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  • Date: Sunday March 3 – 15:30 GMT 
  • Location: Etihad Stadium, Manchester
  • Teams: Manchester City vs Manchester United

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Manchester derby vital in title race and chase for Europe

Manchester City look to push on in their quest to retain their Premier League crown and secure an unprecedented fourth successive English top-flight title. They trail Liverpool by a point with the games level and are only a point ahead of in-form Arsenal. Pep Guardiola knows that his side need to keep grinding out the wins, such is the standard of consistency which is now needed to win the Premier League. 

The Red Devils know that a visit to their neighbours is the toughest of tasks, however, after a disappointing result at home to Fulham, they know that they need to get back on track. In addition, they will be determined to avenge City’s 3-0 win at Old Trafford in October.

The Manchester derbty features on our weekend ACCA tips. Check out our Scottish tipster Simon Flynn’s quest for the perfect 10!

Manchester City

City appear to have recaptured their consistency and have been boosted by the return to fitness of Kevin de Bruyne and Erling Haaland. City are favourites for the Premier League, which would bring them a record fourth successive title.They are also favourites for the Champions League and the FA Cup which would bring an unprecedented “double treble”.

They are not, however, infallible. They were held to a draw by Chelsea and were frustrated for long periods against Brentford. And they will be facing their local rivals who should want to prove a point after being comprehensively outplayed by City the last time the two sides met. Guardiola’s men progressed to the quarterfinals of the FA Cup in midweek with a comprehensive away win at Luton Town.

One negative to come from the Luton match was a groin injury sustained by Jack Grealish. Josko Gvardiol has been out with an ankle injury, and while he could return for the derby, the Croatia defender has to be rated as doubtful.

After being on the bench against the Hatters, Ederson, Ruben Dias, Rodri and Phil Foden are likely to come back into the side.

Manchester United

Manchester United have enough quality to stay in the race for Europe and possibly even the Champions League spots. However, a lack of fluency and consistency has blighted them all season and injuries have left them short of out and out strikers. Something which was a factor in the loss to Fulham. 

They should be motivated going into the derby after being swept aside by City on their own patch in October. Erik ten Hag’s side have undoubted quality, however, they will need to find enough fluency, teamwork and desire if they are to come away with a positve result from this one. A late Casemiro winner sent them into the quarterfinals of the FA Cup against Nottingham Forest in midweek.

Ten Hag has a lengthy injury list to deal with. Mason Mount (calf), Lisandro Martinez (knee), Luke Shaw (muscle), Aaron Wan-Bissaka (unspecified), Harry Maguire (unspecified), Rasmus Hojlund (unspecified), Tyrell Malacia (knee) and Anthony Martial (knee) all look set to be unavailable. Raphael Varane is expected to be fit for the derby and Kobbie Mainoo looks set to return.


There is an old cliche about the form book going out of the window in a derby. However, fighting qualities which can level the playing field have not been something you necessarily associate with this Manchester United side, though they did get a creditable draw with bitter rivals Liverpool. City know that they cannot slip up due to the pressure being applied by Liverpool and Arsenal. Guardiola will be all too aware of the nature of their win at Old Trafford and he will be preparing his side for a backlash and will be ensuring that his side go into the match without complacency. City are better than United man for man and are also a far more cohesive team unit. All things being equal they will make this count. We think that City will come away with the win, the three points and the bragging rights in Manchester.

Manchester City vs Manchester United
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Chris is a former athlete and a qualified PE teacher. He is a keen football fan, watching many matches at different levels throughout the season, and enjoys following many different sports. With betting and sports sites, he has a keen eye for detail and can to highlight positives and negatives for users. His experience in sport as a performer, teacher, writer and fan allows him to see things from many different perspectives. Editorial Promise
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