Manchester City will make the short trip to Old Trafford to face derby rivals Manchester United on Wednesday evening, knowing a win would all but consolidate their chances of retaining the Premier League title.
Pep Guardiola’s men are favorites to win after Manchester United suffered their worst defeat of the season at Everton over the weekend, but United have their own ambition to live up to, knowing that finishing in the top four is their only chance of playing in the Champions League next season.
Although Guardiola seemed to exude quiet confidence in the pre-match conference, he reminded the audience that form goes out the window in derby games, saying that he expects United’s players to make it as tough for his team as possible, according to the BBC.
“We have to win four games to retain our title. It is not an easy place to go but it is a nice place to go. We know exactly what we have to do,” he said.
“It is a derby and all the times we play against United they are special games and players do their best.”
Meanwhile, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has seen the early optimism — a result of his appointment to the position — fading completely with six defeats in the last eight games, and the anxiety surrounding the club culminated to a fever pitch after the Norwegian suggested that a number of United players would be out of the door come summer, following the defeat at Everton.
Before the match against Manchester City, however, Solskjaer made an attempt to rally his troops.
“Of course, I am confident in my team and myself. I am ready to take this challenge on. I know it is a big challenge. That is why I came. I don’t like losing but it is a great challenge,” he said at the pre-match conference.
“But when you have bad results you have to be confident enough to say this is the way we are going to do it.”
Ander Herrera and Phil Jones are both expected to be out for United, while City will be without Kevin De Bruyne.
You've been speaking about it all week but now it's time to predict the score!— SuperSport (@SuperSportTV) April 24, 2019
Manchester United ?-? Manchester City pic.twitter.com/MOELlHXN07
Manchester United vs. Manchester City kicks off at 8:00 pm British Summer Time (3:00 pm Eastern Time and 12:30 Indian Standard Time on Thursday morning) at Old Trafford. The game will be a Sky Sports main event in the UK, with the live streaming option available on Sky Go. American fans can catch the massive derby on NBCSN, with the live streaming option available on the NBC Sports app. Indian fans can tune into the Manchester United vs. Manchester City game on Star Sports Select HD 1, and those hoping to catch it online can tune into Hotstar. All of these are subscription-based services.
Fans wanting to catch the derby online for free can use fuboTV, which offers a week-long free trial. Unverified links for the Manchester United vs. Manchester City derby will also be available on FirstRow, but the quality of the stream is up in the air.