Manchester Utd VS Manchester City Final – LIVE Reddit Soccer 06/11/2021
Manchester United will be without Raphael Varane, who suffered a hamstring injury against Atalanta. Paul Pogba is also out as he serves a three-match ban for his dismissal against Liverpool and Victor Lindelof is an injury doubt having missed the midweek Champions League draw. Aymeric Laporte misses the game due to suspension following his sending off against Crystal Palace, whilst Ferran Torres remains sidelined with a metatarsal injury. Kyle Walker came off early as during Wednesday’s Champions League win over Club Brugge as a precaution for a foot problem and Pep Guardiola he will not know if the full-back is available until after Friday afternoon’s training session.
Manchester United’s Raphael Varane will be out for a month after injuring his hamstring against Atalanta on Tuesday. Fellow defender Victor Lindelof missed that game with a minor injury and will be monitored, while Paul Pogba is serving a three-match ban. Manchester City centre-back Aymeric Laporte is suspended following his red card against Crystal Palace. His absence is likely to mean John Stones starts just his second league game of the season. City will assess full-back Kyle Walker, who was substituted against Club Bruges on Wednesday after suffering what manager Pep Guardiola called “a kick on his foot”.
It should be noted that Solskjaer has an impressive record against his cross-town rivals. While as a player he found himself the Goliath felled by City’s David, in the dugout he relishes the role of underdog. As Manchester United manager, he averages a remarkable two points per game in meetings with Guardiola. At their best, as in the 2-0 win at the Etihad last time they met, the Red Devils offered something of a benchmark for how to stifle an in-form City.
The 186th meeting between Manchester United and Manchester City could hardly find these two old enemies in more contrasting moods. The reigning Premier League champions may have had their setbacks in recent weeks but their overall trajectory suggests a side cruising to the business end of the season. United, meanwhile, seem to be locked in one step forward and two back as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer battles to ease the pressure on him. Here’s a look at how this game could play out:
One can only begin to imagine what failure to beat Tottenham Hotspur would have meant for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s time in the dugout, with the Norwegian desperately seeking a response from his side’s utter humiliation at the hands of Liverpool.
However, in a game which would ultimately cost his opposite number Nuno Espirito Santo his job, United prevailed comfortably in North London, as strikes from Cristiano Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford set the Red Devils on their way to a 3-0 win.
There were no prizes for guessing who saved Solskjaer’s bacon in the Champions League against Atalanta BC in midweek either, as Ronaldo cancelled out strikes from Josip Ilicic and Duvan Zapata to rescue a point for his side ahead of Saturday’s derby.
Having managed to pull themselves out of their rut – at least for now – with victory at Spurs, Man United are hanging on to their fifth-placed position in the table after 10 matches, but Arsenal are now only behind Solskjaer’s men on goal difference.
Worryingly for the Old Trafford faithful, United have taken just one point from their last three home games in the Premier League – scoring a solitary goal in that miserable streak – and not since April’s win over Granada have the Red Devils crowd seen their side keep a clean sheet on familiar territory.
The reigning Premier League champions were dealt another early blow in their pursuit of a sixth crown in the competition, but Pep Guardiola’s side responded in ideal fashion against Club Brugge in the Champions League, easing to a 4-1 win courtesy of goals from Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus.
Having seen their eight-game unbeaten run in the top flight come to a bitter end, third-placed City are now five points adrift of leaders Chelsea after 10 matches, but they have taken 10 points from the last 12 on offer away from home in the Premier League.
Despite posting two EFL Cup wins against their rivals in recent years, City are winless in four Premier League Manchester derbies – failing to score in any of their last three – but not many United fans will be placing bets on their side’s hot streak continuing on Saturday.