It’s time for the 182nd Manchester Derby. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer welcomes Pep Guardiola at Old Trafford this afternoon.
The Red Devils welcome cross-town rivals, City as they enter a crucial period for their hopes for a place in the 2020/21 Champions League campaign.
Manchester United headed into the weekend from the fifth place on the table, three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea who hosts Everton today.
Victory over City will be a big boost for Solskjaer and his players as they will finally register a derby win at Old Trafford for the first time since April 2015 in the English Premier League.
Having returned home with three points from four league visits to The Theatre of Dreams, Guardiola will be looking to become the first Premier League manager to beat United at their own turf five times in a row.
The Citizens are on a five-game winning streak in all competitions. Their chances for a third consecutive Premier League triumph is almost gone. As it seems impossible to catch Liverpool at this stage of the season, the blue part of Manchester would definitely welcome another away victory over local rivals Manchester United.
I would rather face United with a fit Rashford-Guardiola
Ahead of today’s derby, Guardiola says he would rather face a fully fit Manchester United team. The Red Devils are missing one of their key players in the shape of Marcus Rashford. The arrival of Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo has given United the strength to cope without their star striker.
Nevertheless, Guardiola would have preferred to see the 22-year-old on the team sheet.
“I’ve always said from my first day as a manager that I like to have a full squad for opponents. I would love to play against Eden Hazard for Madrid, Harry Kane for Tottenham and so on. “
“I prefer to play when the top players, all the players are available. I’m hoping Rashford can recover as quickly as possible. I look at who is available and after that, I control no more.”