Premier League Preview, Manchester City v Manchester United, 7 March 2021

SuperSport viewers on DStv can look forward to the latest edition of a classic Premier League rivalry, as Manchester City welcome Manchester United to the Etihad Stadium on the evening of Sunday 7 March 2021.

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This clash sees league-leasing Man City looking to further entrench their position as champions in waiting. Pep Guardiola’s side have put together a great run of form in recent weeks and months to open up a strong lead at the top of the table and a third title from the past four seasons looks an inevitability – even more so if they can take down one of their closest chasers, Man United.

“The schedule can get you depressed as it’s too many games,” Guardiola said. “The guys need rest but at the same time it is a beautiful challenge.

“I’m surprised and impressed when everyone is suffering in this world, what is happening today, everyone is dropping points, and we were consistent for the last two months. People talk and talk about the records but to do this you have to win this type of game many, many, many times.”

The Red Devils, meanwhile, are looking to put a dent in City’s title hopes, but realistically their goal for the remainder of the season is to try and ensure they finish as the ‘best of the rest’ behind their cross-town rivals.

“It’s [the Premier League title] not something we think about – we just think about our own performances,” said United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. “That’s the only thing we can control. We have got loads to play for, and as a team we’ve got loads to improve on.”

Key players

Bernardo Silva – It’s surely no coincidence that Man City’s great run of form has coincided with the Portuguese attacking midfielder returning to his best. The schemer will look to unlock the Red Devils’ defence with his intelligent movement and incisive passing.

Bruno Fernandes – United’s number 18 continues to rack up the goals and assists, with his ability to spark the Red Devils unmatched by anyone else in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad. He will hope to inspire the visitors to a key win at the Etihad Stadium.

Head-to-head stats

In head-to-head stats, Man City and Man United have met in 184 matches across all competitions since their first clash back in 1891. The Red Devils have claimed 76 wins compared to 55 for the Citizens, while 53 games have been drawn.

When the teams met in the Premier League earlier this season, at Old Trafford in December 2020, they played out a goalless stalemate. They also clashed in the League Cup the following month, with City winning 2-0 away thanks to goals from John Stones and Fernandinho.

Battles to watch

Pep Guardiola v Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – The Man City manager won’t need to over-think his tactics for this clash: if the Citizens can keep in the groove they have had in recent weeks, they’ll be difficult to beat. ‘OGS’, by contrast, will need to come up with a tactical surprise to catch the league leaders off guard.

Riyad Mahrez v Luke Shaw – City’s Algerian attacking midfielder is incredibly adept at cutting in from the right flank and opening up his options with his brilliant left foot – something which will be a major problem for United left-back Luke Shaw.

John Stones v Edinson Cavani – Stones has enjoyed his best season in a Man City shirt, with his performances making him one of the best players of the 2020-21 campaign, but he’ll need to be sharp and focused against the movement and physicality of Cavani.

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Match broadcast details

Sunday 7 March

18:30: Manchester City v Manchester United – LIVE on SuperSport Premier League and SuperSport Maximo 1

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