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Manchester City vs Manchester United predictions: Haaland to shoot down derby rivals
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Aidan Perkins
Spotlight
Kevin De Bruyne scored twice in this fixture last season and looks to be an obvious threat in Sunday's Manchester derby
Kevin De Bruyne scored twice in this fixture last season and looks to be an obvious threat in Sunday's Manchester derby

The first Manchester derby of the season sees City entertain United with the visitors bracing themselves for a meeting with Erling Haaland. 

The Norway international has taken the Premier League by storm following his summer move from Borussia Dortmund and the prolific striker will be eager to deliver yet more goals for the hosts in his first taste of this intense Mancunian rivalry. 

The champions remain unbeaten with 17 points on the board from their first seven games, while the Red Devils are five points worse off. 

This is both clubs' first outing since mid-September and United come into the derby looking to make it five league wins on the spin, while City are hoping to maintain their perfect home record so far this term. 

Team news

City defender John Stones suffered a hamstring strain in England's draw with Germany on Monday so has been ruled out with Guardiola expecting him to be on the sidelines for around a fortnight. 

Fellow centre-back Aymeric Laporte has recently resumed training following a knee injury but the derby showdown may come too soon for him, while Kalvin Phillips is absent as he recovers from shoulder surgery. 

United skipper Harry Maguire is out with the hamstring injury he picked up on international duty with England but forwards Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford have both been back in training and could feature at the Etihad. 

Axel Tuanzebe and Brandon Williams remain on the long-term injury list and are unavailable for the visitors. 

The stats

Haaland has blasted in 11 goals already in just seven Premier League appearances for City, while the 22-year-old has added three more in the Champions League and also notched once for Norway during the recent international break. 

Guardiola's side have won their three home league games so far this season by an aggregate score of 14-2, while Ten Hag's men have won back-to-back league games on the road 1-0, against Southampton and Leicester. 

Guardiola has lost three of the four home Premier League games against United he has been in charge of but his side won this corresponding fixture comfortably 4-1 last season with Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez both scoring twice. 

Prediction

Erik Ten Hag's improving Manchester United face the toughest of tests on Sunday
Erik Ten Hag's improving Manchester United face the toughest of tests on Sunday

After a dismal start under new boss Ten Hag, when United lost to Brighton and Brentford in their first two games, the Dutchman has since overseen a dramatic improvement and United come into the derby on the back of an impressive four-game winning run. 

Two of those four victories were ground out narrow wins at St Mary's and the King Power Stadium but the other two were deserved successes over Liverpool and Arsenal — the latter seeing United inflict upon the Gunners their first league defeat of the season. 

However, taking on City represents the ultimate test in the top flight and with Haaland looking in devastating form so far at the Etihad, where he has banged in consecutive hat-tricks in his last two home league games, the visitors are likely to be up against it. 

City are far from a one-man team, too, with Kevin de Bruyne also in outstanding form. 

The Belgian has registered six assists and created 25 chances this season — both league highs — and combined with the likes of Phil Foden, Bernado Silva and Jack Grealish, City have bundles of creativity and firepower to come out on top in the derby.

Tags

Manchester CityManchester UnitedPremier LeagueErling Braut HaalandKevin de Bruyne
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