You would not know it is Manchester United who head into their 183rd derby meeting with their cross city rival holding the lead in the Premier League table, so disastrous has the fallout been from the side’s Champions League exit to RB Leipzig on Tuesday.
Manchester City head to Old Trafford following a stress-free European campaign and their supporters would relish the chance to get a win that will only heighten the pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Here’s how you can watch the match and what to know:
Viewing informationDate: Saturday, Dec. 12Time: 12:30pm ETLocation: Old Trafford — Manchester, United KingdomTV: NBCLive Stream: Fubo (try for free)Odds: Manchester United +350; Draw +300; Manchester City -138 (via William Hill Sportsbook) Live blog on CBSsports.com
Manchester United: How can United recover from such an ignominious exit from Europe? Four games into the group stage they had won praise for topping the group of death but threw away qualification with defeats to Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig, falling 3-0 down to the latter in a display of defensive ineptitude too great for a traditional late fightback by the Red Devils.
Solskjaer insists United must not “press the panic button” and the club continue to support their manager. The extent to which that trust is shared by fans is rather harder to gauge but a defeat to a great rival will do nothing to ease pressure on the beleaguered boss.
Manchester City: Sergio Aguero will at best be among the substitutes, leaving Guardiola with an increasingly familiar conundrum over how to set up his attack without his best striker. Gabriel Jesus is the natural alternative but has not scored in eight appearances against United.
This might be the perfect time for Jesus to get among the goals with United’s defence looking far from secure but Guardiola insists he will prepare “thinking we’re going to face the best version of them”. Certainly the team in red have raised their game of late against City of late, winning three of the last four in all competitions.
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If there is one thing that United have guaranteed in the Solskjaer era it is unpredictability. Any result seems feasible here but they ought to have the attacking might to get through City’s much-improved defence even if they lack the quality in defence to hold out their visitors at Old Trafford. Pick: Draw (+300)
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