The stakes are high at Old Trafford for the Manchester derby, with both clubs chasing important objectives in the Premier League
Manchester United and Manchester City meet at Old Trafford on Wednesday in what might be the most important derby in years.
Six defeats in their last eight games have once again thrown the Red Devils’ Champions League hopes into doubt, and with just four matches of the Premier League season remaining, they can scantly afford to drop points.
City, meanwhile, can finally take the upper hand in their duel with Liverpool for the title if they can overcome their rivals. Anything short of a victory, though, will leave Pep Guardiola’s men playing catch up with time rapidly running out.
It promises to be a memorable affair.
|Game||Manchester United vs Manchester City|
|Date||Wednesday, April 24|
|Time||8pm BST / 3pm ET|
In the United States (US), the game can
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|US TV channel||Online stream|
|UNIVERSO / NBCSN||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on TV on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event. It can be streamed via Sky Go Extra.
|UK TV channel||Online
|Sky Go Extra|
|Position||Man United squad|
|Goalkeepers||De Gea, Grant, Romero|
|Defenders||Lindelof, Smalling, Rojo, Young, Dalot, Jones, Shaw|
|Midfielders||Pogba, Fred, Matic, McTominay, Pereira, Mata, Lingard|
|Forwards||Lukaku, Rashford, Martial, Sanchez|
Manchester United starting XI: De Gea; Darmian, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw; Fred, Pereira, Pogba; Young, Rashford, Lingard
|Position||Manchester City players|
|Goalkeepers||Ederson, Grimshaw, Muric|
|Defenders||Walker, Danilo, Laporte, Sandler, Garcia, Stones, Delph, Otamendi, Kompany, Zinchenko, Mendy|
|Midfielders||Sterling, Gundogan, Sane, B. Silva, D. Silva, Mahrez, Foden, Fernandinho, De Bruyne|
Manchester City starting XI: Ederson; Walker, Kompany, Laporte, Zinchenko; Gundogan, Fernandinho, D. Silva; Bernardo, Aguero, Sterling
Man City are hot 8/15 favourites for the win according to bet365. United can be backed at 11/2, while a draw is available at 18/5.
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With Wednesday’s Manchester derby of paramount importance to both Manchester United and Manchester City, tensions are already running high.
The first shots of what promises to be an intense affair were fired in the press room on Tuesday by United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who criticised City for employing dirty tactics defensively.
He complained that the Citizens are prone to breaking up their opponents’ counters with cynical challenges.
“They will snap at your ankles and heels and kick you,” the Norwegian said. “They will not allow us easy counterattacking. There will be fouls. No doubt about it because they commit so many players forward and will be stopping us as high as they can.”
These words provoked a furious reaction from City counterpart Pep Guardiola.
“Did he say that?” the Catalan said. “With 65% or 70% possession, how do we do that?
“In 10 seasons as a manager, I never prepared for a game thinking about these things. Never
“I don’t like it. My side is not built like that, not at all.”
Guardiola believes that Solskjaer was trying to influence referee Andre Marriner.
“That’s the reason why, of course,” he said. “But I don’t think it will be successful because we don’t do it.”
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Any edge that Solskjaer can get right now would be welcome. Having been awarded the United post on a full-time basis after a strong start, the honeymoon is firmly over, with a 4-0 loss at Everton the latest setback for the Red Devils.
Following the club’s sixth defeat in eight games, he said that he expects a reaction from his squad.
“You learn about players. Now is not the time to talk about making wholesale changes,” he said. “You can see the Man Utd DNA in many of these players. We have to get players in and some players will have to go out.
“I am confident in my team and myself. I am ready to take this challenge on. I know it is a big challenge. That is why I came.
“I don’t like losing but it is a great challenge. But when you have bad results you have to be confident enough to say: ‘This is the way we are going to do it.’ We are planning ahead – doing what we think is right for the club.”
With a 22-point gap between the club in the league as things stand, United have a lot of ground to make up over the summer, regardless of the outcome of Wednesday’s big match.