Everything you need to know as fourth meet fifth in the Premier League in an enticing Manchester derby at the Etihad
MANCHESTER will come to a standstill on Thursday night as City and United go head to head in a fierce battle for the Premier League top four.
Pep Guardiola’s side will be fresh from being dumped out of the FA Cup at the semi-final stage against Arsenal on Sunday – meaning the Spaniard will have a rare trophy-less season.
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United beat Burnley on Sunday as well, a comfortable 2-0 win showing they can perform without the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic – but it’ll be a much tougher test at the Etihad.
City are in fourth on 64 points having played 32 games, with United just a point behind in fifth on the same number of games played – so all to play for.
What is the team news?
Guardiola has loads of City injury concerns, after David Silva, Fernandinho and Sergio Aguero all went off injured against Arsenal at Wembley.
All three would be assessed by the medical staff early this week, with creative outlet Silva’s looking like a hamstring problem.
But defender John Stones should return after missing the semi-final, as could long-term absentee Gabriel Jesus – although right-back Bacary Sagna is more of a doubt.
United meanwhile will be missing £100m man Paul Pogba. The France midfielder limped out of United’s 2-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor and will play no part.
Marcus Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic who are out for the rest of the season.
Antonio Valencia was missing on the team-sheet at Burnley too, but should be fit in time to make a return – but Mourinho could make a number of changes.
Remarkably for such a wealthy and prestigious team, United’s have just 16 outfield players fit – the minimum required for a matchday squad.
Other longer-term injuries for both sides include City’s Ilkay Gundogan, and United’s Juan Mata, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones.
Where can I watch Manchester City vs Manchester United
The match will be shown live on Sky Sports 1, with coverage starting from 7.30pm on Thursday, April 24. Kick off is at 7.45pm.
Alternatively, you can keep up to date with all the action and goals as they fly in on our live blog from 6.30pm.
Premier League form guide
MANCHESTER CITY: WWLDD
MANCHESTER UNITED: WWWDD
It is an interesting scenario for both sides – they wanty to desperately grab a place in the top four, but are both ravaged by injuries.
It will be a cagey affair that ultimately will fail to separate the two sides – we are going for a 1-1 draw.
- The last time these two sides met on a Thursday in the Premier League was in November 1994, with Manchester United winning 5-0 thanks to an Andrei Kanchelskis hat-trick.
- Jose Mourinho has failed to win any of his last four Premier League games against Manchester City (D2 L2) – this after winning six successive top-flight encounters with the Citizens between December 2005 and February 2014.
- Jose Mourinho has won just four of his 18 meetings with Pep Guardiola (D6 L8), but the Portuguese won the last encounter with his Spanish opponent – a 1-0 win in the EFL Cup back in October.
- Pep Guardiola could become the fourth manager to win both home and away Manchester derbies in a debut top-flight season after John Bentley, Sven-Göran Eriksson and Manuel Pellegrini.
- Wayne Rooney has scored 11 goals in Manchester derbies (all comps) – more than any other player in the history of this fixture – but hasn’t scored in any of his last five.
- Sergio Aguero has now scored in five successive Premier League appearances for Manchester City and could equal his best such-run in the competition with a goal in this match (six appearances in a row between April-May 2016).
- Aguero has scored eight goals in 10 competitive appearances for Manchester City against Manchester United but has failed to score in his last two games against them.
- Manchester City have only lost one of their 15 home league games this season, but only neighbours Man Utd (9) have drawn more home games than them in the top flight this season (6).
- Only Alan Shearer (190) has scored in more different Premier League games than Wayne Rooney (149 – level with Frank Lampard & Andrew Cole).
- Manchester United are now unbeaten in 23 successive league matches and if they avoid defeat in this match they’ll equal their longest-ever unbeaten run in the top-flight within a single season (24 games in 2010-11).