It’s the first fixture that Manchester City fans mark out on their calendar when the schedule of the season rolls around.
For years and years, the red part of Manchester has been on the perpetual top while City has just looked on. It is only now that the Manchester clubs indulge in a meaningful contest and in recent times the blue Pawn has certainly been heavier than the red.
Yes, we are talking about the two Manchester Clubs as they are destined to meet yet again on Sunday afternoon, at the Etihad.
Manchester City who escaped Everton with all three points via a late, late, Foden goal, will be looking to demonstrate a more dominant performance over their neighbors this Sunday.
Then there is the matter of winning the Premier League. With Liverpool on their heels, City better hope that Manchester is blue by the end of the day.
Manchester United on the other hand would have to limit their ambitions to finishing just about in the top 4, as they find themselves 19 points behind Manchester City!
This astonishing difference between the Manchester clubs was perfectly articulated by Peter Dury, as he once said:
“Same cities, different galaxies!”
But, believe me, when it comes to derby day, all tangible goals and targets are thrown out the window. The 19-point difference is irrelevant, as are the clubs’ standings and recent achievements.
It’s no longer about Liverpool are on our heels or we should be finishing in the top 4.
All that matters is winning on the day and winning Manchester!
Whether Manchester will be blue or red, only the scoreline will tell, after the 90 mins are up at the Etihad, this Sunday!
The Manchester clubs have met on 162 occasions, and history favors the reds, who have 64 victories to Manchester City’s 50.
On 48 occasions, the derby ended in a stalemate.
Because the game will be played at the Etihad, it is relevant to look at the record there. Manchester United is once again on top, having won 33 games to City’s 24.
Manchester City has won four and lost one of their previous five games. Their most recent success came against Petersburg in the fifth round of the FA Cup. Their only loss in the last five games came against Tottenham.
Manchester United has won twice in their previous five games and had to settle for a draw three times.
The first match between these two rivals took place way back in 1881 under the clubs’ previous names of St Mark’s (City) and Newton Heath (United) with the latter winning 3-0. The first Football League meeting between the teams came in the 1894–95 season, again Newton Heath beating Manchester City 5–2.
The biggest wins in a Manchester derby are 6-1 and 5-0 which has happened on four occasions. Three of those have been in the favour of City (6-1 in 1926, 5-0 in 1955, 6-1 in 2011) and one in United’s (5-0 in 1994). The match in 2011 was the first time United had conceded six goals at Old Trafford since 1930.
Wayne Rooney has netted the most goals in the derby. The Red Devils legend netted 11 times against the Citizens, one more than City heroes Joe Hayes and Francis Lee.
It’s really a tough call when it comes to prediction in the Premier League matches, especially if it’s a derby like this one.
Because a derby doesn’t care about recent form and history and all that matters is playing better on the day.
The motivation levels and desire are so much higher than any other match day, that you never know who will win.
A derby is not like a regular match day, it is special. Win this and you are special!
Still, if we had to predict on logic and common sense, it’s difficult to see anything other than a City win.
Manchester City and Manchester United are poles apart when it comes to playing football, plus City will be playing at the Etihad.
So, it’s hard to see anything apart from a comfortable Man City win!