Pep Guardiola’s side haven’t been the dominant force they used to be and this match would be a stern test for the side, as they hope to win as many silverwares as possible after losing ground in the Premier League title race.
The derby, as always will be a high-octane encounter and both sides would be hoping to get the best result in the first-leg itself so that the pressure would be lesser while meeting again at Etihad.
Meanwhile, United haven’t been in top form and this would be a good chance for the Cityzens to strike and get the job half-done.
Though Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane have returned to training, they are set to be on the sidelines due to match fitness concerns.
Nicolas Otamendi is also doubtful for the game, whereas Ederson hasn’t completely recovered from illness.
The Chilean shot-stopper is expected to start ahead of Ederson as he has done before in various other competitions. He would be hoping to keep a clean sheet against their rivals.
The 25-year-old has not had many opportunities due to the presence of Kyle Walker but is expected to start this game and will have to put in an extraordinary show to gain the manager’s trust.
The Brazilian has done well in the last few games after initially struggling in a new position. He would be leading the team from the back.
The teenager has come to the fore in the last few games and he must grab the opportunity in the absence of other centre-backs. He would start this game after being on the bench against Port Vale.
A goal in the last game would have been a boost to his confidence after a long injury setback and might start in his natural position. He is expected to stop Daniel James.
A key component in City’s ranks, the Belgian has worked wonders for the team. He will be looking to unlock United’s defence and help the team to a win. He would be an undoubted starter.
The Spaniard has not been up to the mark but has done quite well. He has been a regular in the team in other positions too and would be hoping to take control of the game, as he has the ability to do so.
The academy product has been lively whenever called upon, especially in the Champions League, where he has 2 goals and 2 assists to his name. His contribution from the middle will be heavily relied upon.
The most consistent player for Guardiola, Sterling would be hoping to do well against Aaron Wan-Bissaka this time after failing to make an impact in the last meeting between the two sides.
The Portuguese hasn’t emulated his form from last year and his spot seems to be in danger, with Riyad Mahrez doing exceedingly well in his place. However, Silva should start ahead of the Algerian.
The Brazilian has 13 goals in all competitions so far and would be hoping to add more to his tally. He is expected to lead the attack.
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