City make the short trip to Old Trafford having suffered their first defeat of the season against Shakhtar Donetsk, but Pep Guardiola will point to 13 successive wins in the top flight as reason why their Champions League setback was a minor blip.
United enjoyed their fair share of good fortune during the 3-1 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium last weekend, but there is a growing feeling that Jose Mourinho’s team are starting to click into top gear during a crucial period of the season.
Head to Head:
United are on the longest current unbeaten home run in the Premier League (24 matches – W14 D10 L0), with their last such defeat at Old Trafford coming against Manchester City in September 2016.
The teams have played 174 matches in all competitions, United winning 72, City 50, and the remaining 52 having been drawn.
If Pep Guardiola’s side win this match then they will equal the all-time English top-flight league record of 14 consecutive victories; set by Arsenal between February and August 2002.
Between 2012 and 2014, City enjoyed a period of dominance over United, but United have had the better of recent meetings, with three wins and two draws coming from half-a-dozen games.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic will feature in his squad after missing Tuesday’s game with CSKA Moscow to work on strengthening his knee in the gym.
Phil Jones and Nemanja Matic have also been declared fit, while Marouane Fellaini will undergo a late fitness test ahead of the game.
However, Eric Bailly and Michael Carrick remain on the sidelines, with Paul Pogba serving the first of his three-match ban for his sending off against Arsenal.
David Silva is fit to start after recovering from a minor knock, but Kompany is doubtful after complaining of an unknown injury.
Fabian Delph will also face a fitness test after suffering with a sickness bug in recent days, with Danilo on standby to deputise for the Englishman.
What the mangers are saying:
Pep Guardiola has insisted that he is not focused on making Premier League history this weekend.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the derby clash, Guardiola said:
“The record will be broken, my concern is how we win the game.
If you play one game thinking about records you forget what you have to do.
“Winning, drawing or losing on Sunday, we are not going to win or lose the Premier League, It’s December, There are a lot of points to play for, more than 70. We just focus on the game.”
While Jose Mourinho speaking at his pres conference said it will be special game for the people and also the three points.
“I hope before the game you have a city full of colour, red and blue, and after the game, the same.
“I live a little bit isolated from society, I don’t feel it so much, for me it’s about training ground, hotel, my day off after the CSKA game I went home, so I really don’t have that communication.
“But I don’t need that to know a derby is something special for the people.
“For us is three points but for the people born in the city and feeling the colours in that good positive rivalry is a special match.”
De Gea; Lindelof, Smalling, Rojo; Valencia, Matic, Herrera, Young; Lingard, Rashford, Lukaku
Ederson; Danilo, Otamendi, Mangala; Walker, Fernandinho, D.Silva, De Bruyne, Sane; Sterling; Aguero
Manchester United 2- 2 Manchester City.