Pep's side could extend winning run

Man City eye more records in key derby

Manchester United's Nemanja Matic in action with Crystal Palace's Jordan Ayew.
Manchester United's Nemanja Matic in action with Crystal Palace's Jordan Ayew.
Image: MATTHEW CHILDS

London - The Premier League title race is all over bar the shouting but Manchester United at least have the opportunity to halt Manchester City's assault on the European record books when the sides meet in Sunday's derby at the Etihad Stadium.

City's win over Wolverhampton Wanderers this week was their 21st in a row in all competitions and 15th in succession in the league and left them 14 points clear of second-placed United who could only draw 0-0 with Crystal Palace.

Pep Guardiola insists the priority is reclaiming the English title, but the Spaniard will also be aware that his side are in sight of surpassing some of the longest winning streaks in European soccer's biggest leagues.

Victory over United would equal the 22 successive wins achieved by Carlo Ancelotti's Real Madrid in 2014-15.

It would also put them just one win away from equalling Bayern Munich's 23-game winning streak achieved last season and two behind Ajax Amsterdam who under Louis van Gaal embarked on a 25-match winning run in 1995.

The official top-level world record of 27 consecutive wins held by Welsh club New Saints is also looming into view, but on Sunday, at least, all that will become secondary.

While United are in danger of stalling after three successive 0-0 draws in all competitions, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can boast a decent record in the derby, winning three of his last six encounters with City.

This season's clash at Old Trafford ended 0-0 with United showing little ambition, a worrying trend whenever they have faced one of their immediate rivals this season.

While United boast a proud away record this season, still unbeaten on their travels in the top flight, Solskjaer will be expected to send a side out showing more ambition on Sunday.

"It's hard to explain. But I think that we have to do much better in these sorts of games, especially to create more opportunities, to risk more in their half, around their box," United midfielder Nemanja Matic said after the dour draw against Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

Third-placed Leicester City have faltered of late with injuries piling up, but they are still only a point behind United ahead of their game at Brighton tomorrow.

Fixtures

Tomorrow: Burnley v Arsenal, 2.30pm; Sheffield v Southampton, 5pm; Aston Villa v Wolves, 7.30pm; Brighton v Leicester, 10pm.

Sunday: West Brom v Newcastle, 2pm; Liverpool v Fulham, 4pm; Man City v Man United, 6.30pm; Tottenham v Crystal Palace, 9.15pm.

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