Manchester City vs Manchester United Preview – Team News, Predicted Lineups, Key Players, Prediction

It is the 192nd Manchester derby on Sunday, as Manchester City welcome Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium in a blockbuster Premier League clash.


Man City need to keep pace with Liverpool and Arsenal at the summit of the Premier League. They enter the derby in excellent form, having won five of their last six league games. Pep Guardiola’s side ran riot 6-2 against Luton Town away in the FA Cup fifth-round tie in midweek and will be overwhelming favourites on paper.

Meanwhile, Man United edged Nottingham Forest 1-0 in the FA Cup fifth round and come into this fixture needing to pick up a win to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League. Their four-game winning run in the league was snapped on Saturday following a shock 2-1 defeat to Fulham at Old Trafford.

Manchester City vs Manchester United—Team News

Manchester City

Manchester City suffered a blow on Tuesday when Jack Grealish was forced off with a repeat of a groin problem that sidelined him for some time earlier this month. Josko Gvardiol is the only other concern and hasn’t featured in recent games, but Pep Guardiola said last week that the Croatian defender was closing in on a return.

kevin de bruyne celebrates goal against lyon

Guardiola rotated his squad in the FA Cup fifth-round fixture against Luton Town on Tuesday night, so key players are expected to return to the first XI for the derby. Ederson will return to the first XI and replace Stefan Ortega in goal. A back four of Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, Manuel Akanji and Nathan Ake are expected to start in front of Ederson.

Rodri will almost certainly start Sunday’s derby at the Etihad Stadium, having enjoyed a night off at Kenilworth Road. The Spaniard could partner John Stones in the middle of the park, with Kevin de Bruyne acting as the creative nucleus of the side. The Belgian’s workload has been managed of late due to hamstring issues but was on hand to supply four assists for Erling Haaland in the 6-2 win over Luton.

Bernardo Silva may get the nod over Jeremy Doku on the left flank, while Phil Foden’s sparkling form since the start of 2024 makes him undroppable. He will operate from the right flank, having registered four goals and an assist this year, with Haaland—off the back of a five-star goal show at Luton—leading the City attack.

Manchester United

As for Manchester United, Harry Maguire missed the FA Cup fixture at Nottingham Forest with injury and his status for the upcoming derby remains doubtful. Rasmus Hojlund will return in the next couple of weeks but Luke Shaw has joined Anthony Martial and Lisandro Martinez on the sidelines for an extended period.

bruno fernandes

Andre Onana is a certain start in goal, protected by the back four of Diogo Dalot, Victor Lindelof, Raphael Varane and Sofyan Amrabat. Varane was a doubt ahead of the midweek game but he completed 90 minutes at City Ground, so the Frenchman should feature in central defence alongside Lindelof. Dalot has been one of Man United’s best players this season and will keep his place at right-back, while Amrabat hopes to impress from the makeshift left-back position.

Up ahead in midfield, Casemiro, who scored the late winner in the FA Cup fifth round against Forest, will act as a safety blanket for the back four. The Brazilian will partner young Kobbie Mainoo in the double pivot, with skipper Bruno Fernandes aiming to deliver the goods in such a big game. Scott McTominay will drop out of the XI and join Christian Eriksen, Amad Diallo and Omari Forson on the bench.

In Rasmus Hojlund’s injury absence, Erik ten Hag is expected to stick with the front three of Antony, Marcus Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho on Sunday.

Manchester City vs Manchester United—Predicted Lineups

Predicted Manchester City Lineup (4-2-3-1): Ederson; Walker, Dias, Akanji, Ake; Rodri, Stones; Silva, De Bruyne, Foden; Haaland

Predicted Manchester United Lineup (4-2-3-1): Onana; Dalot, Varane, Lindelof, Amrabat; Casemiro, Mainoo; Fernandes, Antony, Garnacho; Rashford

Manchester City vs Manchester United—Key Players

Manchester City—Erling Haaland

Erling Haaland displayed his ruthless finishing in front of goal in midweek as he netted five goals in City’s 6-2 win over Luton in the FA Cup. The Norwegian striker made it 27 goals for the season despite missing two months of action with a foot problem. It was the perfect way to warm up ahead of the Manchester derby, and given Man United’s defensive concerns, Haaland will be licking his lips at the prospect of facing them at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester United—Bruno Fernandes

Bruno Fernandes was labelled an injury doubt ahead of the FA Cup clash with Forest following an injury sustained during the 2-1 defeat to Fulham on Saturday. The Portuguese, however, was able to play the full game against Fulham and delivered the assist for Casemiro’s late winner against Forest. The 29-year-old’s vision to find willing runners Rashford and Garnacho on the break and work rate on and off the ball will hold the key for United.

Prediction: Man City 3-1 Man United

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