The 2022/23 Premier League campaign’s second instalment of the Manchester derby will take place on Saturday when Manchester City travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United.
The Sky Blues were dumped out of the Carabao Cup following a shock 2-0 loss to Southampton away on Wednesday evening. It was a disappointing performance and manager Pep Guardiola pulled no punches in his verdict of his team after the final whistle, with the Cityzens failing to register a single shot on target against the Saints in the quarter-finals of the league cup.
It was not the ideal preparation ahead of the derby but Guardiola and co. will head across town in a buoyant mood, looking to do a league double over their neighbours.
Manchester City Team News
Man City boss Pep Guardiola is currently without centre-back Ruben Dias due to a hamstring injury he picked up at the World Cup. Other than that, he will travel to Old Trafford with a full-strength squad on Saturday.
Predicted Manchester City Lineup vs Man United (4-3-3)
Ederson is a certainty to return back in goal on Saturday, having been an unused substitute against Southampton in the Carabao Cup with Stefan Ortega donning the gloves for Man City.
After tinkering with different formations following the resumption of the Premier League, Pep Guardiola could finally revert to his preferred 4-3-3 system at Old Trafford. In front of Ederson, the City boss may select a back four of Kyle Walker, John Stones, Manuel Akanji and Nathan Ake.
Stones and Akanji will form the central defensive pairing at the back, with Walker and Ake operating as full-backs. City’s backline unit have to be on their toes throughout the 90 minutes to keep an in-form Man United side at bay.
Rodri and Kevin de Bruyne were initially rested as substitutes for the midweek Carabao Cup game at Southampton but both came on in the second half as City struggled to avoid a shock defeat. Both Rodri and De Bruyne are expected to start in the Manchester derby, with Ilkay Gundogan joining them in City’s engine room.
Bernardo Silva, Cole Palmer and Kalvin Phillips should provide cover for midfield positions from the bench.
Erling Haaland is a shoo-in starter against Man United, having grabbed the headlines in the last derby by scoring a wonderful hat-trick in City’s 6-3 win. He will spearhead the attack, with Riyad Mahrez and Jack Grealish offering flair, unpredictability and dynamism from the wide areas.
Mahrez has been City’s most in-form player in recent weeks and deserves to get the nod over Phil Foden on the right flank. Grealish, on the other hand, is a tricky customer whose ball-retention skills and dribbling ability will be crucial during City’s attacks.
Players like Julian Alvarez and Phil Foden will occupy spots on the bench, hoping to make a difference in the derby when called upon by the manager.