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The Manchester derby is rarely a dull affair and this Sunday's instalment promises to be another unmissable occasion as City host United in the Premier League with plenty on the line on either side for Pep Guardiola and Erik ten Hag. The defending champions are second in the table and one point behind leaders Liverpool who have been decimated further after an EFL Cup final win over Chelsea which added further injuries to an already stricken roster for Jurgen Klopp. The Reds, somehow, still have a grip on top spot, though, and City will be doing their best to dislodge them during this fragile period so cannot afford to let United get the better of the them.

How to watch and odds

  • Date: Sunday, Mar. 3 | Time: 10:30 a.m. ET
  • Location: Etihad Stadium -- Manchester, England
  • Live: Peacock Premium
  • Odds: City -400; Draw +550; United +850

The Red Devils are sixth and three points behind Tottenham Hotspur in fifth who have a game in hand with no guarantee that it will even be enough to secure UEFA Champions League qualification at the end of the season. Aston Villa are currently ahead in the race for the fourth and final guaranteed spot, and Unai Emery's men will be doing their best to hold onto it. We turn our attention to three things to keep an eye on this weekend as Manchester's finest do battle once again for local supremacy.

1. City's 18-game unbeaten run

There is no doubt about the fact that United face a massively uphill task here is trying to beat City at Etihad Stadium given the two sides' respective positions in the table and general form overall. The hosts are unbeaten in 18 across all competitions with 16 wins and two draws in that time. Villa back in early December were the last team to inflict defeat upon City and United have beaten the Villans home and away since then so perhaps there is hope. Given Liverpool's precarious current position and the return to scoring form of Erling Haaland, perhaps avoiding defeat is the main aim for Ten Hag and his players to live to fight another day in the race for Europe elsewhere.

2. United's 2024 consistency

City are not the only ones in improved form with United's 2024 having gone well, at least by the shockingly low standards set in the first half of the campaign. Just one loss from nine games across all competitions and seven wins in that spell is reasonably good going for the Red Devils and part of the reason that they re-entered the discussion regarding Champions League qualification recently. However, that improved form needs to stick with Spurs a game to the good and Villa eight points ahead of United despite losing twice to them -- especially with no guarantee that fifth spot will be a UCL berth come the end of this term. There are also some warning signs that United might have trouble keeping their newfound form. In the Premier League in 2024 that improved form has led to a goal difference of positive five, but an expected goal difference of only a little over one.

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3. Haaland's beast mode

With five goals scored in midweek as Luton Town were well and truly destroyed 6-2 in the FA Cup, City's predator is back on the field and in the goals. With 27 to his name plus four assists across all competitions, despite having missed a chunk of game time through injury, the Norwegian could be primed for another mammoth outing against United. Last time these two met back in October, Haaland scored twice and provided an assist in a 3-0 victory at Old Trafford which Guardiola must be relishing the prospect of given Ten Hag's habit of digging out unexpected points of late. Still, City fared well without the Scandinavian star and would have been confident of victory here with or without him.