Manchester United – Manchester City: Premier League – Live | Premier League

Manchester United: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Shaw, Malacia, Eriksen, Casemiro, Fred, Fernandes, Martial, Rashford.
Subs: Heaton, Lindelof, Maguire, Martinez, McTominay, Mainoo, Antony, Elanga, Garnacho.

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Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Akanji, Ake, Cancelo, Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Mahrez, Foden, Haaland.
Subs: Ortega Moreno, Phillips, Gundogan, Grealish, Laporte, Alvarez, Gomez, Palmer, Lewis.

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Back in October, a mere 104 days ago, City won the Manchester derby 6-3, a scoreline that seriously flattered an abject United. But since having their trousers freshly laundered, pressed and handed to them neatly folded in a high hat, Erik ten Hag’s side have got their act together big time. Of the 18 matches they’ve played in all competitions since that humiliation, 15 have been won, and only one has been lost. They’re currently on an eight-win sequence, boasting a perfect record since domestic football restarted after the World Cup. Tails round Old Trafford way are up.

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City haven’t been quite so smooth since their sensational win. In ascending order of uncharacteristic averageness, they’ve lost at home to Brentford, been held at home by Everton, and crashed out of the League Cup at Southampton. They trail league leaders Arsenal by five points, hardly an insurmountable gap for a team of City’s usual brilliance … the only problem being, City aren’t currently playing to their usual brilliant standard. And so, for the first time in quite a while, they go into the derby slightly unsure of themselves, with Pep Guardiola admitting that a repeat of their performance at St Mary’s will spell real trouble against in-form United.

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Then again, City were astonishingly good in the first half of their FA Cup tie against Chelsea. A reminder of how devastating they are when they click. And while United are trending upwards, they’re still very much a work in progress, the Ten Hag era still in its infancy, his team benefitting from a reasonably favourable run of fixtures. City, smarting from their midweek defeat and desperate to stay on Arsenal’s tail, could deliver a painful reality check.

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All of which is a long-winded way of saying that you can make a case for both sides. So good luck calling it! A second nine-goal affair in a row is unlikely … but wouldn’t it be lovely? Kick off is at 12.30pm GMT. It’s on!

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main events

9 minutes: This game is played at 101 miles per hour. The city is pressing hard, as it always does. United handle it well, though, holding their own and threatening to give as good as they can get. They are Hari Seti and Malasia in the lower left space. It crosses dangerously, but the flag goes up for offside again.

7 minutes: De Bruyne spins away from Fred with ease on the right sideline and sends the ball to Cancelo on the other side. Cancelo’s deep cross is easily cleared by United, who attempt to unleash one of their trademark sharp conversions, but the flag goes up when Martial sneaks in.

5 minutes: The city enjoyed the lion’s share of possession during these early exchanges. No big surprise there.

3 minutes: Cancelo makes a fine pass to the left for Silva, who crosses long towards Mahrez. For a moment, it looked promising for City, but Malacia struggled desperately to clear the ball away from Mahrez, much to the delight of the home fans. This is good for defense.

2 minutes: An early sign of the two teams’ intent as Martial climbs all over Akanji, who is standing his ground. Cancelo is then unceremoniously dropped aboard by Eriksen. Everyone is ready for this OK, but this is the Manchester derby, so this is hardly jaw-dropping news.

Manuel Akanji stands his ground as Marshall jumps.
Manuel Akanji stands his ground as Marshall jumps.
Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA

United roll the ball. City march towards Stretford End in this first half. By the way, our old friend at MBM Will Unwin is having a bus guy holiday at Old Trafford this afternoon, and here’s his first urgent message: “Peter Reed is in the directors box in a private detective outfit in a fedora. The Rooneys are in the back.”

The difference is out! United in red, city sky blue. Lots of friendly banter between the two groups of players in the tunnel. There is no doubt that some post-World Cup matches are catching up. In a studio somewhere, Roy Keane and Gary Neville are studying at Stroke. Amidst all the friendly bustle, Erling Haaland stands tall, lonely in the back, staring straight ahead at a world of his own, in the area, getting ready for action. Jock Wallace would agree. We’ll leave in two minutes.

Battle fever.

…and while we’re on the subject of fans telling it the way they see it…

City players complete their warm-up and return to the changing rooms. There is a sweet moment as the United fans near the tunnel start cheering for Roy Keane as Erling Haaland passes by. No need to explain why. The sweet sound of pantomime abuse. A cheeky smile briefly caressed Haaland’s face. File under “very pleased”. Stored away, then. But at what price will United pay it? help? Goal? Three goals? Anyway, the bear was pricked, so let’s see how it subsides.

Pre-match mailbag. “It’s clear that ETH really fancy Shaw in the centre-back position and, to be fair, he’s done really well there so far. But City’s attack is a very different proposition than any they’ve faced so far.” – Dean Kinsella

“What’s going on with Lisandro Martinez? Luke Shaw has filled in at centre-back impressively but United are certainly a better team with Martinez and Shaw playing left-back. Or did Martinez celebrate winning the World Cup so hard that he’s still recovering?” – John Collins

“It’s a lovely morning for a Manchester derby, even if the sun hasn’t yet risen here in the ‘flyover country’. As a Liverpool fan I’m looking forward to hitting the high, with lots of foul play and lots of cards. Do it!” Joe Pearson from Indianapolis

“City are teetering on tiki vile and not scoring while United are on an upward trajectory. United win hands down” – Jeff Sachs

… But if City are in title contention a lot, then surely United are too, right? right. We’ve been feeling pretty down on the trophies this past week, so here’s a reminder of where Manchester’s rivals currently stand in the Premier League Because it pushes towards the halfway mark.

It’s Erik ten Hag’s turn, and he seizes the opportunity for Nossi incoming Wout Westhorst. “He’s the kind of forward that we don’t have at the moment. I’ve known him for a long time and followed him through leagues and clubs and everywhere he came, he stunned. He’s a goalscorer for sure, but he’s also the type who works with the team, and he’s a really good pressing player. He can He also played counterattack. It’s really effective.”

As for United’s title challenge? “I’m not dreaming. I have to develop the team. It’s only January, so don’t talk about it.”

Pep Guardiola, who takes charge of his 500th Premier League game this lunchtime, speaks to BT Sport. “It’s a good scenario for that feat! I’d rather be at the Etihad, but that’s okay! Old Trafford is OK! We won a lot of games. We had fun, and we’d love to do it again. You can’t win all the time. But you do it all.” You have to play every game to the best of your ability. United’s patterns are better. Good run of results. They are active, not just reactive. They have good builds. They are a complete team. I have a feeling United are back. I always feel In preference, but you have to prove it, and I have a lot of respect for Manchester United. Hopefully, United will have a lot of respect for us.”

Manchester United made three changes to their latest Premier League squad. Among the squad selected for the 3-0 win over Bournemouth, Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire were dropped to the bench, while Donny van de Beek missed the season with a knee injury. Raphael Varane, Tyrell Malacia and Fred.

Manchester City are making two changes to the squad that started the 1-0 win over Chelsea. Manuel Akanji and Riyad Mahrez are present. Ilkay Gundogan falls off the bench while John Stones gets injured.

Aymeric Laporte is also on the bench at City.
Aymeric Laporte is also on the bench at City. Photo: Matt McNulty/Manchester City Football Club/Getty Images

the difference

Manchester United: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Shaw, Malaysia, Eriksen, Casemiro, Fred, Fernandez, Martial, Rashford.
Subs: Heaton, Lindelof, Maguire, Martinez, McTominay, Mino, Anthony, Elanga, Grenache.

Manchester city: Ederson, Walker, Akanji, Ake, Cancelo, Rodrygo, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Mahrez, Foden, Haaland.
Subs: Ortega Moreno, Phillips, Gundogan, Grealish, Laporte, Alvarez, Gomez, Palmer, Luis.

Preamble

Back in October, just 104 days ago, City won the Manchester derby 6-3a result that greatly flattered Manchester United. But since their trousers have been freshly washed, pressed and delivered to them neatly folded into a top hat, Eric ten Hag’s team has had their work together a long time coming. Of the 18 matches they have played in all competitions since that humiliation, 15 have been won and only one lost. They are currently on an eight-win streak, and boast a perfect record since domestic football was restarted after the World Cup. Tails around Old Trafford uphill.

City hasn’t been so smooth since their impressive win. In ascending order of uncharacteristically mediocre, they lost at home to Brentford, contested at home to Everton, and were knocked out of the League Cup at Southampton. They trail league leaders Arsenal by five points, a gap hard to bridge for a team of City’s usual brilliance… The only problem is that City are not currently playing at their usual fine form. And so, for the first time in a long time, they went into the derby a bit unsure of themselves, with Pep Guardiola admitting a repeat of their performance at St Mary’s would spell real trouble for In-Form United.

Then again, City were amazingly good in the first half of their FA Cup match against Chelsea. A reminder of how destructive it is on tap. And while United are cruising upwards, there is still a lot of work in progress, the Tin Hag era is still in its infancy and his side are benefiting from a reasonably favorable run of matches. City, smart from their midweek defeat and desperate to stay bottom of Arsenal, could provide a painful reality check.

All of this is a long way of saying that you can make a case for both sides. So good luck naming it! A rematch with nine straight goals is unlikely… but wouldn’t it be great? Departure is at 12:30 PM GMT. It’s up!

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