The showdown between Manchester City and Manchester United headlines the action in Week 12 of the Premier League calendar.
City go into the game at the Etihad Stadium two points clear at the top of the table, having hammered Southampton 6-1 last time out domestically. In front of their own fans they will be hopeful of keeping up that early momentum, although there have been positive signs from the Red Devils in recent fixtures.
The previous campaign saw Sterling make a major step forward in terms of his productivity in the final third, and the signs are that he is going to continue that trend this term.
On Sunday, against Southampton, he terrorised the opposition defence with his close control and searing speed. Sterling was on the scoresheet twice too, taking his tally for the campaign to six goals.
Since the start of last season, he’s made many big contributions in attack for his team.
Afterwards, Sterling commented on the unity there is between himself and the rest of the attacking players:
Manager Pep Guardiola said after the brace against Saints that he’s noticed a major improvement in Sterling
“The first season, he was scared. He was looking, who is the guy I am going to pass the ball to,” he said, per BBC Sport. “We spoke about that and said: ‘Try to score goals. Now you have the feeling, where is the goal and go over there.'”
Against United last season Sterling missed a number of clear opportunities in the 3-2 loss. After his blistering beginning to this campaign, you sense he will make amends on Sunday.
On the other hand, it’s remarkable to think there was so much speculation about Martial possibly leaving United in the summer, as he’s beginning to emerge as the most important attacker in Mourinho’s side.
Following his equalising goal in the 2-1 win at Bournemouth on Saturday, the Frenchman finds himself in the best run of form since arriving at the club from Monaco:
Out on the left flank, he’s been accorded some freedom by Mourinho, making some devastating runs from outside to in. While quick and skilful, Martial’s composure in front of goal has stood out the most in his recent outings, meaning City will need to be careful to limit his chances on Sunday.
The battle down City’s right, where Sterling will likely be situated, and United’s left, where Martial will play, is sure to have a big impact on how the derby goes. The latter may have to muck in and do some defensive work, such will be City’s dominance in possession.
Chances for Martial to venture forward may be rare as a result, so it’s imperative he shows the same ruthlessness that’s been on show in recent weeks when he does get an opportunity.
Elsewhere, Chelsea welcome Everton to Stamford Bridge in what has the potential to be an absorbing encounter, while Liverpool face struggling Fulham.
Team P W D L
Man City 152 45 47 60
Man United 152 60 47 45
Cardiff v Brighton
S’Ampton v Watford
Leicester v Burnley
Hud’sfield v West Ham
Newcastle v Bo’mouth
Chelsea v Everton
Arsenal v Wolves
Liverpool v Fulham
C/Palace v Tottenham
Man City v Man Utd
Levante v Sociedad
Valladolid v Eibar
Getafe v Valencia
Atletico v Bilbao
Girona v Leganes
Alavés v Huesca
Arcelona v Real Betis
Vallecano v Villarreal
Sevilla v Espanyol
Celta Vigo v Real Madrid
Hannover v Wolfsburg
Düsseldorf v Berlin
Nurnberg v Stuttgart
Freiburg v Mainz
Hoffenheim v Augsburg
Bremen v Mo’gladbach
Dortmund v Bayern
Leipzig v Leverkusen
Frankfurt v Schalke 04
Frosinone v Fiorentina
Torino v Parma
SPAL v Cagliari
Genoa v Napoli
Atalanta v Inter
AS Roma v Sampdoria
Chievo v Bologna
Empoli v Udinese
Sassuolo v Lazio
AC Milan v Juventus
Lille v Strasbourg
Guingamp v Lyon
Angers v Montpellier
Nimes v Nice
St-Etienne v Reims
Toulouse v Amiens
Bordeaux v Caen
Marseille v Dijon
Rennes v Nantes
AS Monaco v PSG
DID YOU KNOW?
- Christopher Schindler’s goal ended a run of 658 minutes without a home Premier League goal for Huddersfield, since Tom Ince scored against Watford in April. Overdue.
- Huddersfield Town vs Fulham will be the first Premier League meeting of the season between two sides starting the day in the relegation zone.
- Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri is unbeaten in his first 11 Premier League games (W8 D3 L0), equalling the longest unbeaten start by a Premier League manager set by Frank Clark in 1994 at Nottingham Forest.
- This is the first time since the 1978-79 season that three top-flight teams have gone unbeaten in their opening 11 games of a league campaign (Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool).
- Eden Hazard is only the third player to assist a goal in three consecutive substitute appearances in the Premier League, after Tomasz Radzinski for Everton in March 2004, and Arjen Robben for Chelsea in April 2005.
- Andros Townsend has scored three goals in the Premier League against Chelsea, more than he has against any other opponent in the competition.
- Alvaro Morata has scored in back-to-back games in the Premier League for the first time since November 2017. Restored.
- Manchester City have scored five or more goals in a single Premier League game for the 12th time under Pep Guardiola – no other team has done so more than six times since the start of the 2016-17 season.Chelsea has lost two of their last three Premier League meetings with Crystal Palace (W1), as many as they had in their first 15 against them in the competition (W11 D2 L2).
- Sergio Aguero has scored his 150th Premier League goal in his 217th appearance – only Alan Shearer (212 games) has scored 150 in fewer games in Premier League history.
- Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero is just the third player to score 150 Premier League goals for a single club, after Thierry Henry for Arsenal (175) and Wayne Rooney for Manchester United (183).
- Southampton’s Wesley Hoedt has now scored two own goals in the Premier League this season, more than any other player in the competition.
- Southampton is winless in their last eight visits to the Etihad in all competitions (D1 L7), since winning their first ever match at the ground (3-1 in April 2004).
- Juan Foyth is the first player to concede two penalties in the same Premier League game since Phil Jagielka against Manchester City in October 2016.
- Kieran Trippier has provided four assists in his last seven away apps for Spurs in all comps. Day-tripper.
- Erik Lamela has had a hand in 11 goals in his last 12 appearances in all competitions for Spurs (8 goals, 3 assists).
- Tottenham are unbeaten in their last 38 @premierleague games against promoted sides, winning 35 and drawing three.
- Arsenal has won more points from losing positions than any other side in the Premier League this season.