Nedum Onuoha says Man Utd do not need to play well to beat Man City | Football

Jadon Sancho scored at the Etihad during last season's Manchester derby (Image: Getty)

Jadon Sancho scored at the Etihad during last season’s Manchester derby (Image: Getty)

Former Manchester City defender Nedum Onuoha believes Manchester United don’t need to play well to beat their former club on Sunday.

Erik ten Hag’s side travel across town for the first Manchester derby of the season in a bid to claim their fifth consecutive Premier League win.

United have looked revitalized under the Dutchman since the 4-0 defeat at Brentford in August, recording impressive victories over Liverpool and Arsenal.

But Pep Guardiola’s champions are also looking strong as they haven’t lost a game from their opening seven and are five points clear of United after playing one more.

City beat United on both occasions when the sides met in the top flight last season, with the Red Devils most recently beating their rivals towards the end of the 2020-21 season

Ex-City defender Onuoha told ESPN FC when asked how he was feeling ahead of the first Manchester derby in 2022-23: “As always.

“You’re always a bit nervous, as great as City are and win so many games, there’s always that nagging doubt [heading into the Manchester derby].

“Manchester United, when they play Manchester City, they don’t have to play well to get a result.

“If you spend most of your life watching the red side beat the blue side, it affects you. City are favorites and it’s a great test for United.

“The win against Arsenal was good for them, can they take the momentum they have gained to the Etihad?

Marcus Rashford scored twice as Man Utd beat leaders Arsenal earlier this month (Image: EPA)

Marcus Rashford scored twice as Man Utd beat leaders Arsenal earlier this month (Image: EPA)

“How are you going to play the game? It’s very interesting tactically and they have a bit of firepower too.’

One player who could play a key role for United in the Manchester derby is Christian Eriksen, who has impressed since arriving at Old Trafford in the summer.

He was recently praised by ex-United star Michael Carrick, who said: “I’m not surprised one bit [by Eriksen’s form].

“I played against him a lot; I’ve watched him a lot. I like him very much. He’s a fantastic footballer. He’s smart, he’s smart.

“It almost doesn’t matter what position he plays. He can adapt. He’s just a smart, intelligent footballer with great quality.

“I was delighted when we signed him and he didn’t surprise me one bit. He’s a top player.’

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