Football lovers can forward to a classic Premier League rivalry, as Manchester City host Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium on the evening of Sunday 6 March 2022 at 5:30pm on SuperSport Premier League (DStv Channel 203).
While the Citizens look to be marching to another title, the Red Devils are fighting just to claim a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League and can ill afford a defeat at the hands of their rivals.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has been very happy with his team’s overall performance through the course of this Premier League season, though he says that the level needed to achieve success in the elite divisions is far beyond what he experienced early in his coaching career.
“Compared to when I started at Barcelona, it has gone much, much further. The level has improved a lot. The quality, the methodology, the training sessions, the analysis of what exactly the opponent is going to do and what your team can do to punish them,” said Guardiola.
“You cannot imagine the hard work that goes in behind the scenes. That is why it is so much more difficult to win games now than when I started 13 or 14 years ago.”
United boss Ralf Rangnick, meanwhile, is still working to give his team identity and consistency: “It’s not only about Cristiano Ronaldo. He should score more goals, it’s obvious, but this is not only an issue with Cristiano. It’s an issue with the other players, especially the offensive players. We don’t score enough goals, if you bear in mind how many chances we create, and this is also something that needs to get better in the next couple of weeks.”
Kevin De Bruyne – The Belgian playmaker has the knack of scoring in key matches and he will be aiming to lead City to a key victory in this derby clash. Watch out for his range of passing and long-range shooting.
Cristiano Ronaldo – The Portuguese forward’s return to United has been the fairytale he would have been hoping for, but this game presents him with the chance to make headlines and get his scoring groove back.
In head-to-head stats, Man City and Man United have met in 186 matches across all competitions since their first clash back in 1891. The Red Devils have claimed 77 wins compared to 56 for the Citizens, while 53 games have been drawn.
When the teams met in the Premier League earlier this season, at Old Trafford in November 2021, City claimed a 2-0 away win thanks to an Eric Bailly own goal and a strike from Bernardo Silva.
BATTLES TO WATCH
Pep Guardiola v Ralf Rangnick – Guardiola is effectively a ‘disciple’ of the football philosophy Rangnick developed years ago, but the Spaniard has advanced it forward and will be looking to prove that he is now the tactical master.
Riyad Mahrez v Luke Shaw – The Algerian loves to cut inside from the right flank and use his left foot to devastating effect, but he’ll also need to keep an eye on the overlapping runs of United left-back Shaw.
Joao Cancelo v Jadon Sancho – Cancelo has been exceptional this season as a fullback who is effectively a playmaker, but he’ll come up against a slippery and skilful opponent in the shape of former City academy product Sancho.