By Ollie Cranham-Young
- A win for United could see them go top of the table
- United have everyone fit apart from Shaw, McNair and Young
- City could be missing several key players
Following Wednesday’s nights draw with Champions league opponents CSKA Moscow, United will be looking to quickly return to winning ways, and currently, there couldn’t be a much tougher team to face, than title and city rivals, Manchester City.
United will be looking to return to the top of the league, and United will have to be on top form to defeat the current league leaders, who emerged victorious from their midweek clash against Sevilla. Thanks to a last minute goal from new signing Kevin De Bruyne.
United are set to return to Old Trafford on Sunday to play a league game for the first time in just under a month, and the opponents don’t come much more fierce and difficult than Manchester City.
United, however will be looking to keep up their winning streak against the blues, after winning the last time the two sides met as they came from 1-0 to thrash City 4-2 . A win over City on Sunday would see United announce themselves as title contenders, however they must overcome the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Vincent Kompany first.
United enjoyed a 4-2 thumping of City last time the sides faced each other, which was in April at Old Trafford, and United will be looking to secure back to back home triumphs over the blues but will have to be on top of their game to defeat the current league leaders.
Earlier this week, United achieved what some might call a fantastic result away to CSKA Moscow, a 1-1 draw, whom defeated City in last year’s Champions League to make United’s frustrating night in Moscow seem much more satisfying.
Prior to this, United performed excellently away at Goodison Park, excelling all expectations and comfortably defeating the Merseysiders. United were on the front foot after just 20 minutes. The game also saw Wayne Rooney bag his first away goal since November 2014, a record that the Ex-Evertonian was happy to overcome.
Morgan Schneiderlin also bagged his first competitive goal for the Reds, and Herrera yet again showed his worthy of a place in the starting eleven, scoring after a brilliant cross from Marcos Rojo.
United go into the game looking to keep up their impressive home record, having not been defeated there in the league at all this campaign and the last time they were was to the hands of West Brom at the back end of last season.
United looked strong last time they played in front of their home crowd, as they successfully came from behind to clinch all three points and their first win in the Champions League Group Stage against German side Wolfsburg.
City on the other hand, have a much similar story: Like United, City have only lost twice in the league this season and are also second in their Champions League Group.
A win instead of a draw is the only reason that City are two points ahead of United, and a win for them on Sunday would see them maintain their place at the top of the league, as they may lose it for a brief spell with Arsenal playing tomorrow, a day before the Derby.
City have had mixed form in the league recently. Back-to-back home wins over Newcastle and Bournemouth have seen City bounce back from two successive defeats against West Ham and Tottenham
Louis Van Gaal has said in his press conference earlier today that he has no new injury concerns ahead of the 170th Manchester Derby on Sunday afternoon. Other than Luke Shaw and Paddy McNair, who will both unfortunately miss out.
Shaw has been out of action since suffering a broken leg on a devastating night in Holland just over a month ago. Paddy McNair will also be out of contention after getting an injury whilst on international duty with Northern Ireland two weeks ago.
Ashley Young picked up a slight injury in our disappointing clash at the Emirates prior to the international break, and even though he is no longer injured, Van Gaal confirmed he would still not be able to feature on Sunday after not having enough match fitness to earn a place in Louis’s 18 man squad.
Meanwhile, Pellegrini also confirmed earlier today that he will have a handful of first team players missing out due to injuries, he told reporters. Those players being David Silva, Samir Nasri, Fabian Delph, Gael Clichy and most importantly, Sergio Aguero.
The Argentinian is set to be on the sidelines for a number of weeks after suffering a hamstring problem, however could be set to return in time for City’s game against Liverpool following the next upcoming international break.
Everybody knows how important the clash is to the whole City, and not only would a win over City give United even more bragging rights. But it would confirm their place as title contenders, and prove to the rest of the league that City are not unstoppable. it would mean a 3rd league loss of the season before the end of October.
Despite classing City as favourites, partly because they haven’t had to travel back from Russia in the past couple of days, Van Gaal will still be looking to achieve two home wins out of two against City, like he managed to do against Liverpool a few weeks ago.
Finally, United will be looking to continue their unbeaten home run and most importantly, clinch the three points against the blues, who are league leaders, but hopefully not for much longer.