It’s Derby day in Manchester on Sunday, with both City and United looking to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.
City currently lie fourth in the table, four points ahead of their local rivals in sixth, and both teams desperately need a victory to boost their chances of a top-four spot.
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City’s hopes of mounting a serious title challenge have hit the buffers in recent weeks, with three defeats in their previous five games leaving them 12 points behind leaders Leicester City.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side did claim the first silverware of the season with victory over Liverpool in the Capital One Cup Final, while Wednesday’s 0-0 draw against Dynamo Kiev was enough to send them through to the last eight of the Champions League.
The two teams’ previous meeting during October at Old Trafford ended in a 0-0 stalemate and a repeat of that result in Sunday’s game is 17/2 with 888sport.
United’s chances of success this season were dealt another blow on Thursday, after they were dumped out of the Europa League by bitter rivals Liverpool.
Louis Van Gaal’s team have won just once during March and the pressure continues to mount on the Dutchman.
With the club facing a difficult FA Cup quarter-final replay at West Ham United, securing a Champions League spot could be Van Gaal’s last chance for salvation in what has been an uninspiring campaign.
United’s lone victory this month came at home to Watford, with Juan Mata’s late free-kick sealing a hard-fought 1-0 win. The Spaniard is 23/2 with 888sport to score the first goal.
City will be without captain Vincent Kompany for the game after the Belgian limped out of the Kiev clash, but Argentine Nicolas Otamendi is expected to recover the dead leg he suffered during the same game.
Van Gaal is likely to face further scrutiny over his team selection this weekend, with fans continuing to question his methods.
One his main decisions he must make is whether to restore Morgan Schneiderlin to his line-up.
The French midfielder has been on the losing side just twice out of the 26 games he has started this season, yet Van Gaal seems uncertain of his value to the team.
Schneiderlin is one of the most prolific tacklers in the Premier League and could be a good bet to receive a yellow card in a frenetic derby clash. He is 19/10 with 888sport to be booked during the game.
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