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Manchester City logo
Premier League | Gameweek 27
Mar 3, 2024 at 3.30pm UK
Etihad Stadium
Manchester United logo

Man City
3 - 1
Man Utd

Foden (56', 80'), Haaland (90+1')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Rashford (8')
ten Hag (57'), Varane (68')

Preview: Manchester City vs. Manchester United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Premier League clash between Manchester City and Manchester United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Fans will flock to the Etihad for a mouthwatering Manchester derby on Sunday afternoon, as title-chasing Manchester City tackle long-time adversaries and top-four outsiders Manchester United in the Premier League.

Both teams come into the headline fixture on the back of progression to the FA Cup quarter-finals, as the Citizens demolished Luton Town 6-2 before the Red Devils eked out a 1-0 success over Nottingham Forest.

Match preview

Manchester City's Erling Haaland celebrates scoring their first goal on February 27, 2024© Reuters

Following in the footsteps of one of Man United's iconic frontmen, the indomitable Erling Haaland scored five goals in one game for Manchester City - not for the first time in his career - as the FA Cup holders cruised into the last eight of the 2023-24 edition at Kenilworth Road.

Becoming the first player since George Best 54 years ago to net at least five goals in one FA Cup fixture for a top-flight club, Haaland was set up by the equally excellent Kevin De Bruyne on four occasions before completing another quintet of strikes on the 58-minute mark, after which Mateo Kovacic capped off the decimation with a sublime sixth later on.

Two efforts from Jordan Clark - the first of which Haaland would have been immensely proud to score himself - offered Luton a slice of encouragement before Pep Guardiola's juggernaut ran riot, meaning that back-to-back trebles are still on for the reigning English and European champions as spring approaches.

Sitting second in the standings with a one-point gap to make up to Liverpool, the Citizens will fall further behind their foes if the Reds overcome Nottingham Forest on Saturday, but after having their 11-game successful streak snapped against Chelsea, Guardiola's men have responded with consecutive 1-0 league wins over Brentford and Bournemouth.

The hosts' unbeaten run across all tournaments has now stretched to 18 matches, and should Man City find the back of the net at least once in Sunday's derby, they will equal their club record of scoring in an outrageous 55 home games running; a feat they previously achieved between January 2012 and January 2014.

Manchester United's Casemiro celebrates scoring against Nottingham Forest on February 28, 2024© Reuters

While Man City will do their utmost to equal a club record on Sunday, their hitherto noisy neighbours are out to avoid losing three successive Etihad fixtures for the first time in the Premier League era, having been humbled on their adversaries' territory in 2021-22 and 2022-23.

Man United have let a staggering 10 strikes fly past them in their last two Premier League away games versus Man City, but Andre Onana and co shut up shop in Wednesday's FA Cup fifth-round affair with Nottingham Forest, where a Casemiro header in the dying embers set up a tantalising last-eight clash with Liverpool.

Still on a collision course to potentially meet Man City in a repeat of the 2022-23 FA Cup final, sinking the Tricky Trees was the perfect tonic to last weekend's chastening 2-1 home loss to Fulham in the top flight, where Alex Iwobi's injury-time winner condemned Erik ten Hag's troops to their 10th top-flight loss of the season after a steady period of progress.

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 troops may arrive at the Etihad sporting the underdog badge - especially after October's comprehensive 3-0 loss to Man City - but they boast a perfect record of six wins from six games on their travels in 2024, and alongside Aston Villa vs. Liverpool, no Premier League matchup has seen more away wins than the Manchester derby.

Manchester City Premier League form:

Manchester City form (all competitions):

Manchester United Premier League form:

Manchester United form (all competitions):

Team News

Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes on February 28, 2024© Reuters

Man City's obliteration of Luton was not a particularly joyous affair for one of Guardiola's troops, as Jack Grealish - bidding to return to form after a previous injury setback - had to be taken off in the first half and cut an extremely glum figure on the sidelines.

Guardiola confirmed after the game that the England international appeared to have sustained another groin problem, which will rule him out of the derby, and he is one of two concerns for the ex-Barcelona boss to manage, as Josko Gvardiol is currently touch-and-go due to his ankle injury.

After taking their seats on the bench for the meeting with Luton, Ederson, Ruben Dias, Rodri and Phil Foden - none of whom earned any minutes at Kenilworth Road - will be drafted back into the hosts' XI, potentially forcing Matheus Nunes and FA Cup scorer Kovacic to accept spots among the replacements.

While the hosts are only working with a pair of injury concerns, a plethora of Man United players are guaranteed to sit this one out, including Mason Mount (calf), Lisandro Martinez (knee), Luke Shaw (muscle), Aaron Wan-Bissaka (unspecified), Harry Maguire (unspecified), Rasmus Hojlund (unspecified), Tyrell Malacia (knee) and Anthony Martial (knee).

Fans feared that captain Bruno Fernandes could also miss the derby after he was seen limping away from the City Ground in midweek, but Ten Hag allayed any concerns over the fitness of the Portuguese playmaker, who was recently mocked by Fulham on social media after an apparent episode of play-acting in the loss to the Cottagers.

The Dutchman - who demanded an apology from Fulham for that TikTok clip - is also hopeful that Raphael Varane will be fine for the trip to the Etihad after 'fighting' to play the full 90 in the FA Cup, and a recall in midfield should be on the cards for Kobbie Mainoo.

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Dias, Stones, Ake; Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne; Doku, Haaland, Foden

Manchester United possible starting lineup:
Onana; Dalot, Varane, Lindelof, Amrabat; Casemiro, Mainoo; Antony, Fernandes, Garnacho; Rashford

SM words green background

We say: Manchester City 3-0 Manchester United

Lacking a true number nine in the absence of Hojlund, the stage is set for an injury-hit Man United to endure another humbling afternoon at the home of their bitter rivals, who have also had an extra 24 hours to recover from their FA Cup exploits.

The Red Devils' 100% away record in 2024 should count for nought at a ground where Man City are on the verge of equalling club history, and while another five-goal haul for Haaland may be a pipe dream, the rampant champions should send Ten Hag's men home with their tails tucked between their legs.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes on February 28, 2024
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Today's games header
Tables header RHS
2Manchester CityMan City32227376324473
4Aston Villa33196868491963
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs32186865491660
6Newcastle UnitedNewcastle321551269521750
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd32155124748-150
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham33139115258-648
10Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton321111105250244
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves33127144653-743
15Crystal Palace3289153754-1733
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3379174258-1626
18Luton TownLuton3467214775-2825
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd3337233188-5716

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