Manchester United vs Manchester City preview: team news, match facts and predictions

Manchester City manager Pepe Guardiola gestures during the Premier League win against Manchester United on October 9
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola will take charge of the 500th Premier League game of his career on Saturday

Manchester United host Manchester City on Saturday in what could be one of their most evenly matched Premier League fixtures in years.

United have won eight games in a row and could equal their longest winning streak in all competitions since Alex Ferguson stepped down as manager in 2013.

Second-placed City, who are four points clear of United, lost to Southampton in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.

“Improvement [United’s] the team is clear,” said City boss Pep Guardiola.

United are closing in on signing Burnley striker Wout Weghorst on loan, but he will not be eligible to play as he is due to be registered by 12:00 GMT on Friday.

Anthony Martial is a question mark with a leg injury, so in-form Marcus Rashford, who has scored seven goals in his last six games, could play at centre-forward.

Erik ten Haga’s United have lost just once in 18 games since a 6-3 defeat at City in October.

“We have to prove that [how far they’ve come] on the field. There is only one truth and it is always on the field,” said the coach.

“It doesn’t come overnight, in recent months there is a process where we are developing, progressing. We have to be brave, act with faith and play our game.

“We learned our lesson [from the 6-3 loss] and from that point forward we make great progress. We have to continue that process.”

City will be without England defender John Stones, who is struggling with fitness and also missed the surprise midweek cup defeat to the Premier League’s bottom side.

Midfielder Ilkay Gundogan suggested they lack hunger after the defeat at St Mary’s.

What happened did not surprise me, said Guardiola. “We tried to avoid it and hopefully it won’t happen again, but it happened because we won four Premier Leagues in five years.

“After two consecutive meetings, this can happen. We weren’t ready to go there. I was worried that it might happen and unfortunately it happened. I don’t know if it will happen again, but I’m not worried.”

City striker Erling Haaland scored 21 goals in 16 appearances in the Premier League. He needs just two more goals to equal the Golden Boot from the previous three seasons.

United will be without full-back Diogo Dalot with a hamstring injury, while the midfielder is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.


It is very clear to me how this match will go.

Manchester United have really improved under Erik ten Hag and I don’t think he gets enough credit for their progress since the start of the season.

There’s something wrong with Manchester City, who haven’t been firing on all cylinders since the season resumed after the World Cup, but I still expect them to win.

Some City players like Joao Cancelo and Kyle Walker look out of form and even Kevin de Bruyne has been below his best, but part of their problem lies in what is known as ‘Pep Roulette’ – Pep Guardiola’s ever-changing squad selection .

He took a gamble in the Carabao Cup against Southampton on Wednesday, when Kalvin Phillips came into midfield for the first time, and it didn’t pay off.

Guardiola says he had them “funny” ideas about how his team will beat United, but I’m pretty sure it will involve giving Erling Haaland an early start. They will play their best side and, if they do something they can do, they will win – it’s as simple as that.

I was very confident that City would absolutely smash United in October and it turns out I wasn’t big enough with my prediction – I said 4-1 and it ended up being 6-3. This time it will be much closer, but Pep will still collect points.

Prediction: 1-2

Manchester United's forward Marcus Rashford celebrates after scoring against Charlton Athletic in their Carabao Cup quarter-final win on January 10


Head to head

  • Manchester City’s 6-3 Premier League win against Manchester United in October set the record for the most goals scored in this fixture.
  • United have lost their last three league matches. A fourth in a row would equal the club’s Premier League record for defeats against the same opposition, set against Liverpool in 2002 and City in 2014.
  • City have won nine of their last 14 away games at Old Trafford in all competitions, straight after a run of one win in 32 attempts.
  • United could go four consecutive home games without a goal against City for the second time and the first since 1914.
  • The Red Devils have not dropped points from a winning position in a Manchester derby since a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford in September 2005.

Manchester United

  • Manchester United have earned an unbeaten 35 points in the Premier League since beating Liverpool on August 22.
  • United are the only team to have won every Premier League game they have managed this season, 11 times.
  • They can win five consecutive league games for the first time since April 2021. That run includes a 2-0 win at Manchester City.
  • United have made it nine consecutive home wins in all competitions for the first time since December 2017. That run was ended by a 2-1 Premier League defeat against Manchester City.
  • The Red Devils have lost four consecutive league games against the reigning champions, by a combined score of 16-6. They have never experienced five straight defeats against the defending champions.
  • Marcus Rashford has scored in all six of Manchester United’s matches since the World Cup.
  • However, Rashford has not scored in any of his last five appearances against Manchester City, managing just one shot on target in total.
  • Erik ten Hag could become the first Manchester United manager since David Moyes, who lost his first two derbies in Manchester.

Manchester City

  • Manchester City have won three consecutive away games in the Premier League.
  • City have scored more goals in eight of their first nine league matches this season, but have done so in just three of their eight games since.
  • Kevin de Bruyne has failed to score or assist in any of his last five Premier League appearances, his longest run of 10 games in a row between December 2018 and March 2019.
  • This is Pep Guardiola’s 500th game in the first division as a coach. His winning percentage of 76% is the best of any manager in Europe’s top five leagues who has managed 100 or more games since Guardiola’s first season in 2008-09.
  • Guardiola has won six competitive Manchester derbies at Old Trafford, twice as many as at the Etihad Stadium.

Predict Manchester United’s starting 11 for their next match – remember you can change the formation!

Predict Manchester City’s starting 11 for their next match – remember you can change the formation!

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