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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would love it if his side were the ones to end Man City’s winning streak, but to do so his team are going to have to find a goal from somewhere and it doesn’t look forthcoming.
They’ve now produced three consecutive goalless stalemates and although the first came in their second leg with Real Sociedad, having won 4-0 in the first meeting, failure to land a blow in their past two outings is more concerning.
The most disappointing result came away at Palace on Wednesday, with the Eagles having gone just W2-D1-L17 in their previous 20 league outings without talisman Wilfried Zaha, as the south London club failed to score in 15 of those.
The draw with Chelsea was a decent result, holding Thomas Tuchel’s solid side at arm’s length with a top-four spot a must, but it continued an alarming record in front of goal against teams of real quality.
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Man City Clean Sheet
Man Utd have had seven league encounters with the traditional ‘Big Six’ this season, failing to win any of them as five ended in goalless stalemates.
However, since Bruno Fernandes netted a penalty inside two minutes against Tottenham in the first of these, before eventually losing 6-1, they’ve had 70 shots without registering another.
They have had a couple of cup meetings with these teams, going down 2-0 to Man City in the League Cup and beating Liverpool 3-2 in the FA Cup, but it’s worth noting the hugely significant injury problems Jurgen Klopp’s side have endured in defence this term.
That 6-1 embarrassment may understandably have convinced Solskjaer to change his approach in the big games, and with the firepower Pep Guardiola’s side possess, we doubt he’ll be ripping up the blueprint here.
Given Leicester are ravaged by injuries at present and with United holding a healthy cushion over the cluster of top-four challengers further back, the Red Devils will be content to take a point here if they can, rather than going all out for the win.
Man City To Win And Under 2.5 Goals
Another low-scoring affair looks most likely this time around. The past four head-to-heads in all competitions have featured fewer than three goals, as at least one team failed to score in each.
City kept clean sheets in both meetings this term, with first-choice centre-back partnership Ruben Dias and John Stones starting those games, and we’d expect the latter to come back into the team having been benched for Aymeric Laporte last time out against Wolves.
Man City may only have recorded three clean sheets in eight outings, compared to eight from their previous nine, but they’ve never conceded more than once in their current 28-game unbeaten streak.
It’s also worth noting that in addition to that game against Wolves, Laporte took Stones’ place when they conceded at Everton, while the Frenchman was paired with Eric Garcia as they conceded at Swansea in the FA Cup.
In the league alone, Stones and Dias have started 14 games together and shut out the opposition on 11 occasions.
Whereas City virtually have a clean bill of health, with even Nathan Ake on the recovery trail, United have various absentees at present.
Anthony Martial could potentially return here, but Paul Pogba, Donny van de Beek, Juan Mata and Phil Jones remain absent, while David De Gea’s availability is also in question.
Man City are now up to 21 victories in all competitions and given Man Utd’s struggles at the sharp end, they should only need one goal to seal the win.