Five clean sheets in six competitive fixtures is ominous form to bring into one of the world’s most high-profile matches, particularly as one or both sides failed to score in each of the last six competitive meetings.
Their defence will have to be on top form again here though as the ’Cityzens’ have won just one of the last seven head-to-heads they’ve hosted (D1, L5).
As they seek a first league double over Manchester United since 2018/19, the first goal could prove especially crucial, as all 12 of City’s drawless home league games this term were won by the team who netted first.
After seeing their record of 66 domestic trophies equalled by fierce rivals Liverpool last weekend, the Manchester United hierarchy are now conducting a ‘thorough’ search for the next permanent manager in order to regain their trophy lead. Although interim boss Ralf Rangnick has guided the ‘Red Devils’ to a six-match unbeaten run (W2, D4), their lack of cutting edge has long ruled them out of title contention this campaign.
Despite no Premier League away defeat since November (W3, D4), United are still battling hard to qualify for the Champions League next term via a top-four finish.
As a result, no extra motivation is needed heading into this fixture, though they have won on their last three visits to the Etihad Stadium – their longest sequence of competitive away head-to-head wins since a four-match run between November 1993 and November 2000 – which will provide an additional confidence boost.
Kick-off is at 18:30 SA time.
Players to watch
Riyad Mahrez has netted in three of Manchester City’s last four matches, twice opening the scoring and although Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes scored the opener in this fixture last term, seven of his nine PL goals this season came after the 40th minute.
Manchester City are yet to concede a Premier League home goal between the 16th minute and half-time this season.
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