By Habeeb Kuranga
The 189th Manchester derby will be taking place at Old Trafford on Saturday as Manchester United will play host, to one of their fierce rivals, Manchester City in an intriguing clash.
The Red Devils will be aiming for revenge against the Cityzens as they were severely thrashed in the reversed fixture.
This fixture is going to be a tactical battle between the two finest managers who are known for winning trophies in their managerial careers. Pep Guardiola’s possession-based football will be put to a stern test against Erik ten Hag’s counter-pressing style of play. It promises to be an entertaining, high-octane, enterprising and feisty contest. With Man United’s Marcus Rashford, who is in the form of his life, having plundered 15 goals across all competitions, and Man City’s enigma, Erling Haaland, who has taken English football by storm, with 27 goals across all competitions for the Norwegian – the most of any player across the top 5 leagues in Europe.
Here is what to expect in one of the most fierce derbies in world football.
This match is going to be the 51st edition between both sides in the English Premier League. Manchester United have triumphed on 24 occasions, while Manchester City has come out on top on 18 occasions, with 9 matches ending in a draw.
This fixture is going to be Pep Guardiola’s 500th top-flight game as a manager. His 246th match as City boss. He has won 181 matches, drew 32 and lost 32.
Pep Guardiola could become the first manager ever to record four consecutive wins against the Red Devils in the EPL. Doing the league double over them last season and the most recent win came in October when the Cityzens ran riot in a 6-3 win at the Etihad Stadium.
In each of the last three Manchester derbies, Man City have won by an aggregate scoreline of 12-4.
The Red Devils have lost more home Premier League fixtures against City (eight) than against any other opponent.
After becoming the fastest manager to reach 20 wins for Man United, Erik ten Hag could yet become the joint manager with the longest winning streak for the Red Devils across all competitions since 2009. Currently, on eight, he could go level with Jose Mourinho who registered nine successive wins in the 2016/17 season.
Since losing to Man City in the reversed fixture, Man United have been in superb form, losing just once (against Aston Villa) in their last 18 competitive games.
Manchester City could complete a record sixth top-flight double over their bitter rivals. The most of any club against the Red Devils.
Manchester United’s possible starting XI: De Gea; Wan Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Shaw; Casemiro, Erikson; Antony, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial
Manchester City’s possible starting XI: Ederson; Walker, Akanji, Ake, Cancelo; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Mahrez, Haaland, Grealish