Manchester Derby: Ranking the Top 5 Africans to Play in Man United vs Man City

Manchester Derby: Ranking the Top 5 Africans to Play in Man United vs Man City

Edwin Kiplagat
March 1, 2024 at 4:15 PM
In this article:
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Manchester City
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Manchester United
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  • Manchester United face Manchester City on Sunday
  • Several African footballers have played in this fixture
  • Legendary African players represented the blue side

Reigning Premier League champions Manchester City welcome bitter rivals Manchester United on Sunday, March 3.

Pep Guardiola's side are looking to win their fourth Premier League title in a row while the Red Devils are battling to finish in the top four.

A few African stars have played in this fixture over the years.

Manchester Derby, Man City, Manchester United manager, Defeat at Old Trafford, Premier Leaqgue leaders
Eric Bailly and Yaya Toure made their mark in the Manchester Derby between Manchester United and Manchester City. Photos by Matthew Peters and Alex Livesey.
Source: Getty Images

This match-up is one of the biggest fixtures in football. Man United's fortunes have declined in the last decade, but they have beaten European champions a few times during that period.

While United were experiencing their decline, Man City were slowly building a juggernaut. They are champions in five of the last six seasons.

Yaya Toure is a Man City legend; the former Ivory Coast international is the greatest African to play in the fixture. George Weah played for Man City but never played in a Manchester Derby.

A handful of Africans have played for Man United, most notably Quinton Fortune, Eric Djemba-Djemba, and Eric Bailly. The Ivory Coast defender had over 100 appearances for the club, more than any other African.

Andre Onana will be in goal on Sunday. The Cameroonian conceded three goals in his first Manchester Derby earlier in the season.

Top 10 Africans to play in Manchester Derby

5. Kelechi Iheanacho - Man City

The striker joined Man City as a youngster in 2014. He played two seasons at the Etihad before joining Leicester City. The Nigerian has played against Man United 12 times. He scored in Man City's 2-1 win at Old Trafford in the league in the 2016/17 season.

4. Emmanuel Adebayor - Man City

The Togolese striker played for Man City, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, and Crystal Palace in the Premier League. He faced Man United 15 times and scored three goals. The former Real Madrid star never scored in a Manchester Derby.

3. Kolo Toure - Man City

The centre-back spent four seans at Man City after a long spell at Arsenal. He was part of the team that won Man City's first-ever Premier League title. The defender faced the Red Devils 27 times. He faced the 13-time Premier League champions four times as a Man City player.

2. Riyad Mahrez - Man City

Mahrez's spell at Man City was incredible. The Algerian joined the club after helping Leicester City win the 2016 Premier League. After winning the treble with that club last season, Mahrez joined Saudi Pro League side Al Ahli. At City, he made 236 appearances and scored 78 goals. He won 11 trophies at Etihad.

The 33-year-old faced Man United 18 times. He won five, drew four, and lost nine. The 2019 AFCON winner registered three goals and three assists in the fixture.

1. Yaya Toure - Man City

The combative midfielder is arguably the best African to play in the Premier League. He joined Man City in 2010 and played a vital role in their Premier League title triumphs in 2012 and 2014. The 2015 AFCON winner scored 82 goals in 316 appearances. Toure retired in 2019.

The legendary midfielder faced Man United 18 times, won eight, lost six, and drew four. Toure scored four goals and provided one assist against Man United.

Manchester Derby preview

Sports Brief earlier previewed Man City vs Man United.

City will head into the Manchester derby in superb form. The reigning champions are unbeaten in their last nine league matches, recording eight wins and one draw.

Erik ten Hag's side, on the other hand, are coming off a 2-1 loss to Fulham. That defeat at Old Trafford snapped their four-match winning streak in the league.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.