Manchester United host Manchester City on Wednesday night for the 44th Manchester derby in the Premier League.
Pep Guardiola’s side travel to Old Trafford in what will be a crucial game at the top end of the table for the Citizens.
A victory would put Manchester City in firm control of the Premier League title race, as they will return to the top spot with only three games left until the end of the season.
United host their cross-town rivals on the back of an embarrassing 4-0 defeat at Everton last Sunday. The Red Devils desperately need a victory in the race for a Champions League spot, which would lift their spirits before their clash with Chelsea at Old Trafford next Sunday.
Left-back Luke Shaw has served his two-match ban and is expected to start for the Red Devils in the Manchester derby on Wednesday night.
Ander Herrera, who missed United’s last five matches has returned to training and could be back in the starting XI, while captain Antonio Valencia and Eric Bailly remain sidelined.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 23, 2019
Kevin de Bruyne suffered another injury in the clash against Tottenham on Saturday and is expected to miss Manchester City’s trip to Old Trafford.
Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho has not started any of City’s last three matches but should return to the first team for the derby against United.
What did the managers say
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes this kind of game is perfect for his team after the humiliating loss to Everton.
“That’s the best game we could ask for now because the players are hurt. We’ve had a meeting after the game and you can see all of the players are definitely disappointed but really, really hurt by that performance,” he said via Sky Sports.
“The City game is the perfect one – there’s no hiding place on the pitch. Our fans will back you whatever the result will be as long as you give that effort against a City side that’s been very, very good.
“We’ll focus on Wednesday now and I’m sure we’ll get a good response. Of course, these players know they let themselves down as individuals, a team and me [down] as well [because] I’m in charge and I’m the one that gives them the instructions on how we’re going to play.”
Derby day, the time for teamwork!
— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 23, 2019
Pep Guardiola says he expects the best Manchester United in the derby on Wednesday night.
“I expect the best United tomorrow, I am sure. They are proud. Prepare the game as always, their strong points, their weak points and try to win the game,” he said via MEN.
“It is a derby and all the times we play against United, the derbies are always special games and the players do their best for the fans the club. I saw the game, I imagine what will happen against us. The game against Everton is over.
“Four games left and we have to win our four games to retain the title. It is not an easy place to go but at the same time, it is a nice place to go. We know exactly what we have to do and we’re going to go there to do a big game.”
Manchester United have lost six of their last eight games across all competitions – their worst run under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
City have won each one of the 10 games they played in the Premier League since the 2-1 defeat to Newcastle back in January.
The Citizens have lost only one of the last seven Manchester derbies at Old Trafford in the Premier League, winning the three points five times in the process.
United have conceded at least one goal in the last 11 games in all competitions. Their last clean sheet came in the 0-0 draw against Liverpool at Old Trafford two months ago.
Manchester City, on the other hand, have managed to keep seven clean sheets in the last nine games in the Premier League.