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As expected, Pep Guardiola made a series of changes to his midweek line-up against Marseille, with top spot already secure.
However, it didn’t disrupt his team’s rhythm and the comfortable 3-0 scoreline means they’ve now won four of five unbeaten matches, also registering five clean sheets on the bounce across all competitions for the first time since January 2019.
Whereas Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani as injury doubts, Guardiola has Sergio Aguero back in action but has already stated that the Argentine will only be fit enough for the bench on the injury comeback trail.
Raheem Sterling is Man City’s top scorer in all competitions this season with seven, but Guardiola will have to work out how to get the best from the England international in this fixture. Sterling is yet to score in 20 career appearances against Man Utd, while he’s often struggled in direct competition with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who is excellent in one-on-ones versus tricky wingers.
United only needed a point to qualify from their Champions League group, but despite a late rally, the 3-2 defeat at Leipzig was another blow in big games this term.
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Man City First Half Win
They’d already suffered a 3-1 defeat hosting PSG the previous week, while they’ve also lost home encounters with Tottenham and Arsenal this season.
However, they remain inconsistent and with victories over PSG in Paris and at home to Leipzig, as well as a goalless stalemate with Chelsea, they’re capable of upsetting City’s growing form.
In fact, the Red Devils remain a point above their city rivals having played the same number of games, while they did the double over Guardiola’s side last term.
However, they can’t afford another bad start as they were already two down after 13 minutes midweek, and conceded at just six minutes against PSG, as they’ve conceded first in each of their past four outings now and trailed at the break in three.
Man Utd Second Half Double Chance
Only Sheffield Utd and Arsenal have registered fewer points per game from half-time results in the league this season, while staggeringly, United have conceded more goals per game at the break than any other team.
Moreover, Man City have won 19 of the last 21 league games where they’ve scored first, and 30 of 32 across all competitions over this period, although their second-half performances haven’t always been exhilarating.
Man Utd Second Half Goals Over 0.5
Man City have scored just five times from 10 league matches after the break this season, with only the bottom four in the table and Wolves managing fewer.
Meanwhile, only Chelsea have notched more goals per game in their second-half showings than Man Utd, who as they demonstrated with two late strikes against Leipzig, still make a habit of last-gasp salvos.
Solskjaer’s men have actually scored at least one second-half goal in six of seven matches across all competitions, and within the final 15 minutes in five of them.
This could be a game of two halves then, even if City’s record after taking a lead should see them through.