When: Saturday, 7 April, 17:30 BST
Where: Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Manchester City could be crowned champions in the best way possible from their point of view on Saturday. The visiting team to the Etihad Stadium are no other than fierce rivals and neighbours Manchester United, who are also the 2nd placed team in the table. This is the perfect platform for City to stamp their superiority over United.
Pep Guardiola’s men have had a dream season, and are on course to break the records for most points, most goals scored and most wins in a Premier League season. They are currently on 84 points with 7 games to go, and have a real chance of also breaking the 100-point barrier, which has never breached in England before.
However, City are coming into this game on the back of a thrashing at the hands of Liverpool in midweek, in their Champions League quarter-final first leg. The shock 3-0 defeat at Anfield leaves them with all to do in the second leg in Manchester on Tuesday. Even though they might be crowned champions on Saturday, both the fans and players will still have one eye on Liverpool.
United, on the other hand, haven’t had a bad season at all. In any other campaign, they would have certainly been in a title race at this point. Jose Mourinho needs to find a way to break City’s potential long-term dominance, and we can expect him to come out all guns blazing next season. However, he will not want Guardiola to win the title right in front of him tomorrow. Also, with Liverpool just two points behind, The Red Devils will want to keep their stranglehold on 2nd place intact.
Manchester City have dominated this fixture in recent times, winning 8 of their 13 encounters in the league since 2011. In the reverse fixture at Old Trafford, The Citizens won 2-1.
Sergio Aguero missed the Liverpool game with a knee injury, but is expected to be back for this one. Even if available though, Guardiola might choose to rest him for the Champions League cruncher on Tuesday. The Argentine has netted 7 times in 9 games against United in the league.
Benjamin Mendy is a long-term injury absentee.
Jose Mourinho should have a fully-fit squad to choose from other than Daley Blind and Phil Jones, who are out with long-term injuries.
Ederson, Walker, Kompany, Otamendi, Laporte; Fernandinho, De Bruyne; Sterling, Sane, Silva; Jesus.
De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Lindelof, Young; Pogba, Matic, McTominay; Rashford, Sanchez, Lukaku
Even though United are going to make it extremely difficult for City to come out and play, it is hard to see anything other than a home win here. Guardiola’s men have the much bigger motivation, and even though they are going to seal the title at some point, they would rather do it sooner rather than later. Also, they need to feel better about themselves following that crushing defeat in midweek.
Manchester City 2-0 Manchester United