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Manchester Derby: Why Man City vs Man Utd Is Kicking Off Early



Spanish icon, Pep Guardiola’s side have had the upper hand over the Red Devils in recent clashes. But why is Sunday’s Manchester derby being played at an unorthodox time?

The world will be watching when Manchester comes to a standstill on Sunday when City hosts United in the derby. Pep Guardiola’s team is presently 15 points clear of United in the table, and they are favourites to continue their recent dominance in the match. They have won three of the past four derbies, including the all-Manchester FA Cup final last year.

READ ALSO: Man United Have ‘Most Expensive Squad Ever’ As They Beat Real Madrid’ Record 

Another crucial game in the Premier League title chase for second-place City, who now lead third-place Arsenal by one point and trail leaders Liverpool by one. And when the Cityzens play the Merseysiders at Anfield the following week, they will be especially eager to win and maintain their lead above them.

After a shocking 2-1 loss to Fulham at home, United’s ambitions of surprising everyone and qualifying for the Champions League are dwindling quickly. Another setback at the Etihad Stadium could be the final straw for their hopes of catching Aston Villa.


However, the game will be kicking off at unusual time. THEEAGLE explains why…

What time does Man City vs Man Utd kick off?


March 3, 2024


Kick-off time:

3:30pm GMT



Etihad Stadium

The upcoming Manchester derby between Manchester City and Manchester United is scheduled to be played on Sunday March 3.

It will kick off at the earlier time of 3:30pm in the United Kingdom, which means an early start of 10:30am ET (5:30am PT) for fans based in the United States.


Why does the Manchester derby have an earlier kick off time?

Sunday Premier League games often begin around 2pm or 4:30 p.m. The Manchester derby, on the other hand, is scheduled at the unusual time of 3:30 p.m.

The decision to begin one hour earlier than normal was made after broadcasters and police reached a consensus.

The preferred time for Premier League rights holder Sky Sports is 4:30 p.m., but it is seen to be too dangerous for a game of this size because there is a higher chance of crowd unrest.


Consequently, the 3:30 p.m. time slot is a compromise reached by broadcasters and local authorities, which means that rival supporters will have less opportunity to stir up violence.

Which TV channel is Man City vs Man Utd on?


TV channel


United Kingdom

Sky Sports Premier League

United States







Optus Sport








Sky Sport Premier League



Hotstar VIP


Sky Sports Premier League



Sky Sport Uno




The Manchester Derby is available for viewing on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event for viewers in the United Kingdom. The Sky GO smartphone service allows for a live web feed as well.

The game will only be accessible to watch live on Peacock in the United States.


Have other games been played at 3:30pm?

The final Manchester derby took place at Old Trafford on October 29, 2023, marking the first Sunday afternoon encounter to start at 3:30 p.m.

United stated at the time: “The unusual start time was agreed following consultation between the clubs, the broadcaster and local authorities.”

In the end, City easily won 3-0 thanks to goals from Phil Foden and twice from Erling Haaland.


What is the team news?

Man City team news

Jack Grealish, who pulled up during the FA Cup victory over Luton due to a groyne injury, and defender Josko Gvardiol, who is rehabilitating from an ankle injury, will undoubtedly be out for City. Guardiola has a complete roster to select from anyway, and he has an added bonus in-form Kevin De Bruyne, who came through the FA Cup win over Luton unscathed.

Man United team news

United will be severely depleted by injuries when they turn up at the Etihad Stadium. Erik ten Hag will definitely be without star striker Rasmus Hojlund as well as fellow centre-forward Anthony Martial, full-backs Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia, centre-backs Harry Maguire and Lisandro Martinez and midfielder Mason Mount. The manager has also revealed there are doubts about the availability of Bruno Fernandes and Raphael Varane.

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