Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho have provided an update on the Manchester City and Manchester United squads respectively ahead of tomorrow’s cross-town derby at the Etihad Stadium. The Citizens require a victory to guarantee themselves of the league title, but the Red Devils will hope to make it difficult for their arch rivals.
Speaking ahead of the Manchester derby, Guardiola confirmed that Sergio Aguero has returned to training, but his participation could depend on a late fitness test. The Argentine has been sidelined with a knee injury for over a month, and his previous appearance in a competitive game came in a 1-0 triumph over Chelsea on March 4. Aside from this, Benjamin Mendy remains the sole long-term absentee as he continues to build up his fitness following an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
On the contrary, Jose Mourinho has a nearly full-strength to work with for the derby. United have had numerous midfield and defensive players sidelined with injuries over the course of the season, and the Portuguese will be pleased to have the entire squad to choose from, barring Sergio Romero. Romero sustained a knee issue during a collision with Diego Costa in an international friendly between Argentina and Spain, and Mourinho has revealed that the shot-stopper would be out for a ‘few weeks’
Comparing the regular starting XIs of both teams, Manchester City should have too much for their arch-rivals especially on their home turf. However, Guardiola is likely to rotate the squad with a view to the Champions League quarter-final second-leg versus Liverpool, and this may make for a tighter affair. Still, City have plenty of ammunition within the ranks to influence the result, and Mourinho’s defensive approach on the road to the top-six may come to haunt him – Manchester City 2-1 Manchester United.