It is the ultimate chance for bragging rights as Manchester United host Manchester City at Old Trafford in the first local derby in the city of the 2023/24 Premier League season.
The two clubs divided by colour but bonded by a fiery distaste towards the other clash on Sunday afternoon, in what promises to be a thrilling encounter between the two clubs, with City making the short trip across Manchester to face their most bitter rivals.
Despite the obvious animosity between the two clubs, there has been a show of unity between the two sides in recent days following the sad news of the passing of Manchester United and England legend Sir Bobby Charlton last weekend.
Mike Summerbee and Pep Guardiola have both paid their own personal respects to the former Manchester United star throughout the week, signing a book of condolences in honour of the Englishman.
The Manchester City manager was also very quick to condemn a minority of fans who mocked the passing, insisting that will not be the case on Sunday afternoon as his side look to continue their winning run with a victory over the reds.
Both sides were successful in Europe in midweek, with Manchester City triumphant in Switzerland with a 3-1 away victory over BSC Young Boys, earning their third victory from three games in the Champions League.
Goals from Manuel Akanji, who opened the scoring before the Swiss side grabbed an equaliser not long after, and an Erling Haaland brace would seal the deal and tee up the Manchester derby perfectly for the blues.
As Manchester City look to overturn their misfortune from last season at Old Trafford around this time, here is the side we predict will be tasked to bring the three points back home to the Etihad Stadium and reclaim the bragging rights!
Ederson missed out last time in the Premier League due to a quick turnaround from his international commitments with Brazil, however after returning in midweek, we expect the shot-stopper to return to the side and start this one.
Kyle Walker will be crucial to Manchester City on Sunday with his experience in such high-profile matches, and we expect the England international to start and be tasked with handling the ever-dangerous Marcus Rashford.
John Stones was rested during the week with one eye perhaps on this Sunday’s clash. As such, we expect the central defender to come back into the side, partnering Ruben Dias at the back for the blues.
Swiss international and largely an ever-present in Manchester City’s defensive unit Manuel Akanji is suspended for this one following his second yellow, and subsequent red card, against Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend.
Josko Gvardiol has had a huge impact since arriving from RB Leipzig in the summer transfer window, and we expect he will start again this weekend, after also being given rest during the midweek trip into Europe.
Rodrigo will start at the base of midfield for Manchester City.
Bernardo Silva knows a thing or two about scoring at Old Trafford since first arriving at Manchester City, and we expect the Portuguese playmaker to start this one alongside Phil Foden.
Julian Alvarez has arguably been the standout player of the season thus far for Manchester City, with the Argentine in undroppable form right now. We expect him to start on the right of a front three on Sunday, however there is also a possibility that the aforementioned Foden could take up that role from the off.
Erling Haaland has registered three goals in his last two games, following some rather comical murmurs of doubts over his head. We expect the Norwegian to start and be hungry to extend his scoring streak, as well as replicating his antics from his first derby clash last season.
Jack Grealish was given heaps of praise by manager Pep Guardiola following his display in Bern, and we believe he will be granted a start ahead of Jeremy Doku with a view towards more control in advanced areas of the pitch, completing the side for Sunday’s Manchester derby.
Predicted XI: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Dias, Gvardiol; Rodrigo, Bernardo Silva, Foden; Alvarez, Haaland, Grealish.
Substitutes: Ortega Moreno, Lewis, Ake, Gomez, Phillips, Kovacic, Nunes, Bobb, Doku.
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