The first Manchester derby this season will unfold this afternoon.
The 188th meeting between the rivals kicks off Super Sunday this weekend, with hosts Manchester City unbeaten in 19 Premier League games – dating back to a 3-2 home defeat against Tottenham in February.
Meanwhile, Manchester United’s current run of four successive league wins is their longest since April 2021 – a five-game winning streak that included a 2-0 win at the Etihad.
The fact both teams are in good form should come as no surprise – only Chelsea’s summer spending exceeded the £227m outlay at Old Trafford and, in Erling Haaland, City have a striker whose current strike-rate would see him end the season with 59 Premier League goals.
It’s quite possible that the combined cost of their starting line-ups this weekend will exceed £1bn.
Manchester City defender John Stones is unavailable after he was forced off for England with a hamstring issue.
Fellow centre-back Aymeric Laporte has returned to training but this game is expected to come too soon for him.
Manchester United captain Harry Maguire misses out with a hamstring injury sustained on international duty.
Manager Erik ten Hag will make a late call on Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, both of whom have resumed training.
- Manchester City could win three consecutive league games against United for the first time since a run of four between April 2013 and November 2014.
- United are in danger of suffering their 18th Premier League loss against City – it would equal their highest number of defeats against a specific opponent (matching their totals against Liverpool and Chelsea).
- This Premier League fixture has been won 21 times by the respective away side – no other match has produced more victories for the away team.
- Manchester City could win eight consecutive top-flight home games whilst scoring at least three times in each victory – a feat last achieved by Tottenham in 1965.
- City have scored 10 first-half goals and 13 second-half goals in the Premier League this season – Manchester United have eight in total.
- Erling Haaland has netted 100 goals in 99 club appearances in all competitions, including 12 goals in seven games for City. He has scored from each of his last six Premier League shots on target at the Etihad.
- Kevin de Bruyne has registered six assists and 25 chances created, both league highs. He has been directly involved in 30 goals in his last 30 Premier League starts, scoring 16 and assisting 14.
- Pep Guardiola has lost three out of four Premier League games against the Red Devils at the Etihad Stadium. They are the only opponent against whom he has lost more than two top-flight home matches as a manager.
- Ruben Dias is one short of 100 City appearances.
- Manchester United could become the fourth team in English top-flight history to lose their opening two games then win their next five, emulating Sheffield United (1931), West Bromwich Albion (1954) and Arsenal (2018).
- United last won five consecutive league matches in April 2021 under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
- This will be Erik ten Hag’s first Manchester derby – each of the five United’s previous five managers have lost their opening league fixture against City, with Alex Ferguson the last to begin with a win in 1987.
- Ten Hag won eight of his nine league and cup matches as Ajax manager against historic rivals Feyenoord – a match known as De Klassieker in the Netherlands.
- The Red Devils have conceded a league-high share 75% of their goals in the opening 45 minutes this term.
- Cristiano Ronaldo can make five consecutive league appearances as a substitute for the first time since 2003, during his breakthrough season at Sporting Lisbon.
- The forward has 699 career club goals in all competitions, including 497 in the league, and has registered four goals and two red cards in 12 competitive Manchester derbies.
- Christian Eriksen is one short of 400 career league appearances.
Predicted Manchester City XI: Ederson; Walker, Dias, Ake, Cancelo; Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne; Foden, Silva, Haaland.
Predicted Manchester United XI: De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Malacia; Eriksen, McTominay; Antony, Fernandes, Sancho; Ronaldo.