Wayne Rooney described this fixture as “a massive game of pride” earlier this week and, despite the fact that both sides should soon secure a top-four finish, there is more than bragging rights at stake.
Manchester City will be desperate to recover from their dispiriting 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace last Monday night, which all but ended their title aspirations and put Manuel Pellegrini’s job security in further doubt.
However, there are reasons for the visitors to take heart. They have had the upper-hand in recent meetings and, if they can win at Old Trafford, they will consign their rivals to an unprecedented fifth straight derby defeat.
In the red half of the city, things are a lot rosier. Manchester United will take to the pitch on the back of five consecutive league wins, a charge led by the rejuvenated Ander Herrera, the colossal Marouane Fellaini and a happy, goal-scoring Rooney.
David de Gea will play an important role too, but the ‘keeper, who has been otherwise imperious all season, can be justifiably blamed for the last two goals his side have conceded. Neither goal was of much consequence but could this be the match in which, for the first time this season, he costs his teammates a point or three?
KICK-OFF: Sunday, 4pm
Manchester City (Aguero) 1-0 Manchester United, Premier League, November 2014
Manchester United 0-3 Manchester City (Dzeko 2, Toure), Premier League, March 2014
Manchester City (Aguero 2, Toure, Nasri) 4-1 Manchester United (Rooney), Premier League, September 2013
For the first time since November 2013, Manchester United sit above their local rivals in the Premier League table after having played the same number of games.
Wayne Rooney is the all-time leading goal scorer in this fixture with 11.
Sergio Aguero has scored six goals in his seven derby appearances.
Manchester City have won four consecutive league games against United for the first time since December 1970.
Since Sheikh Mansour’s takeover, the aggregate score in this league fixture stands at 25-14 to City.
Manchester United to win: 2.60
Manchester City to win: 2.62
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