Venue: Old Trafford Date: Sunday 8th March KO: 16:30
This afternoon sees one of the biggest games in the English footballing calendar. The Manchester derby. Manchester United look to extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to 10 games. The Red devils haven’t lost since their 3-1 defeat to Manchester City at Old Trafford in the Carabao Cup Semi final first leg in January.
Manchester City currently sit comfortably in second, 25 points behind Liverpool and have won their last 6 games in all competition and will look to extend that run here this afternoon.
Although it is technically possible for Manchester City to catch up it is extremely unlikely. Guardiola’s men will need to drop no points and have Liverpool lose the remainder of their games. But all Liverpool need to do, after yesterdays win over Bournemouth, is win their next three games, which would see them win their first ever Premier League title at the Etihad on the 5th April.
Following their win at the Etihad earlier in the season, United have the chance to complete their first league double over their noisy neighbours in light blue since 2010.
Manchester United’s Harry Maguire is expected to recover in time from an ankle injury suffered in training.
Axel Tuanzebe is fit again, but Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have not trained this week and will be assessed.
Kevin de Bruyne remains a doubt with the back problem that caused him to miss Manchester City’s win over Sheffield Wednesday.
De Bruyne trained yesterday with the rest of the squad, with manager Pep Guardiola saying: “He’s not perfect but he feels better”.
Leroy Sane is nearing a return from his seven-month knee injury absence but will again miss out.
What the managers said…
Pep Guardiola: “I would have loved to play against (Eden) Hazard at the Bernabeu. I don’t like to see Rashford out or (Harry) Kane against Tottenham. I prefer to play against top players and all the players available.
“So it is not good for United and he is absent for the national team. Hopefully he can recover as quickly as possible. I would have preferred if he had played for them.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: “I’ve got to say we’re looking forward to it. It’s a derby,”
“We’ve found form, we know form might be thrown out the window in a derby but still the boys are confident going into this game.
“You can’t pick confidence out of the fridge so it just comes from performances and results and doing the right things over and over again.
“We’ll have to do that against these because they’re a fantastic team at their best. So we need to make sure that we’re ready.”
The teams are set to be announced at 3:30 PM so follow our live blog here where we will keep you updated as the day goes on.