Both clubs have distinct ambitions this season; United seem to be in their transitional phase under new manager Eric Ten Hag, while Manchester City started the season sending a clear message once again with the addition of a new striker.
Manchester United started the season fresh, but two consecutive defeats in the first two games suggested that they are still a below average club, but a win against Liverpool changed the story of their game and they have not been beaten since. The players are optimistic and have a goal for this season.
On the contrary, City seems to be the favorite for this year’s Champions League. Guardiola has enough ammunition this time around to lead the club to their first ever Champions League trophy. It cannot be overlooked that if they also win the Premier League, they will become the second club after Manchester United to win the title three times.
Harry Maguire endured a humiliating international performance as he put in a stagnant display and also picked up a hamstring injury during the match. However, it is not certain whether the player will be fit for the derby. Martial, who has played just 45 minutes this season, will not feature in the derby due to an Achilles problem. While Rashford and Wan-Bissaka will be major doubts for the game, they have not been seen in training this week ahead of the clash.
After a month’s absence, Laporte saw training with the club and will return to the team. Meanwhile, John Stones was sidelined against Germany and will be a doubt. Kevin Phillips, who is having a frustrating time in his new life at City, has a shoulder injury and has been ruled out for two months.
Players to watch
Kevin de Bruyne
De Bruyne’s presence is crucial for Manchester City because he understands every aspect of the game, from where to pick up players with his excellent passes to breaking down defences and feeding strikers through balls. He is a conductor in the middle of the park who can pull strings and can turn around the games with his vision and ball awareness. He will be a major element in this upcoming derby.
Sancho had an underwhelming period when he joined the club and was viewed a waste in his first campaign for United. However, under Ten Hag, the player has looked brilliant and playing attractive football, he has three goals in seven games for the Old Trafford outfit, and his behaviour has changed ever since. The 22-year-old will be looking to score in the Manchester Derby.
Manchester City predicted lineup:
Ederson; Akanji, Dias, Cancelo, Walker, Bernardo, Rodri, De Bruyne, Grealish, Haaland, Foden
Manchester United predicted lineup:
De Gea; Martinez, Varane, Dalot, Luke Shaw, Eriksen, Mctominay, Sancho, Fernandes, Antony, Ronaldo