Football AnalysisManchester City vs. Manchester United
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The Manchester derby between Manchester City and Manchester United takes place at the Etihad Stadium, and it is the outstanding Premier League match of the weekend.

Three places and 19 points separate the two bitter rivals in the table, with the hosts hoping to keep pace with Liverpool at the top while the Red Devils try to rekindle their top-four ambitions.

Team News

Manchester City

  • Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias are both out of the derby, according to Guardiola’s pre-match news conference, with the latter facing a four- to six-week layoff due to a hamstring injury.
  • Zack Steffen and Cole Palmer are both injured for the Citizens, but they would never have started here, and Guardiola now has Jack Grealish and Gabriel Jesus back from injury.
  • Kyle Walker has struggled for consistency in recent weeks, but it would be remarkable if he did not return to the starting XI tonight, allowing John Stones to return to a central role while Dias heals.

Manchester United

  • Scott McTominay is likely to recover from illness in time to reclaim his starting spot in the middle of the park, and Edinson Cavani could also be back from his groin injury, although Ralf Rangnick has revealed that a couple of unnamed players have “question marks” over them.
  • Rangnick will have to be cautious with Cristiano Ronaldo’s 37-year-old legs. But sources suggest the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will start at the Etihad, with Marcus Rashford on standby.
  • After a weak attacking display against Watford, fans would expect Nemanja Matic to be replaced by Jadon Sancho, and Rangnick will have to make a significant decision over Harry Maguire after benching him last week.
  • With Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane doing so well against the Hornets, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Maguire benched once more amid allegations of internal discontent over his constant playing time.

Prediction Analysis

Man United have a habit of winning at the Etihad and have the talent to pull off another upset, but whether Rangnick’s team has the defensive nous or attacking edge to do so is a another matter entirely.

With the exception of a shock loss to Spurs, City has swept aside practically everyone who has come before them at the Etihad this season, and they are blessed with an almost fully-fit squad, so we can only back the champions to win this crucial derby.

Our prediction is Manchester City 2-1 Manchester United

Possible lineup

Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Cancelo; Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Foden, Sterling

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Varane, Telles; Pogba, McTominay; Elanga, Fernandes, Sancho; Ronaldo