Manchester City will be looking to tighten their grip at the top of the table when they take on Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Citizens booked their place in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup win a 2-0 win at Peterborough on Tuesday night but their focus will be firmly on Premier League matters this weekend.
City saw their lead cut to just three points after Liverpool beat West Ham on Saturday evening. Therefore, Pep Guardiola’s men desperately need victory over their rivals tomorrow in order to re-establish their six-point advantage.
However, Man Utd make the short trip to the Etihad needing to pick up a positive result themselves to boost their top four hopes. The Red Devils are just two points ahead of Arsenal after drawing with Watford at Old Trafford last time out.
The Gunners also have three games in hand so United will be looking to take at least a point off City to aid their chances of clinching a Champions League qualification spot this season.
City have been handed a major blow with the news that Ruben Dias will miss the derby after being ruled out for up to six weeks with a thigh injury.
Nathan Ake is also expected to miss out with a knock while Cole Palmer is a doubt with an ankle problem. Number two goalkeeper Zack Steffen faces a late fitness test due to a back injury.
Man Utd have been boosted by the return of Edinson Cavani. The Uruguayan international has been nursing a groin injury in recent weeks but has returned to full training and will be back in the squad tomorrow.
Scott McTominay is also expected to be back in contention after training last week. The Scottish international missed the draw with Watford last time out due to illness but should be available on Sunday.
Man City: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Cancelo; Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Foden, Sterling
Man Utd: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Varane, Shaw; Pogba, McTominay; Elanga, Fernandes, Sancho; Ronaldo
Man City 2-1 Man Utd: United have picked up some impressive victories in recent trips to the Etihad so that should give them hope for tomorrow’s game. However, City have far more quality throughout their squad and desperately need a win to extend their lead over Liverpool.
You can never predict what will happen in a derby but the smart money is on a home win. We’re backing Man City to beat United 2-1 to maintain their title charge.