• Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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BusinessDay

Etihad Stadium agog in blockbuster Manchester Derby

Manchester Derby-2

The Etihad Stadium will come alive this Sunday as Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United side lock horns with high flying Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side in a mouthwatering Manchester derby.

The Manchester derby consistently delivers excitement, featuring two perennial Premier League rivals. And whenever these teams face off, the focus shifts to the bragging rights of who rules Manchester.

City continue their quest for a straight fourth Premier League title against rivals Man United who are currently outside the top four in the Premier League table.

Both teams come into the fixture on the back of progression to the FA Cup quarter-finals, as the Citizens demolished Luton Town 6-2, while the Red Devils narrowly edged out Nottingham Forest 1-0.

City are unbeaten in their last 18 games across all competitions, winning 16 and playing out draws with Crystal Palace and Chelsea. Both of those stalemates did come at the Etihad Stadium, however.

Guardiola’s side have won eight of their ten League games, chasing a relentless Liverpool and rejuvenated Arsenal at the top of the Premier League table.

Still, Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne were at their very best during Tuesday’s 6-2 win over Luton in the FA Cup with the latter laying on four assists for the former five-goal haul. With Phil Foden starring too, City look full of goals.

United, meanwhile, followed up their dramatic loss to Fulham last time out with an unconvincing win at Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup.

Ten Hag has been defending his team after criticism from pundits including Sky Sports’ Jamie Carragher.

United are sixth on the Premier League table and have conceded 36 goals in 26 matches this season.

Since taking charge in 2016, Guardiola has won eight of his 15 Manchester derbies in the Premier League (two draws, five losses) and is the only manager to face United 10 or more times in the competition and win at least half of those games.

Man City will be banking on Norwegian striker Erling Haaland who scored 79 goals in 83 appearances for City in all competitions since his debut in July 2022.

Sixth place in the table belongs to Man United after 26 matches, but Aston Villa currently boast a healthy eight-point lead over the Red Devils in the fourth and final Champions League place and will momentarily increase their advantage to 11 should they emulate Man City by beating Luton on Saturday.

Ten Hag’s men arrive at the Etihad on the back of a 3-0 defeat to Man City in October 2023, – but they boast a perfect record of six wins from six games on their travels in 2024.

Head-to-Head Stats

Man City have won four of their last five Premier League meetings with Man United (one defeat).

United have also lost their last two Premier League visits to the Etihad Stadium, losing 4-1 in 2021/22 and 6-3 in 2022/23.