The first instalment of the derby will take place on Sunday

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 began the season fresh, but two consecutive defeats in the first two matches suggested they were still a subpar club, but a win against Liverpool changed the narrative of their play, and they have not been beaten since. Players are optimistic and have a purpose this season.

In contrast, City appears to be the favourites for this season’s Champions League. Guardiola has enough ammunition this time to lead the club to the first-ever Champions League trophy in their history. Not to overlook, if they also win Premier League, they will become the second club after Manchester United to win the title three times.

Manchester City Form (all competition): W-W-W-D-W

Manchester United form (all competition): W-L-W-W-W

Injury and team news 

Harry Maguire endured humiliating performance in international matches, as he demonstrated a stagnant display and also picked up a hamstring injury during the match. However, it is unsure if the player will be fit for the derby. Martial, who has played only 45 minutes this season, will not feature in the derby due to Achilles’ problem. While Rashford and Wan-Bissaka will be a major doubt for the game, they were not pictured in training this week ahead of the clash.

After being absent for a month, Laporte has seen training with the club and will make a comeback to the squad. Meanwhile, John Stones was sidelined against Germany and will be doubtful. Kevin Phillips, who has a frustrating time in his new life at City, has a shoulder injury and has been ruled out for two months.

Also Read: Manchester United vs Manchester City: Head-to-Head record

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.

Jadon Sancho

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.

Head-to-head stats

Matches: 187
Manchester City: 57
Draws: 53
Manchester United: 77

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

Manchester City vs Manchester United: Prediction 

Both clubs are in pretty good form, and all their current players are available for the big day, but United may come up short in this fixture due to not having an influential striker, and City can reap the benefits of this through Erling Haaland who has been terrific upfront and will cause woes to Martinez and Varane.

However, United may strike them in counter-attack. In the last matches, City have come from behind, but this time United will not make similar errors as other clubs. Nonetheless, City are still favourites in this contest.

Prediction: Manchester City 3-2 Manchester United

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