Manchester City will host the first Manchester derby of the 2022/23 English Premier League season. Manchester United will travel to the Etihad Stadium and look to avenge their 4-1 loss in the same fixture last season. Both teams will be eyeing a victory to continue their momentum into the season.
Manchester City are one of the two teams with an unbeaten record this season. Pep’s men sit second in the league table with five wins and two losses. They have scored the highest number of goals in the Premier League. Manchester City have netted 23 goals with an average xG rate of 2.36. Their defence has leaked six goals and has an average xGA rate of 0.69.
Manchester United sit fifth in the league table. After losing the first two games of the season, Erik ten Hag’s men have won their last four games. This has earned him his first Manager of the Month award in the English Premier League. The Red Devils have scored and conceded eight goals each. Their average xG rate is 1.3 and the xGA rate is 1.76.
We now look at some of the stats that could predict the outcome of the match.
Manchester City’s possession dominance
The home team is likely to keep a greater share of the ball in this match. They average a 69.34% possession rate this season and attempt 754 passes per 90 minutes with a 91.4% accuracy rate. Manchester United has 48.09% ball possession and is far behind their rivals in pass attempts this season. They will have a hard time keeping the ball against this City side.
The aerial battle
These two teams will be contesting a lot of aerial duels in this match. Most of these duels will likely take place inside Manchester United’s half. The Red Devils will have to deal with the crosses attempted by City players. They average 20.3 crosses per match and have an accuracy rate of 36.6%. The Red Devils have won 51% of their aerial duels and will need to better this record if they want to stop Erling Haaland.
In his first ever Manchester Derby, Erling Haaland will look to make his mark. The Norwegian already has 11 goals to his name in the league and is looking like the favourite to win the golden boot this season. Manchester United’s defence will have to stay on their toes to defend against this player.
Bruno Fernandes will be a key figure in Manchester United’s attack. He only has a goal and an assist to his name this season, but the Portuguese carries a lot of potential to score and create goals in big matches. His work rate and creativity makes him a top-class player.
Manchester City will be without John Stones and Kalvin Phillips for this match. However, Pep Guardiola will be happy to see Aymeric Laporte return after a lengthy spell out with injury. Kyle Walker will also return to the team after recovering from an injury.
Manchester United will be happy to see the return of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. Both these players could feature in the starting 11.
The season’s first Manchester Derby brings a lot of promise. Both teams are in form and capable of beating each other. Manchester City will go as the favourites because of the firepower they have in the team. However, it won’t be easy for them to beat this Manchester United defence. This match promises a lot of entertainment for the neutrals.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine