EPL: Manchester Derby Offers United Chance To Halt City March



The rise of Manchester City in the past decade has raised the question of whether the Manchester derby has finally replaced United’s clash with Liverpool as the pre-eminent derby in English football’s North-West heartland.

While there are no shortage of United fans who, for either historic reasons or a sense of inter-city competition, still say that Liverpool is the ultimate grudge match, there is no doubt the Manchester derby has grown in stature and relevance.

Sunday’s game at the Etihad Stadium will certainly have the real edge of a derby although, as has been the case for several seasons, City will start it from a position of superiority.

Pep Guardiola’s side look down from their perch on a United team stuck in seventh place – and that hurts everyone connected with the Old Trafford club.

Few of United’s faithful truly believe Jose Mourinho’s team have a realistic chance of finishing above Guardiola’s champions in May but a win on Sunday would restore some lost pride.

City are unbeaten in the league with nine wins from 11 games while United have won just six and lost three and already trail their neighbours by nine points.

Liverpool will host bottom club Fulham while second-placed Chelsea, also two points behind City, have a tougher task at home to Everton. Tottenham Hotspur, in fourth place, will look for their seventh away win so far this season when they travel to Crystal Palace on Saturday evening.

Abideen Owolabi

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