Photo: Reuters

Manchester United will pay a visit to Manchester United for a crucial away tie at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday evening.

United are nine points behind City and will face a rampaging Pep Guardiola side that’s yet to win drop points in the league this season.

City won the league with 100 points last term – a Premier League record and scored record goals and recorded more wins that we’ve seen in the league.

This game will be a difficult derby game, but Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson believes United can get the victory if Jose Mourinho tells his wingers to stop City’s fullbacks from running riot.

“City will give Manchester United chances – Southampton could have conceded 10 but they had chances,” Merson told Sky Sports. “A better team would have scored three or four goals. But City beat teams easily who just sit there and defend so United have to be brave.

“United have to play with a lot of pace in attack. I would play Romelu Lukaku with Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford on the wings.

“I would tell those two to stay high up and not track back in order to put pressure on Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker. If you allow the City full-backs the licence to get forward, then you are in for a long day.

“City have got to defend better than they did in the second half of last year’s game but they are capable of scoring three goals in 10 minutes – they are that good.”

Former Arsenal forward Nicholas thinks that United must try and take the game to the home side in the first half and not sit deep and hope for a break.

“Just have a look at last season, when they were 2-0 down they went after City and they had some belief and pace about them,” added Nicholas.

“Now Jose will be cautious early on, but you have to go and attack Manchester City and see if you can put them off their game because if you just sit back and defend they’ll win that game every time.”