Manchester City have the history of Manchester City to take a major step towards the Premier League title on Sunday’s show with challengers Manchester United. City United are 14 points clear with 11 points and a win in the derby would effectively end their faint hopes of holding on to their second-placed rivals. Pep Guardiola’s side has been so dominant since late last year that it could break through on its way to a third title in four seasons.
They are unbeaten in 28 matches and will set a new club record to avoid defeat this weekend.
This could be the first of many milestones to fall for City, who hold on to the English top flight record of 21 consecutive wins in all competitions.
The only teams in the top five European leagues that have recorded long-term wins in all competitions so far are Bayern Munich (23) and Real Madrid (22).
City could get close to Bayern’s rally on their 16th successive Premier League victory this weekend, which will take them to the brink of their record of 18 consecutive Premier League wins, a mark shared with Liverpool.
Guardiola’s team is short of six wins in 2016 equaling the world record for consecutive wins in all competitions by the top flight set by the Welsh team The New Saints.
All are notable given their troubled start to the city’s incredible run season.
When they were held to a 0–0 draw at United in December, they were ninth behind their rivals and rang the death knell to hope for their title.
But, battling some of Guardiola’s clever tactical dueling, including the use of full-backs João Canso and Kyle Walker as assistant attackers, they are perfect since.
City have not made it to the league for 19 matches despite being without long-suffering Sergio Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne.
Although United’s inconsistencies and the fall of champions Liverpool have contributed to City’s rise to the top, the supremacy of the leaders has not been limited in the league.
An unprecedented quadruple is within City’s reach, but Guardiola is determined to keep his players complacent.
“To do what we have done in these four years, Barcelona and Bayern are something special like my time in Munich,” he said.
“We’re in really good condition. I didn’t expect to be in this situation two or three months ago but we need to be calm.”
United have recently stumbled, drawing four of their last five league games, and their title ambitions faded into the fog of South London during Wednesday’s standoff at Crystal Palace.
Nevertheless, United are unbeaten in their last 21 away league games and Guardiola is well aware of the danger of what they can do.
United are the only side of the top five European leagues to lose in any top league match this season, while Ole Gunnar Solaskar has won both of their visits to the Etihad since taking over in 2019.
“I know how hard United is,” Guardiola said. “Not losing more than a year and they have good results in the Etihad.”
Realistically United, who are five points from fifth-placed Everton, will have to focus on qualifying for the Champions League, either through a top-four finish or winning the Europa League.
“Our focus is just on this one game and not where we are going to end up,” Solskjaer said.
“They are far away from us at the moment, so Sunday is a chance to test themselves against a very good team.”
Burnley v Arsenal (1230), Sheffield United v Southampton (1500), Aston Villa v Wolves (1730), Brighton v Leicester (2000)
West Brom v Newcastle (1200), Liverpool vs Fulham (1400), Manchester City vs Manchester United (1630), Tottenham v Crystal Palace (1915)
Chelsea v Everton (1800), West Ham v Leeds (2000)
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