Manchester Derby: Guardiola's City eyes more records, Solskjaer's United stalling

Manchester City's win over Wolves this week was its 21st in a row in all competitions and left it 14 points clear of second-placed Manchester United.

Pep Guardiola's (R) Manchester City is in sight of surpassing some of the longest winning streaks in European football, while United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer boasts a decent record in the derby (File Photo).   -  Getty Images

The Premier League title race is all over bar the shouting but Manchester United at least has 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 its 21st in a row in all competitions and 15th in succession in the league and left it 14 points clear of second-placed United which 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 is in sight of surpassing some of the longest winning streaks in European football'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 the team just one win away from equalling Bayern Munich's 23-game winning streak achieved last season and two behind Ajax Amsterdam which under Louis van Gaal embarked on a 25-match winning run in 1995.

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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 is in danger of stalling after three successive 0-0 draws in all competitions, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer boasts a decent record in the derby, winning three of his last six encounters against City.

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

It has failed to win any of its seven games against the so-called "big six" this season, scoring only once.

- MORE AMBITION -

While United boasts a proud away record this season, still unbeaten during its 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.

Solskjaer says the clash with City will provide "extra spice" although how many risks he will be prepared to take against a rampant City on course to beat its own joint-record 18-match Premier League winning run, is questionable.

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During its 15-match victorious streak in the league, City has racked up 38 goals and conceded only five.

Defeat for United would leave it vulnerable in the race to finish in the top four, a battle that could involve at least eight clubs chasing the three spots below runaway leader City.

Third-placed Leicester City has faltered of late with injuries piling up, but it is still only a point behind United ahead of its game at Brighton on Saturday.

West Ham, which was fourth ahead of Thursday's clash between fifth-placed Chelsea and sixth-placed Liverpool, suffered a 2-1 defeat by Manchester City last weekend, but will take great heart from pushing City all the way.

It hosts Leeds United on Monday when Chelsea is at home to Everton in another match that will have a big influence in the quest to secure Champions League football.

At the other end of the table, 17th-placed Newcastle United faces a nervy trip to 19th-placed West Bromwich Albion on Sunday evening, when defeat would leave the Magpies in grave danger.