- Second Manchester derby of the season
- Both teams in race for Champions’ League position
- Pellegrini’s reign at Manchester City in trouble
- English football’s biggest grudge match
It is one of English football’s biggest grudge matches, and when Manchester United take on cross-town rivals Manchester City at Old Trafford, it is not just a Champions’ League position that’s up for grabs.
For the second Manchester derby of the season, the mind games have already begun after Manuel Pellegrini’s men suffered their third defeat in five games at Crystal Palace on Monday night. City slipped nine points behind Chelsea and their title hopes look dashes until they make a last leg recovery and hope that Jose Mourinho’s men face an incredible slump of form.
United’s excellent form has seen Lous van Gaal’s men leapfrog their once noisy neighbours after they saw off Aston Villa at Old Trafford.
“I am always saying it is very bad of Manchester United to lose against Swansea City two times, but in my opinion you can lose to Manchester City two times. That is possible, but as Manchester United, you cannot lose two times to Swansea City,” says Sunday’s home team manager Louis van Gaal.
His counterpart Manuel Pellegrini is still hoping for a miracle in the title race. The Chilean is under intense pressure for his side’s stuttering form and another loss here could be the end for him at the helm for city.
“We lost the last three games, especially the last two with two goals in set-pieces, against Burnley and [Crystal] Palace. We hope we continue keeping the good things we are doing because we are not a disaster, we’re not a mess. We are doing a lot of things well,” Pellegrini told reporters.
Ahead of the game, here’s a look at the history of Manchester derby.