Man City managed to squeeze past Everton last weekend in the Premier League, thereby keeping their lead intact at the top of the table but next up, they face a much stronger test in the form of Manchester United.
City also played a 5th Round FA Cup tie in midweek against Peterborough but that game did very little to tire them out so Guardiola’s side will be fully focused on Sunday’s derby.
Man United have not been in great form this season but Ralf Rangnick has managed to steady the ship somewhat and surprisingly, the Red Devils have a pretty decent record at the Etihad in recent years. United are taking baby steps towards improvement under their interim boss but we expect Man City to pick up an easy win on Sunday.
Pep Guardiola has only two inconsequential injury absentees going into the Manchester Derby so he is definitely going to name his strongest side. United’s attacking play has improved somewhat in recent weeks but their defence still remains fragile meaning if the home side turn up the heat then the likes of Shaw and Maguire should easily crumble under pressure.
Man City team news vs Man United:
Zack Steffen is out with an injury but Ederson will start in goal anyway so this is not an issue for the Man City manager.
John Stones and Aymeric Laporte were both rested in midweek for the FA Cup game but the latter should come back into the starting line up while Stones starts on the bench.
Cancelo played as the right-back in midweek so that Guardiola could rest Kyle Walker but on Sunday, Cancelo will move back to his more preferred role on the left-hand side while Walker occupies the right-hand side of defence.
Find someone who looks at you like Jack Grealish looks at Phil Foden 🏴✨ pic.twitter.com/C51uPw3GDr
— Ryan (@bernardooooV3) March 1, 2022
Kevin De Bruyne is also coming back into the side alongside Rodri who starts in defensive midfield.
Foden played as an attacking midfielder against Peterborough but we expect him to move to the left wing against Manchester United. Raheem Sterling will also be fighting for a place in the side but there’s a chance the England international might have to be content with a place on the bench.
Jack Grealish will also get a watching brief despite scoring a goal in midweek. The ex-Villa man has been really average this season but Pep Guardiola has come out to show his full support for the winger.
The manager said, as quoted: “We didn’t buy him to score 45 goals. He doesn’t have that quality but he has another one. He’s playing good, really. I wouldn’t tell you if he’s not playing good, but that’s not the case.”
Thank you for that assist my little mate 😘 good win and through to the quarters 💪🏻⚽️ pic.twitter.com/fdPk7luvUY
— Jack Grealish (@JackGrealish) March 1, 2022
Bernardo Silva is likely to be the one who gets to play as the false nine with Riyad Mahrez operating on the right-hand side of attack.
Stats for the Manchester Derby:
Man United are undefeated in their previous eight Premier League matches.
Man City have been awarded the most penalties this season(7).
City have kept 16 clean sheets in the Premier League this season which is the most by any team.
Head to Head:
Man City – 14
Draw – 4
Man United – 13