Manchester City take the 4 mile Journey towards Old Trafford on Saturday in a late kickoff. United and City go into this game with contrasting emotions after their midweek results which saw Manchester City top their group undefeated, while Manchester United were relegated from the competition after a 3-2 defeat against Leipzig. But their Premier League forms have been quite similar after slow starts for the Manchester clubs the two have since put together a strong winning Run in the past few games helping the climb up the table slightly unnoticed.
City are just one point behind United in the Table and a Win would see them Leapfrog their Neighbors, taking them into the top 4 with a game in hand. City are unbeaten in 4 League and Champions League games and Pep Guardiola would want to make that 5. This is a crucial game for both teams and Derby day is a day like no other. After a midweek victory will Pep rotate his squad or will he stick to the players that have been getting the Job done.
Sergio Aguero made his comeback in the Champions League game and is available to face United, but Guardiola has already confirmed that the striker will not start.
City do have a fully fit squad Baring the absence of Eric Garcia who picked up a Muscle injury earlier this season and Ilkay Gundogan who is also a doubt for this game after picking up and Ankle injury in Midweek against Marseille and was taken off at Half time as a Precautionary measure. So he could start if he has fully recovered.
Predicted Line-Up: 4-3-3 Formation
Probably the easiest prediction to make, Ederson will start between the sticks for City.
Defence: Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte, João Cancelo
Manchester City had one of the best defenses last season in terms of shots conceded on goal and they are on course to the same this season, with the fewest shots conceded so far in the league. A Combination of Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte is arguably City’s strongest Center Back pairing and the duo are most likely to start alongside each other this Saturday. The left back spot could be up for debate but Benjamin Mendy has been very inconsistent this season, so Cancelo could start instead. Kyle Walker will start as the first choice right back after being rested against Marseille in Midweek.
Midfield: Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan/ Phil Foden
Pep Guardiola always likes his team to dictate the play in midfield and with Rodri playing as the lone DM, City could certainly be in control for much of this game. But Guardiola could change for a game like this with Fears of being hit on the counter attack and Bring in Fernandinho for this game. Kevin De Bruyne is another player whose inclusion was easy to predict, de Bruyne is City’s most creative player and one of the best Midfielders in the League for the past few seasons, so his inclusion should come as no surprise at all.
Gundogan is a doubt for this game but if he is passed fit, the German could start this game with Foden coming on to replace him, but if he is not passed fit then either Foden or Bernardo Silva could start with the other coming off the bench in the second half.
Forwards: Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus
The Trio had been rested for the Champions League game and will start on Saturday, the two wingers are key in the way that Pep’s teams operate with two wingers with pace hugging the touchlines, with the ability to cut inside whenever they Like. Guardiola also mentioned that Aguero will not start on Saturday meaning either Jesus or Ferran Torres could start this game playing through the Middle, but it makes more sense for Jesus to be given the nod as he is more of a natural striker.
Jesus will have a lot of responsibility on his shoulders to lead the line for Manchester City, and if Jesus develops into the player that City fans know he is he could be their Starting striker choice for years to come.