PREVIEW: Manchester Derby

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The 40th Manchester Derby will take place this Thursday evening at the Etihad Stadium with both sides aiming for a top-four finish in the Premier League.

The 40th Manchester Derby will take place this Thursday evening at the Etihad Stadium with both sides aiming for a top-four finish in the Premier League.

Manchester United will make the short journey across the city to face their noisy neighbours who sit just a point above the reds in the table.

 

The last five meetings have seen two wins for both sides respectively and a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford back in the 2010-2011 season.

The reverse fixture back in September 2016, saw Manchester City take all three points away from Old Trafford in the first meeting between Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho in the Premier League.

The sides have met since in a League Cup fixture back in October where a solo Juan Mata goal gave United the win.

Guardiola could become the fourth manager to win both home and away Manchester Derbies in a debut top flight season after previous managers such as John Bentley, Sven-Goran Eriksson and Manuel Pellegrini.

Manchester United are now unbeaten in 23 successive league matches and should they avoid defeat in this match, they will equal their longest-ever unbeaten run in the top-flight within a single season, 24 games in the 2010-11 season.

Manchester City are hoping to bounce back after their 2-1 defeat to Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final which went to extra-time on Sunday.

However, United will be without their prolific forward, Zlatan Ibrahimović and Argentine defender Marcos Rojo after they both suffered cruciate knee ligament injuries last Thursday in the Europa League.

Whilst, City have been boosted by the news that Sergio Aguero will be fit to start in the derby after being brought off as a precaution against Arsenal on Sunday.

The last time these two sides met on a Thursday in the Premier League was back in November 1994. Manchester United won this fixture 5-0 thanks to an Andrei Kanchelskis hat-trick.

As the race for Champions League qualification for next season heats up, the significance of this fixture now is as important as ever.

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