Sunday 12th April 2015, Old Trafford. Live on Sky Sports 1. Kick-off 4:00pm.
It is derby day in Manchester as United and City square off at Old Trafford with more than just local bragging rights on the line.
A place in the title race is for the taking while the loser of Sunday’s game will be looking over their shoulders while the chasing pack look to take their top four spot.
Third-placed Manchester United moved above their city rivals for the first time all season last weekend with a 3-1 success over Aston Villa, their fifth consecutive win, with two goals from Ander Herrara coming either side of a Wayne Rooney strike.
After their success against Villa, Reds’ manager Louis Van Gaal stoked the fire claiming he was more worried about the Midlands outfit than he is about the derby.
The former Netherlands boss said, “I had more fear of Aston Villa than Manchester City. Aston Villa was more defensive.
“I don’t expect Manchester City shall play so defensive as Aston Villa. Then you need a lot of focus and concentration on our defence.
“A long ball is very difficult to defend. But (against) Manchester City, I don’t expect very much long balls.
“It’s another game and that’s why I have less fear against Manchester City in spite of losing 1-0 against them in the last game.”
United’s result saw them leapfrog City after Manuel Pellegrini’s side fell to a 2-1 defeat against Crystal Palace. Their loss at Selhurst Park was there third defeat in their last five Premier League matches, form that has seen their title push dwindle.
Pellegrini has criticized his side recently say, “It has not been a good season. It was not so bad until the end of 2014, when we were top of the table and also had the FA Cup and Champions League.
“But in the last three months we have thrown it into the garbage. I think always for the fans it is important to finish as near to the top of the table as you can and that’s what we must do.”
Away from form in recent weeks, Man City hold the advantage in the last four Manchester derbies. The Blues are flying high against the Red having scored 10 goals and conceding just two in their last four meetings including a 1-0 success earlier this season.
Sunday’s encounter should prove a very tight game with both teams needing the points and wanting to claim bragging rights. It could go either way at Old Trafford but it shouldn’t be by more than a solitary goal – a 1-goal winning margin can be backed at 13/10 with betway.