8 December 2019
Manchester City’s resolve to return to the Premier League (PL) title race will face a major test as inspired Manchester United side arrive at the Etihad Stadium.
Nothing but a win here would be acceptable for the hosts, who are sitting 11 points adrift of table-toppers Liverpool. Winners in two of their last three PL outings (W2, D1), the reigning holders will now try to post their third successive win in top-flight H2Hs with the Old Trafford side they’ve lost to in two of their previous four PL H2Hs held here (W1, D1, L2). Pep Guardiola will again rely on a devastating attack to deliver him a positive outcome, as the Citizens scored two or more goals in all but one of their seven PL home games this term. The one potential problem for City is that they’ve failed to keep a clean sheet in six of their previous seven competitive home matches, including the last four. Also, Guardiola has a good reason to be wary of his team’s first-half display here, given that City have drawn a blank inside the first 45 minutes in three of their previous four PL home games.
The visitors will hope to replicate the same performance that brought them a 2-1 home win over Tottenham Hotspur last time out, as they look to extend their unbeaten PL run to five games (W2, D2). Even though they’ve struggled defensively in that period, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have been impressive in attack, scoring 2+ match goals in all four of those matches during that run. But, the Red Devils have endured all sorts of problems on the road this season, registering only one triumph in seven PL away games so far (W1, D3, L3). Additionally, they’ve scored one goal or less in five of those trips, keeping a clean sheet only once. Entertainment has not lacked recently, though, as four of their last five competitive road fixtures produced over 2.5 goals and saw both teams score.
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