their manager Pep Guardiola admitted, those games do not necessarily mean they are less of a favorite in the game against Manchester United. However, such a fiasco in the European arena can bring to emotional downfall and make the team more vulnerable for the ‘attack’ against Manchester United.
Manchester United – Manchester United, in turn, are on a very good run as well. In the last 10 games they have lost two, won 7 and lost and drawn one. Jose Mourinho side failed to proceed to the quarterfinal stage of the UEFA Champions League losing the two game tie against Sevilla. Other than that, last time they lost in English Premier League was in the start of February in the away clash against Newcastle (1-0). The Red devils are motivated to win every single game so that they do not lose their runner-up position in the league table to Liverpool or Tottenham, as the point gap is not safe enough.
Manchester United have lost the first round EPL game against Manchester City (1-2), not being able to resists to Pep Guardiola’s teams unbelievable form in the domestic league. Important to note, however, that recently the Red Devils are more likely to perform better at the Etihad Stadium than in their home venue: last two head-to-head clashes at the City home stadium were a draw and a win for Manchester United. The general overall statistics for this rivalry are: Manchester City have won 5 out of the last 10 head-to-head clashes, 2 games did not reveal the winner, and 2 games were won by the Red Devils.
Manchester City – No missing Players
Manchester United – Sergio Romero
Manchester City (4-3-3) – Ederson; Walker – Stones – Otamendi – Delph; Bruyne – Fernandinho – Gundogan; Sterling – Aguero – Sane
Manchester United (4-1-4-1) – De Gea; Valencia – Bailly – Smalling – Young; Matic; Mata – Lingard – Pogba – Sanchez; Lukaku