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03rd Mar 2024

Kevin De Bruyne could break incredible Lionel Messi record in Manchester derby

Ryan Price

The Manchester City maestro will be a major player in the hotly-anticipated game.

One of the biggest rivalries in sport will play out later this afternoon as treble winners Manchester City host neighbours Manchester United at the Etihad stadium for the Premier League clash.

The 192nd Manchester derby comes at a crucial time in the season for both sides, with the Blues chasing Liverpool’s top spot while the Red Devils fight to claim a Champions League place for next season.

(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

While there are already several factors that could potentially make this game one of the biggest sporting events of the year, one in particular stands out as an intriguing prospect.

Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is viewed as something of a talisman for Pep Guardiola’s side, having made a big impact since returning from a spell on the sidelines earlier this season.

The 32 year old has provided 12 assists in just 11 games in all competitions, with four of those coming in City’s 6-2 mauling of Luton Town in the FA Cup on Tuesday night.

That quadruple of De Bruyne set-ups – all finished off by Erling Haaland – took his tally of assists in all competitions over the last 10 years to 202.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the only player who has created more goals in that time while playing in the Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A, Ligue 1 or the Bundesliga, is Lionel Messi.

Since 2014, the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner has provided 203 assists, the majority of them coming during his triumphant reign as Barcelona’s main man.

However, now that he works his magic in the MLS for American side Inter Miami, an opportunity has opened up for De Bruyne to become the number one assist-provider in Europe’s top five leagues over the past decade.

(Photo by Rich Storry/Getty Images)

Just one assist in today’s game would mean that De Bruyne would equal the Argentinian’s sensational record, while two would put him in the clear as the new record holder.

Today’s encounter looks set to be a thrilling game, with City back to usual high-scoring form thanks to the return of both De Bruyne and Erling Haaland from injury, while United will be determined to put up a fight following last weekend’s home defeat to Fulham.

Manchester City vs Manchester United kicks off today at 3:30pm.

You can follow all of the action on our live blog, where we’ll post updates, live reactions, and player ratings throughout the match.

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