Manchester United travel to Manchester City on Sunday for another Premier League fixture in the 171st Manchester derby. United manager Louis van Gaal and City manager Manuel Pellegrini are both eager to secure a victory today to appease their disgruntled supported.
But for Pellegrini, this his last Manchester derby encounter as a manager because this is his last season at Etihad.
Both clubs go into the derby in dire need of a win to rescue their ailing Premier League title hopes – City are fourth on the League table 12 points behind league leader Leicester city as United stay 6th 4 points behind arch-rivals City.
Both sides have endured a difficult campaign, and suffered the indignity of poor performance in the campaign.
Speaking ahead of the match, City boss said: “A derby is always dangerous. It does not matter which positions the teams are in… In football when you have a mathematical chance, you cannot think you cannot do it. That is not a winning mind. You must always think you must do it. The more points you lose it’s more difficult, but you must have the mentality to win the next game, and after that you will see which team has the most points.”
City have had the better of the meetings at the Etihad Stadium over recent seasons and Pellegrini will be looking for his third win in three years against the Red Devils on home turf.
City will have to do without Vincent Kompany, who suffered another calf injury early in the draw with Kiev on Tuesday. Nicolas Otamendi also left the field in that game with a dead leg and will be assessed before kick-off to see if he can play.
Kevin De Bruyne, Samir Nasri and Fabian Delph are all back in training but won’t feature against United. For United, they will have to do without Ander Herrera, Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young, Luke Shaw and Will Keane, who are out due to injuries. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Phil Jones are both in doubt despite having resumed training. It is understood that they have not gained full match fitness.
Speaking ahead of the match, Van Gaal said: “I hope City is the catalyst. We have to beat City and we have a chance to still qualify [for the Champions League].”
Manchester City: Hart, Clichy, Demichelis, Mangala, Zabaleta, Fernaninho, Fernando, Sterling, Toure, Silva, Aguero
Manchester United: De Gea, Varela, Rojo, Blind, Smalling, Fellaini, Schneiderlin, Lingard, Mata, Depay, Martial.