Manchester Derby: CR7 Leads Red Devils To Re-Ignite Top – Four Pursuit

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The standout Premier League fixture today (Sunday) takes place at the Etihad Stadium, as Manchester City face Manchester United in the Manchester derby.

Three places and 19 points separate the two bitter rivals on the table, with the hosts seeking to steer clear of Liverpool at the top while the Red Devils aim to re-ignite their top-four pursuit.

Indeed, Man United has something of a penchant for Etihad victories and possesses the talent needed to produce another shock result, but whether Rangnick’s side has the defensive nous or attacking edge to do so is another question entirely.

The Red Devils are just about clinging onto fourth spot but find themselves level on points with West Ham United -before their tie yesterday against Liverpool Liverpool – while Arsenal has now cut the gap to just two points having played three fewer matches.

Guardiola reportedly confirmed at his pre-match press conference that Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias are both unavailable for the derby, with the latter facing between four and six weeks out with a hamstring injury.

Zack Steffen and Cole Palmer are also injury concerns for the Citizens but would never have started, and Guardiola now has Jack Grealish and Gabriel Jesus raring to go after their injury woes.

Kyle Walker has struggled for consistent starts of late but it would be surprising to see him not return to the first XI, which would see John Stones return to a central role as Dias recovers.

Barring the surprise loss to Spurs, City has swept aside almost all who have come before them at the Etihad this season and is blessed with a near fully-fit squad. Pundits are, as a result, backing Guardiola to come out on top in this crunch derby.