In Review

Premier League: Man Utd vs. Man City preview, confirmed starting XIs, predictions, betting odds, TV

Can Solskjaer’s ‘hurt’ United players hit back or will Guardiola’s City stars take a huge step towards the title?

Manchester Utd vs. Manchester City
  • When: Wednesday 24 April 
  • Where: Old Trafford, Manchester 
  • Kick-off: 8pm (UK time) 
  • TV channel: Sky Sports

All eyes will be on Old Trafford on Wednesday night as United take on City in a massive Manchester derby clash in the Premier League.

Man Utd come into the derby on the back of a 4-0 hammering at Everton at the weekend and will be looking to bounce back and boost their chances of finishing in the Premier League top four.

While for Man City they are currently enjoying a run of ten consecutive wins in the Premier League. The derby is their game in hand on leaders Liverpool and a win at Old Trafford would put City back on top of the table with just three matches left.

Anfield watches on... but not Milner

For Liverpool will their players and fans want bitter rivals United to win or lose against title challengers City?  

The BBC reports that Liverpool midfielder James Milner wants to see United beat City. He said: “First time in my life [wanting United to win]. But I won’t be watching. It’s a bit of a waste of energy, willing the ball in the other goal. I’ve no idea what I’ll do, maybe go out for some food.”

Man Utd vs. Man City TV details

The Manchester derby will be live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League. Sky’s coverage starts at 7pm and the match kicks off at 8pm.

Confirmed starting XIs

How the teams will line up at Old Trafford:

Manchester United starting XI
  • De Gea, Lindelof, Darmian, Smalling, Young, Shaw, Pereira, Fred, Pogba, Lingard, Rashford 
  • Subs: Romero, Sanchez, Mata, Lukaku, Martial, Dalot, Matic
Manchester City starting XI
  • Ederson, Zinchenko, Kompany, Laporte, Walker, Gundogan, Fernandinho, David Silva, Bernardo Silva, Sterling, Aguero
  • Subs: Muric, Danilo, Sane, Mahrez, Otamendi, Jesus, Foden

What the managers had to say

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manchester United

On the 4-0 loss at Everton

“You learn about players. Now is not the time to talk about making wholesale changes. You can see the Man Utd DNA in many of these players. We have to get players in and some players will have to go out.”

On his future at Old Trafford

“I am confident in my team and myself. I am ready to take this challenge on. I know it is a big challenge. That is why I came. I don’t like losing but it is a great challenge. But when you have bad results you have to be confident enough to say ‘this is the way we are going to do it’. We are planning ahead - doing what we think is right for the club. I like all these boys. I love them. They are great lads. I have to manage for the club. I help the players but I manage for the club. I am putting all my efforts into doing what is right for the club.”

On the challenge against City

“That’s the best game we could ask for now because the players are hurt. We’ve had a meeting after the [Everton] game and you can see all of the players are definitely disappointed but really, really hurt by that performance. 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.”

On City’s tactics

“They will snap at your ankles and heels and kick you. They will not allow us easy counter-attacking. There will be fouls. No doubt about it because they commit so many players forward and will be stopping us as high as they can. There is no hiding place on the pitch. The supporters will back you as long as the effort is there.”

On getting a response from his players

“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. It’s my duty to get them performing better than that but I’m sure we’ll get a response.”

Pep Guardiola, Manchester City

On facing United

“I expect the best United is going to [turn up]. They have pride. Football players always have pride to do their best and [Wednesday] it is going to happen. So we will prepare for the game like always with their strong points and their weak points and try to win the game. We have to win four games to retain our title. It is not an easy place to go but it is a nice place to go. We know exactly what we have to do. It is a derby and all the times we play against United they are special games and players do their best.”

On having no fears about visiting Old Trafford

“The reason why is because in the last decade this club has grown a lot. It is not as scary to go there and play when before it was maybe more difficult. The quality of players Manchester City has had in the last ten seasons has made this game a little bit more equal. Before, the gap was bigger.”

On Solskjaer’s claim that City will make fouls

“Did he say that? With 65% or 70% possession, how do we do that? I don’t like it. My side is not built like that, not at all. In 10 seasons as a manager, I never prepared for a game thinking about these things. Never. In football, you sometimes do that [foul] because the actions are so fast. But I never said we should do it to punish an opponent or cancel them. Maybe after the game you can ask him in the press conference.”

Predictions: what will the score be?

Paul Merson, Sky Sports: “I think the league will be won here as I expect Manchester City to win easily. Manchester United are just not very good. It was embarrassing against Everton and the players should be ashamed of themselves. If City win this game I can’t see how they are going to be stopped. They have one game a week for three weeks and, no disrespect to the teams they are playing, if they can’t win those three games with the squad they have got then they don’t deserve to win the league. Prediction: Man Utd 0 Man City 4.”

Mark Lawrenson, BBC Sport: “I think Pep Guardiola’s side will go to Old Trafford and win. Their second half against Spurs on Saturday was the worst I’ve seen them play all season but in many ways it was a positive performance from them because it showed they are capable of getting over the line to get the three points. Prediction: Man Utd 0 Man City 2.”

London Evening Standard: “Paul Pogba produced a critic-silencing performance as United claimed a huge victory over their neighbours last April. He and the rest of the United squad need to repeat that trick to not only keep their hopes of a top four finish alive, but to ease some of the considerable strain that has fallen under Solskjaer since he was appointed permanent manager. But such have been the dismal nature of their performances in the last few weeks, it is difficult to envisage any sort of turnaround before Solskjaer has the chance to wield the axe this summer. Prediction: Man Utd 0 Man City 1.”

Independent: “City need the win and if they turn up with the required intensity then the quality gap between the sides should be enough for them to get it. Prediction: 1-2, a nervy but massive away win.”

Michael Owen, former England striker, Metro: “City have only lost one of their last seven league visits to Old Trafford but United badly need to bounce back after their abject display at Goodison Park on Sunday. All at the club will be hurting after their 4-0 defeat at Everton but they have the ideal opportunity on Wednesday to put the record straight - they certainly cannot play as badly again. City must do without Kevin De Bruyne – injured against Spurs at the weekend - which is a huge loss for the champions, but I expect to see opportunities and goals at both ends. This is a massive game for both teams and one which, I feel, could be pivotal in the destiny of the 2018/19 Premier League title. Score prediction: Man Utd 2 Man City 2.”

Aaron Flanagan, Daily Mirror: “There is no chance that Manchester United will play as badly as they did on Sunday vs Everton. If anything, they should be so determined to right the wrongs, that they will be a different beast altogether. City, for all of their swashbuckling brilliance, have been a little lacklustre on occasions recently. The Spurs triple-header could well have taken it out of them and, with a fiery United performance, could well be very beatable. United to edge it, for me, but not without controversy. Score prediction: Man Utd 2 Man City 1.”

Matt Lawless, Daily Mirror: “Manchester City all day long. I’ll be honest, I want Liverpool to win the title. Not because I dislike City. Quite the opposite, actually. I marvel at the job Pep Guardiola has done. I am in awe of the breathtaking quality his superstars have displayed this season. Utterly magnificent. Yet I can’t begin to imagine how much winning the Premier League would mean to Liverpool fans. And so, despite the fact the Reds broke my Claret and Blue heart back in 2006, I would genuinely love to see them enjoy that crowning moment. They’ve lost only one game so far during this remarkable season. That surely deserves a silver lining? Nevertheless, I just can’t see an out-of-sorts United stopping City tonight - and therefore, I just feel that it is Pep’s title to lose. Score prediction: Man Utd 0 Man City 3.”

Man Utd vs. Man City betting odds

All prices according to Oddschecker (as of 24 April).

Match betting
  • Man Utd to win: 1/2 
  • Draw: 15/4 
  • Man City to win: 4/9

Premier League fixtures and TV guide

Wednesday 24 April
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Arsenal (7.45pm)   
  • Manchester United vs. Manchester City (8pm, live on Sky Sports)
Friday 26 April
  • Liverpool vs. Huddersfield Town (8pm, live on Sky Sports)
Saturday 27 April (3pm unless stated)
  • Tottenham Hotspur vs. West Ham United (12.30pm, live on Sky Sports) 
  • Crystal Palace vs. Everton 
  • Fulham vs. Cardiff City 
  • Southampton vs. AFC Bournemouth 
  • Watford vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers 
  • Brighton and Hove Albion vs. Newcastle United (5.30pm, live on BT Sport
Sunday 28 April
  • Leicester City vs. Arsenal (12pm, live on Sky Sports) 
  • Burnley vs. Manchester City (2.05pm, live on Sky Sports) 
  • Manchester United vs. Chelsea (4.30pm, live on Sky Sports)

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