It’s Ragnick’s first derby game in charge of United after his three-month spell with the Red Devils. Meanwhile, the German can boast of just one defeat so far in his 17 games at the helm of affairs but this is going to be his biggest challenge by far.
History of both sides
Presently, these are only the two Manchester-based clubs in the Premier League compared to London, which boasts more derbies.
Having played a total of 186 games in all competitions, United boast more victories than their arch-rivals.
Historically, the Manchester derby has been played 186 times since 1881 and 49 times in the Premiership. The Red half of Manchester boasts more wins; 77 to 56 victories by the blue half.
Manchester United, under the legendary Alex Ferguson, were the Premier League’s juggernaut but since the Scot retired in 2013, the pendulum has swung City’s way. The Citizens have won the title four times since 2013 and look best placed to win it again this season.
With the coming of the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008, the rise of the ‘Blue Moon’ began in earnest. The playing staff got better and more cosmopolitan as more storied managers were lured to the Etihad.
The resurgence gathered momentum under Roberto Mancini, who led the Citizens to their first-ever league title, and appropriately, they beat United to the title on goals difference.
However, the tables turned since the 2011-12 season as Manchester City have won 11 of the 21 Manchester derbies played in the Premier League against Manchester United, with the Red Devils claiming seven wins and fighting to secure three draws.
With this rich history, both sides have numerous stories to share with their fans as they meet again on Sunday at the Etihad Stadium. For Manchester United, it is the most victories earned at City’s home, 13.
The biggest victory for United came in November 1994, a 5-0 thrashing at Old Trafford but City got their own pound of flesh in 2011 as they thrashed United 6-1 and then went on to win the title over their rivals.
Wayne Rooney is the highest goalscorer in this derby with 11 goals in 31 appearances for the Reds in the derby with Ryan Giggs being the player who appeared the most with 36.
United have only won two of their last five EPL games, and there is only a 40 per cent possibility of Sunday’s victory at the Etihad, according to OPTA.
Current Form: Man City [W-W-L-W-W]; Man United [D-D-W-W-D]
Manchester City have only lost once at home in their last five EPL games. There is a high chance of victory for Pep Guardiola’s boys at Etihad.
“We know that we are playing one of the best if not the best team in the world, in Europe. They have developed well since he arrived here. The same thing happened when he was at Bayern Munich and at Barcelona, so he is one of the best most influential managers of the last 10, 15 years.
“We know what type of team, what style of football we are facing and that is why it will be about a lot of tactical discipline. It will be a lot of defensive work necessary, a lot of sprinting, running with the ball against the ball, waiting for transitional moments, and then taking our chances.
“This is what it is all about. We created a lot of chances in our last 10-11 games, and at times we converted them. Against Leeds, we scored four goals, but we should have scored more goals, especially in the last game against Watford, we should have had one, two, three goals.
“I would be more worried if we didn’t create chances but the way we have been playing and the way that we create those chances were good. Also, against the ball, when the other team is in possession of the ball we were compact and didn’t allow them too many chances. That is exactly what we need in the game against Manchester City.” – Ralf Ragnick, Manchester United Interim Manager
“Absolutely. I see the weak points and the strengths – but if I see it as an easy game, I won’t sleep well. I have to see the best of them and think ‘wow’. Always I think of the best version of them, otherwise, we will do a mistake.
“We saw in the FA Cup strong teams play Championship teams and they are out. You have to be prepared. The defender has to know the winger. The version since Ralf Rangnick – it is not necessary to think of Ole.
“They didn’t lose many times. They can run more than normal, then it will be difficult. They are too good. Waiting for mistakes and if we are not in the right position, then after they are quicker.” – Pep Guardiola, Manchester City Manager
The derby is very hard to predict but if City play to their best, then expect Guardiola’s team to pick all three points.
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