Sky Sports’ derby day finishes at Old Trafford as Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United host Pep Guardiola’s league leaders, Manchester City in Manchester derby.
City are eight points ahead of United and a win here will be key in the title race.
Mourinho has a selection dilemma with Paul Pogba suspended.
Nemanja Matic however is expected to feature despite suffering a knock.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Phil Jones will return after missing the midweek Champions League game against CSKA Moscow.
Marouane Fellaini meanwhile faces a late fitness test.
Guardiola has already started mind games by saying early last week that David Silva was unavailable.
Silva is now fit after a muscular issue and missed just the away defeat at Shakhtar Donetsk in midweek.
Captain, Vincent Kompany will face a late fitness decision after withdrawing from the midweek match.
Fabian Delph however is a doubt with illness.
Man U are unbeaten at home in all competitions this season, scoring 31 goals and conceding just three.
Man City however have scored 29 goals on the road across their four competitions, whilst leaking nine at the back.
Their first defeat of season however came last time out in Ukraine at Shakhtar Donetsk.
Jose vs Pep
This Manchester derby like last season is as much as about the managers as well teams.
Mourinho vs Guardiola is one of the classic modern rivalries with the Catalonian holding the upper hand.
|Jose Mourinho||Pep Guardiola|
Mourinho has mustered up just four wins to his rival’s nine in 19 meetings. Six of those were draws.
Goal wise, Guardiola’s teams (Barcelona, Bayern Munich & Man City) have fared better by nine goals so will be difficult to keep out.
Mourinho however is well known for trying to often park the bus in huge recent fixtures. The Red Devils however didn’t do that last weekend at Arsenal, winning 3-1.
Tough duels in store
*Stats can be found at Footstats.co.uk
Both Manchester clubs better their opposition in every area, although City have had a player sent off away from home.
United are unusual in the fouls department, having committed an average of 11.29 fouls at home.
That is something slightly concerning because nearly every other team haven’t averaged 10 fouls per home game so far this season.
Shots wise, there isn’t much to split either team because although United wins on the shot average, City are slightly better at turning them into attempts on target.
Clinical finishing might be the defining area given United’s average of 5.86 goals at home. The Citizens in comparison average just 2.57 away goals.
Sticking with the goals department, previous visitors to Old Trafford this season have mustered an average of 0.14 goals between them.
Those hosting Guardiola’s men have managed 0.57 goals on average against them.
No matter what, those stats suggest that this will be a tricky game for the players put out there.
Based on how evenly matched both teams look, a draw seems likely here even taking into account Guardiola’s superior record over Mourinho.
Snow was initially forecast to fall till mid afternoon but now looks to reside early morning.
That is great news because both teams can throw the kitchen sink at one another without the worry of getting injured by snow, just before a busy festive schedule and coming midweek games.
I am still going for a draw here despite City’s habit of scoring late winners.
Prediction: Manchester United 1-1 Manchester City
Jake predicts: Manchester United 1-3 Manchester City
Result: Manchester United 1-2 Manchester City