Man City still sit five points off Arsenal in first place in the Premier League, and with the Gunners taking on Tottenham on Sunday, three points for Pep Guardiola&aposs side could be huge in their title race. On the other hand, a win for United would put them just one point behind City, potentially kickstarting a title charge for Erik ten Hag&aposs men.
Both sides played in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals prior to Saturday&aposs clash, with United advancing to the semis after a 3-0 win over Charlton, but City were eliminated after losing 2-0 to Southampton. The first meeting between the two rivals earlier this season produced a classic, with Erling Haaland and Phil Foden both scoring hat-tricks in a 6-3 win.
So, who could emerge victorious in the second Manchester derby of the season? Let&aposs take a look.
To complete this simulation, we used FIFA 23 and updated the squads with the latest injuries and suspensions.
We predict that United could line up in a 4-3-3 formation, with their line-up as follows: United; De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Martinez, Varane, Shaw; Casemrio, Fernandes, Eriksen; Antony, Martial, Rashford.
We predict that City could set up in a 4-3-3 formation, with their line-up as follows: Ederson; Walker, Akanji, Laporte, Ake; Rodri, De Bruyne, Bernardo; Mahrez, Haaland, Grealish.
United were on top in the opening stages and struck the post within 10 minutes, when Marcus Rashford tried his luck from outside the box. The pressure continued from United, and the hosts took the lead after 34 minutes through Bruno Fernandes.
Pushing forward in their numbers, United swarmed the City box as they looked for a way to break through the backline. An attempted through ball from Fernandes was cut out by Manuel Akanji, but the United man allowed the defender no time on the ball, dispossessing the Switzerland international before curing into the far corner from just inside the box.
It was a dominant start from United, with City yet to really get going. But, just before the half-time interval, Guardiola&aposs side found the equaliser from an unlikely source.
As City hit United on the break, Aaron Wan-Bissaka was dragged into a central area, leaving acres of space for Ake to burst into on the left. Antony failed to track back as Kevin De Bruyne picked out the defender, and a composed strike saw the ball fizz across the goal and into the far corner of the net.
Erling Haaland had his first and only shot of the game in the 67th minute when he tried to turn Jack Grealish&aposs driven cross into the net, but his contact was too strong, firing the ball past the near post. As the game edged towards the 90th minute, both sides looked tense, but some poor defending from City allowed Christian Eriksen to make it 2-1 in the 83rd minute.
As Rashford, now in a central role, dropped deep to pick up the ball, Akanji followed, leaving a massive gap in the City backline. Eriksen surged into the space unmarked, and a first-time finish from Antony&aposs cross sent the ball into the bottom corner for 2-1. City couldn&apost respond, and it proved to be the winning goal.
Here are the full-time match stats:
FIFA 23 predicts that City could struggle in front of goal away from home again on Saturday, with Guardiola&aposs side managing just five shots as United win 2-1 at Old Trafford. A fantastic attacking display pushed United to victory, and this result in real life could make a very interesting title race.