IT’S derby day and there’s an extra spring in City’s step as we prepare to lock horns with United for the fourth time this season in an eagerly anticipated Old Trafford encounter.

Pep Guardiola’s side travel to Old Trafford on the back of four successive victories away from home in all competitions and, not surprisingly, there’s no shortage of pre-match coverage in Sunday’s media round-up.

There are some fascinating comments from Raheem Sterling and Gary Lineker as well as a raft of big match predictions.

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Of course, it wouldn’t be Media Watch without the latest slice of transfer gossip and there are also more warm words for Lauren Hemp ahead of England’s second She Believes Cup outing against Japan later this evening.

From the players

bbc.comSterling itching to end derby drought

Raheem Sterling has 20 goals for City this season but has not found the net in his past 11 games for the club, and his scoring record against United is poor - he has failed to score against the Red Devils in 19 games for City and Liverpool.

"It happens," he said. "Before January I was at 20 goals, after I haven't scored yet but I'm five goals away from beating my record from last season and so confident I will be able to do it.

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"At first I wasn't taking in that I hadn't scored against [United] and then the last two years I have known the record and have started to think about it too much.

"Now I am not thinking about it. I know I am going to get a moment."

News

Dailymail.co.ukLineker: Pep reminds me of Cruyff

"Where would I have a season ticket here?' (Significant deliberation.) 'Manchester City. I switch between them and Liverpool, but I love the way Pep Guardiola has evolved the game.

"I love Jurgen Klopp's personality, he's a star, his energy, it's fantastic. But the football is simple, you know what you are going to get. What City do — it's just so clever. You'll see a different formation, a different way, every visit. They take the game on.

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"Sometimes Guardiola will do something you think is almost too smart, like at Real Madrid last week, but that reminds me of Johan Cruyff. I was fascinated by his training. He just saw it all differently — off the charts, even when he played me on the wing.

"I had no sympathy for wingers after that. It was simple, just crossing it — but most of the ones I played with had not a Scooby how to even do that.

"Guardiola players are smart, and the best ones are really smart, particularly their spatial awareness. Messi plays like he's standing above himself. It's not university clever.”

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sportsmole.co.ukCity out to equal 89-year-old derby record

"City will be looking to equal an 89-year-old derby record against Manchester United when they face their bitter rivals in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.

"Pep Guardiola's side again fell 25 points behind runaway leaders Liverpool on Saturday and although the title appears to be beyond them this season, they will be determined to triumph at Old Trafford.

"United have actually lost their last three home games against City in all competitions, twice in the Premier League, in addition to a 3-1 reverse in the EFL Cup earlier this season.

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"Only on one previous occasion have the Citizens won four successive matches at Old Trafford, which occurred between January 1926 and February 1931.

"Saturday's results have seen United drop into seventh position in the Premier League table, 15 points behind their rivals heading into Sunday's contest."

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the guardian.comFeisty Hemp gives Lionesses hope

Lionesses goalkeeper Carly Telford, who also stood out for England in their She Believes Cup opener against the USA , said: “I could stand and watch Lauren Hemp all day.

"She’s an absolute pleasure to be around as a person, an absolute fantastic player and I think what you’re going to see is a potential Ballon d’Or winner because that girl is going to go very far.”

Against one of the best right-backs in the world in Kelley O’Hara Hemp more than held her own and not long after kick-off found herself well and truly under the skin of an initially frustrated Rose Lavelle, a World Cup final goalscorer.

“They didn’t know whether to show her inside, outside,” added Telford. “She’s going behind them, outmuscling players; she’s not afraid and I love that.”

 

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Predictions

skysports.comCharlie Nicholas

"It's a proper Super Sunday. Manchester City aren't going for the title but they know the potential ramifications of losing this one with Liverpool coming to town in a few weeks.

"Manchester United have beaten City at the Etihad already twice this season, but in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at Old Trafford, it was City who picked them off.

"The demands of United fans dictate that they won't be parking the bus, but to go head to head with them on their own patch. This suits City.

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"Having got their first trophy of the season, I imagine Pep Guardiola will have his strongest side out. United have been better defensively and are a counter-attacking side, but I still think City will pick them off with Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne, provided he's fit.

Prediction: 1-3

betvictor.com - Michael Owen

"Recent Carabao Cup winners Manchester City travel across Manchester for their derby clash with United in the match of the weekend.

"They’ll be in a confident mood heading to Old Trafford but from the three matches between the sides this season, Manchester United have already won two.

"However, in what is sure to be a closely fought contest, I think the bragging rights will be shared with a goal and a point apiece."

Prediction: 1-1

bbc.comMark Lawrenson

"United look a lot better of late, and they have a realistic chance of finishing in the Champions League places. I have been impressed by City recently too though.

"Kevin de Bruyne's form is a big reason I am expecting Pep Guardiola's side to kick on between now and the rest of the season, but he is a doubt for this one because of a shoulder injury.

"Whether he plays or not could make the difference whether City win or not. I am expecting midfield to be a key battle in the outcome, and it would usually be an area where they are on top.

"But with Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic fit, and Bruno Fernandes providing the spark, I have a feeling United will be competitive in there, and this should be a very close game.

Prediction: 1-1

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Transfer gossip

Express.co.ukCity line up £80m defensive swoop?

"City boss Pep Guardiola is prepared to splash out £80million on Inter Milan stopper Milan Skriniar in a bid to solve his defensive problems.

"The Slovakian international has earned a reputation as one of the best defenders in Europe, and Guardiola has put him at the top of his summer shopping list. And Guardiola is ready to pip Spanish giants Real Madrid to the signing of Skriniar, 25, whom they have continued to watch after failing to sign him for £55million last summer.

"City who are about to relinquish their Premier League crown to Liverpool after failing to find a top-class replacement for Vincent Kompany when he left to became player-manager of Anderlecht.

"They have identified several players including Leicester City’s Caglar Soyuncu, Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake as well as Skriniar, to fill the gap.

"Skriniar has spent the last three seasons at Milan and has flourished under former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte since took over in the San Siro last summer."

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