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Scouting report: What to expect from United

DE BRUYNE BEAUTY: KDB on target last at Old Trafford last season

DE BRUYNE BEAUTY: KDB on target last at Old Trafford last season

City go into the 175th Manchester derby looking to record a fifth win in seven Premier League visits to Old Trafford.

City are unbeaten in the Premier League this season having won 14 games and drawn one .

City are eight points clear at the top of the table, with United currently in second place, eight points behind the Blues.

So, what can we expect from Jose Mourinho's side on Sunday?

Formation

For the top of the table games against Chelsea and Spurs, United played with a 3-4-1-2 formation, but for the last two games (at Watford and Arsenal), the Reds adopted a 3-5-2 formation.

The latter frees up Jesse Lingard to get forward more and support the strikers and the England midfielder has scored three goals in his last two games.

Whether Mourinho will adopt the more attacking formation against City remains to be seen, but United are unlikely to sit back too much against the Blues.

Nemanja Matic has proved a pivotal figure in the United side, playing as the holding midfielder and he will shield the defence on Sunday.

United have several attacking options in the shape of Anthony Martial - who has been in excellent form  - and Marcus Rashford. One of the pair are likely to partner Romelu Lukaku who returned to goal-scoring form in midweek against CSKA Moscow.

The loss of Paul Pogba to suspension is a blow to Mourinho with the France international integral in how the Reds play..

Juan Mata could replace Pogba while Marouane Fellaini and Phil Jones could be included if they pass late fitness tests

Possible XI (3-4-2-1): de Gea, Lindelöf, Smalling, Rojo, Valencia, Young, Matic, Lingard, Martial, Lukaku, Mata

Form

United have won their last four games in all competitions and eight of their last 10 matches.

The 3-1 win at Arsenal in their last Premier League game suggests the 3-5-2 formation is their most potent, but the loss of Pogba may make Mourinho think again.

The Reds are unbeaten in a club record-equalling 40 games at Old Trafford with City's 2-1 win in September 2016 their last home loss.

 

IT'S IN! Iheanacho celebrates

Highlights

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United v City: Extended highlights

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Style

It's hard to second-guess how United will approach this game - against Arsenal they counter-attacked with speed and caught the Gunners cold several times, even though they were fortunate not to concede more goals at the Emirates.

The Reds had just 25% of possession against Arsenal yet still won 3-1 - it is likely they will adopt a similar approach against the Blues, breaking quickly and playing with high intensity when City are on the ball. 

Mourinho will also have noted the Blues' recent issues with set-pieces and corners and will look to exploit any opportunities that come their way.

Players to watch

Martial and Lingard have been in fine form for United of late, as has a rejuvenated Ashley Young.  Romelu Lukaku has scored just twice in his past 13 games, but is a spree goal-scorer who enjoys playing against City having scored a number of times against the Blues for Everton and in pre-season for United, too.

David de Gea was probably the only thing that stood between Arsenal and a home victory in United's last Premier League outing.

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