Manchester United and Manchester City are heavyweights of English football, and the two teams are set for a blockbuster match at Old Trafford on Sunday. Manchester derby is always huge in the Premier League, but this contest is a one notch higher due to the PL standings.
City have been the best team in the league and are on top of the table with 43 points while United, on 35, lie second. Though the season is not even mid-way, City are running away with the title and another win on Sunday will only make their case stronger.
United will be eager to close the gap to five points with a win, but it is not going to be easy despite playing at home as City have been a ruthless unit.
United will come into this match as a confident unit after beating Arsenal and CSKA Moscow in their last two Premier League and Champions League matches respectively. However, City are a different breed when compared to the teams that United have faced so far, and Mourinho is aware of the special rivalry, and his only objective will be to collect three points.
"For me, it's one more big match against one of the best teams in the country. We are a better team than last year. I think City is also better than last season," BBC quoted Mourinho as saying.
Mourinho, who will miss Paul Pogba, will need his big players like Romelu Lukaku, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, to beat City and challenge them in the title race. His opposite number, Pep Guardiola has been praised for his team's attacking flair and United will have to strong at the back irrespective of which players start for City, who have some big names.
It remains to be seen if City will start with Sergio Aguero or Gabrial Jesus. They do not depend on one player, which is a hallmark of a great team. The likes of Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane, Kevin Du Bruyne and David Silva have contributed to their team's splendid form this season, and it is time for them to stand against arch-rivals, United.
City's attitude to football this season has been positive – we will score more than what you will. They have been one of the most entertaining teams, destroying clubs with their attacking display, scoring 46 goals, the most this season. City might be looked upon as slight favourites, but Guardiola is aware of the threat United brings to the table.
"When you see in every game the statistics — not just the way we play — we are better in terms of potential goals, possession and chances conceded. But I think United are fantastic on that. When the statistics are good they win and when they are not good they are able to win 3-1 (against Arsenal) at the Emirates, one of the most difficult stadiums," AFP quoted Guardiola as saying.
The game could be an all-time classic derby, with goals written all over it, due to the quality of offensive players in both the camps. It remains to be seen which players stand up to be counted and help their team emerge victorious.
Where to watch live
Manchester United vs Manchester City is scheduled for 4:30 pm (10 pm IST, 11:30 am ET).
Live TV and streaming options
India: TV: Star Sports Select 1 /HD; Live streaming: Hotstar
UK: TV: Sky Sports Premier League; Live streaming: Sky Go
US: TV: NBC Sports; Live streaming: Fubo TV
Thailand: TV: beIN Sports 1
Spain: TV: Movistar+
Malaysia: Astro Supersport 3; Live streaming: Astro Go