Top save by David de Gea – the first tough save he’s made. A great ball across by Fabian Delph from the left, Ashley Young can’t climb high enough, and it comes to Sane. His shot on the angle is rising but De Gea reacts well and touch it over.
United can’t get on the ball for more than a couple of passes at the moment as City prepare for another assault before half-time. Matic and Smalling combine to cut off a supply line to Jesus inside the box.
Rojo needs a change of shirt but looks fit enough to continue after being patched up. A bit of blood on the side of his head following that clash with Silva.
Sterling not happy as he has an angry word into Marcos Rojo’s ear after attempting to weave his way into the box. City trying to score the perfect goal again there instead of shooting.
Meanwhile, Rojo charges into the back of David Silva in the centre circle and he’ll receive a yellow card and correctly so. Worse still, he needs treatment for a head injury.
That might be Rojo’s last involvement as well with Victor Lindelof now getting prepared.
It prompts Pep Guardiola to walk up and say something to Jose Mourinho, who has a wry smile on his face.
Fernandinho has played quite a few nice cross-field balls in this opening half-hour and he picks out Gabriel Jesus inside the box with his latest one. The Brazilian is blocked out by Marcos Rojo.
United break down the right and Jesse Lingard is penalised for what looked like a shoulder barge on Otamendi in the corner.
Ederson hasn’t been too engaged so far but he does well to control and clear a sharp Kyle Walker back pass after the City right-back came under pressure from Lingard. United almost in. Almost.
United get the ball far enough forward to get into City’s defensive third as Jesse Lingard chases down a lost cause. Approaching the half-hour mark and United clinging on.
A nasty challenge by Vincent Kompany on Ander Herrera. Well, that’s the opinion of the home fans anyway but he did win the ball. Still a moment or two for United to catch breath.
Chris Wheeler:‘Park the bus, park the bus, Man United’ sing the City fans, and Jose Mourinho’s team are certainly being forced to defend in depth so far, whether by design or necessity. City are looking increasingly dangerous in front of David De Gea’s goal here. On the other hand, the only thing Ederson might end up catching is a cold.
Everything going City’s way at the moment as Gabriel Jesus, who has moved out onto the left, runs at Antonio Valencia and is snuffed out just in the nick of time by Matic.
Then Sterling has a burst, then David Silva has the chance to shoot. It loops up into the arms of De Gea.
The away fans doing ‘Oles’ with every pass as Jesus goes down in the box. No penalty.
Jack Gaughan:Not sure United’s midfield two have got to grips with this game properly yet. Both seem scared of engaging with the ball for fear of losing runners in behind. That’s forcing United back deeper than even Mourinho would be comfortable with.
Nice City movement again, led by Raheem Sterling through the middle. He trades passes with Gabriel Jesus and, under pressure from Chris Smalling, the City man’s shot is under hit and easy for De Gea.
United hoofing their clearances forward quite a lot, the travelling fans taking great pressure in shouting ‘hoof’ each time. They’re also singing ‘park the bus, park the bus Man United!’
City swing across a free-kick after Walker was fouled by Matic on the right. Antonio Valencia doesn’t get a call from De Gea and makes the clearance for a corner when it wasn’t necessary.
Sane’s corner is very nearly turned into his own net by Matic, who thankfully scuffed an attempted clearance at the near post and De Gea collects.
City have enjoyed 77 per cent possession so far as they again pass it around on the edge of United’s box. Sane rolls a pass back to Fernandinho, who aims for goal but it’s blocked.
United need to move the ball quicker on the counter, though they did have a moment when Lukaku was almost released a few minutes ago.
United already having to sit in soak up City pressure. Leroy Sane has switched over to the right side and Raheem Sterling is playing in the middle. Sterling tries to thread a pass into Gabriel Jesus but the forward can’t quite control it and United clear.
Romelu Lukaku penalised for a shove from behind on Nicolas Otamendi. ‘You’re joking’ screams the Belgian as United’s counter is brought to a premature end.
The first man into the book is City’s Kyle Walker – retrospectively – for a very late challenge on Ander Herrera as United broke away. Marcus Rashford carries the ball down the United left, thinks he’s won a corner but finds it’s a goal kick.
High-octane start at Old Trafford with both teams getting some early time on the ball. Michael Oliver has a word with Jesse Lingard after a late challenge on Leroy Sane down by the touchline.
We’re off and running at Old Trafford!
Jack Gaughan:Think Guardiola is keeping Mourinho waiting for the pre-match handshake here. United’s boss is stood on the edge of City’s technical area…
…and here he comes finally! Running down the touchline to a chorus of boos. Handshake complete. Game on.
Here we go then, the two teams walk down the tunnel and out into a noisy Old Trafford. It’s time for the Manchester derby!
It goes without saying really but United in their familiar red shirts today, City in light blue.
It looks like the snow has abated for the time being, just a few flakes falling from the dark skies above.
Just time for the handshakes and then we’ll be off.
Ian Herbert: Up in tier 2 of the Old Trafford North West quadrant, it’s eerily quiet. Feels like a sense of foreboding here about what City will bring to this game. Even the City warm-up looked like yoga….
Chris Wheeler: Almost ready to go in the snow at Old Trafford. Pogba’s suspension and Fellaini’s knee injury mean United go with a young and dynamic attacking trident of Rashford, Lingard and Martial behind Lukaku. Can Mourinho park the bus with that line-up? Unlikely. Kompany is fit for City and his presence at the back could be key for the visitors.
The players on both sides making their final preparations now before assembling in the Old Trafford tunnel. Outside, the snow is swirling around and it’s bitterly cold.
But this contest could not be white hot.
Manchester United's Ashley Young and Chris Smalling warm up before the match
Bernardo Silva of Manchester City emerges from the tunnel
Manchester City's Eliaquim Mangala runs during the warm up as snow falls
Jose Mourinho has just been speaking on Sky Sports ahead of the game.
The United boss was asked whether it’s his side with attacking intent rather than City and he replied: ‘It’s not true. When they have the ball, we have to defend with 11. And when we have the ball we have to attack with 11, including the goalkeeper. It’s as simple and pragmatic as that.
‘We have to defend very well when they have the ball and be very objective and intense when we have it. When they have it, we want to recover it.
‘We know we’re not going to have a huge percentage of time with the ball on our feet. We have to be very objective when we have.’
*Though that looks pretty tough in the snow!
The full-time whistle has gone at Anfield in the Merseyside derby and Everton have somehow come away with a point despite being under the cosh for most of the game.
Mohamed Salah opened the scoring for the Reds in the first-half but Wayne Rooney’s penalty near the end earned a point for Sam Allardyce’s men.
IAN LADYMAN: Opportunity awaits Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford and the question is whether the Manchester United manager has the courage to get on the front foot to try and take it.
Manchester City must realistically lose three times at least if they are to surrender their lead at the top of the Premier League. If that is to happen then I would imagine United themselves are going to have to inflict two of those defeats themselves.
Pep Guardiola’s team have not been at their best recently. They have rescued games late through sheer force of will and although that’s a good characteristic to have, they have not been as imperious as they were in late autumn.
Not too much longer to wait now until we get underway at Old Trafford.
Jack Gaughan at Old Trafford:Mourinho can’t be accused of parking any busses today but is that XI too attacking?
Jesse Lingard, presumably the No 10, is going to need to do a serious job on Fernandinho in midfield.
A mini roar went up around Old Trafford when that Rooney penalty flew in by the way…
Police horses on patrol outside Old Trafford as fans make their way to the ground
One young United fans is carried shoulder high as he arrives at Old Trafford
Manchester United badges on sale prior to the match
We are level at Anfield as Wayne Rooney smashes home a penalty for the Toffees after Dejan Lovren had barged into Dominic Calvert-Lewin in a moment of madness. 1-1 with 12 minutes left.
It will hurt Manchester United fans to hear this but their neighbours Manchester City, so often subordinates in the past, have the look of an Alex Ferguson team. It is not just the relentless attacking, wave after wave of players coming at you. It is also those late wins which are reminiscent of United from 10 years ago.
There is a feeling that even if you hold City for 90 minutes, somehow they will find a way to beat you. Southampton know that feeling but also West Ham, Huddersfield and Feyenoord. It is so hard to keep holding off attack after attack after attack, which is exactly how it was playing against United.
In their hearts, United fans know this already. And they will also surely know that should Jose Mourinho try to take on Pep Guardiola with a gung-ho tactical approach of attacking football, which some would say is the United way, they will fail. Mourinho knows that he simply hasn’t got the players to do that.
Kyle Walker arrives at Old Trafford for the game
Pep Guardiola leads his City players off the coach at Old Trafford
Ilkay Gundogan has been named on the City bench today
Leroy Sane listens to music as he walks into Old Trafford
So that’s certainly a bold, attacking approach by United boss Jose Mourinho today, with Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford all starting behind Romelu Lukaku.
Ander Herrera comes in to take the place of the suspended Paul Pogba, while Marouane Fellaini misses out completely.
For City, Gabriel Jesus gets the nod ahead of the more experience derby warrior Sergio Aguero – he’s on the bench – while Kevin de Bruyne plays in central midfield with David Silva ahead of him.
Manchester Utd: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Rojo, Young, Ander Herrera, Matic, Martial, Lingard, Rashford, Lukaku
Substitutes: Lindelof, Jones, Mata, Ibrahimovic, Romero, Shaw, McTominay
Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Otamendi, Kompany, Delph, De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva, Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, Sane
Substitutes: Bravo, Danilo, Gundogan, Aguero, Mangala, Bernardo Silva, Alexander Zinchenko
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)
Ian Herbert at Old Trafford:For me, the best pic from today’s match programme by a distance. Brian Kidd – who’s played in red and blue in derbies – leads United training before the 1995/6 season. Spot a young Gary Neville and David Beckham, along with Keane and Schmeichel.
Romelu Lukaku scored in both of Everton’s league matches against Manchester City last season – the only player to have scored in three successive league appearances against a side managed by Pep Guardiola is Diego Forlan (Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona between March 2009 and February 2010).
Gabriel Jesus has been directly involved in 21 goals in his 24 Premier League appearances so far in his career (15 goals, six assists).
Ederson has only made 20 saves in 15 Premier League appearances this season for Manchester City – his rival goalkeeper at Manchester United; David de Gea has saved 21 shots in his last four Premier League appearances, including 14 in his last game against Arsenal.
Ian Herbert at Old Trafford: Ryan Giggs into today’s match programme reveals that United didn’t see this City juggernaut coming when Abu Dhabi bought into the club.
He says: ‘I don’t think anyone knew how serious they were after the takeover and how much money would be piled into the club.’
JOE BERNSTEIN: Jose Mourinho has cranked up the pressure on Manchester City for a final time ahead of Sunday’s derby by accusing Pep Guardiola’s team of strategic fouling.
While the Premier League leaders have won plaudits for their thrilling attacking play this season, Mourinho insists he is aware of a pre-determined plan whereby City deliberately concede quick free-kicks in the opposition half when they fear they are vulnerable to counter-attacks.
City have collected 42 yellow cards this season — more than any of their big six rivals — despite dominating possession more than any other team.
ROB DRAPER: There is only one way Pep Guardiola can approach Sunday’s Manchester derby and football in general.
As if we were ever in doubt that he might one day compromise his obsession with possession-based football, on Friday he reaffirmed that it is not just the best way to succeed:, it is, for him, the only way he can play.
Asked what would happen if his passing football no longer produced results, Guardiola was unequivocal.
‘If that is going to happen, I’m going to retire,’ he said. ‘Because I don’t feel it another way. I could defend more deep but I want to have the ball and I want to play.’
If Pep Guardiola’s side win this match then they will equal the all-time English top-flight league record of 14 consecutive victories; set by Arsenal between February and August 2002.
Jose Mourinho has won just four of his 19 managerial meetings with Pep Guardiola in all competitions (W4 D7 L8), with just one of those wins coming in league competition (2-1 with Real Madrid at Barcelona in April 2012).
These are the two tightest defences in the Premier League this season, with Manchester United (9) having conceded one goal fewer than Manchester City (10); this despite facing more than double the tally of shots on target (64 v 27).
Manchester United’s cumulative xG conceded total in the Premier League this season is 18.79 (8th best), meaning that from the quality of chances they have allowed their opponents, the average side would have conceded 10 goals more than they have done (19 instead of nine).
Fans grab a pre-match bite to eat outside the United Cafe
A Manchester United fan wears a Santa hat and beard
A United fans pictured in front of a picture of their 2008 Champions League triumph
Jack Gaughan at Old Trafford: Hello from Old Trafford! This is one of those days where every single song in the car during the journey here gets you going.
It’s widely accepted that today is the biggest derby for some time and you could tell that when the question was put to Juan Mata last week.
Mata might not have been drawn on the topic but the twinkle in his eye – complete with a little smirk – gave away the answer…
Of course the Merseyside derby ongoing this afternoon and Liverpool, who have barraged the Everton box for most of the first-half, have just taken the lead thanks to Mohamed Salah’s lovely curled finish.
CLICK HERE to follow our live blog from Anfield.
JOE BERNSTEIN: Raheem Sterling is amazed at the way Leroy Sane can fall asleep anywhere, even on the team coach travelling a few hundred yards from Manchester City’s training ground to the Etihad Stadium for a game. ‘Super-chilled,’ says Sterling, in admiration.
Perhaps Sane’s laid-back approach has been an inspiration to his partner-in-crime. Sterling has over-thought things in the past, by his own admission, but this term the erratic finisher has been replaced by an ice-cold assassin, with 13 goals in 20 club appearances already a career-best tally.
He ended last month with three important late winners in a row and will be key for unbeaten City in Sunday’s Manchester derby at Old Trafford, the most important Premier League fixture of the season so far.
After losing four Premier League games in a row against Manchester City, Manchester United have lost just one of their last five derbies against them (W2 D2 L1).
No away side has scored more Premier League goals at Old Trafford than Manchester City (27 – level with Chelsea) while only Chelsea (6) have won more games there as the visiting side in the competition than City (5).
Manchester United have lost seven of their last 12 league games against their local rivals (W3 D2 L7) – as many as they had lost in their previous 45 in league competition against them (W22 D16 L7).
Jose Mourinho’s side are on the longest current unbeaten home run in the Premier League (24 games – W14 D10 L0), with their last such defeat at Old Trafford coming against Manchester City in September 2016 (1-2).
Manchester City have now won 13 successive league matches – a joint-record within a single top-flight season, alongside Chelsea (2016-17), Arsenal (2001-02), Preston and Sunderland (both 1891-92).
Report by Matt Barlow: Arsenal dominated for long periods and almost passed the ball into submission before Olivier Giroud rescued a point with a magnificent header.
Sometimes, there really is nothing for it but to swing the ball into the penalty area and hope the big man can get his head onto it.
Giroud, not the most refined footballer in Arsene Wenger’s squad, certainly knows what it takes to reach a cross.
The Manchester United squad put the final touches on their preparations for the local derby as they gathered at the Lowry Hotel on Sunday morning.
First team stars Romelu Lukaku, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcos Rojo, Juan Mata, Chris Smalling and Anthony Martial were all pictured checking in hours ahead of kick off at Old Trafford.
Ibrahimovic, Phil Jones, Rojo, Marouane Fellaini, David de Gea and Nemanja Matic have returned to squad against City. Matic and De Gea are set to start after they were left out of the midweek meeting with CSKA tie in preparation.
Rojo was also rested and United manager Jose Mourinho, who was pictured arriving at the Lowry on Saturday, said Fellaini had a ‘chance’ of regaining fitness after missing the last three games.
Ian Herbert at Old Trafford:Still no sign of the Sunday snow which had been forecast for Manchester – only occasional flakes.
But it’s the fans travelling up from the south who’re struggling. One United season ticket holder told me earlier: ‘I’ve turned back. Got 0.3 miles in 45 minutes. No chance.’ Be interesting to see if it has any effect on today’s attendance
Meetings between Manchester United and Manchester City really don’t need any additional hype, but this one really has that season-defining quality about it.
Pep Guardiola’s City have the opportunity to move 11 points clear of Jose Mourinho’s United at the top of the Premier League if they can win at Old Trafford this afternoon.
Now, it seems daft to be saying this in December, but given the way City have been playing, surely that would be an insurmountable lead?
Yet if United win, inflicting on City their first league defeat of the season, and trim the gap to just five points it will very much be game on.
So welcome along to our live coverage of what is a 4.30pm kick-off at Old Trafford. It promises to be a cracker and we’re not even at Christmas yet.
A Christmas tree is seen outside Old Trafford