Man United v Man City: Preview
Manchester United’s unbeaten record may lay in tatters after the shock loss to Wolves last week, but they still have their unbeaten home record to cling hold of, not to mention being in pole position to win the Premier League title for a 19th time. They will host their fierce rivals Manchester City – a rivalry that has been burning ever more ferociously since the mass money injection that City have enjoyed, and their climb up the league table. United now recognise City as a threat. They don’t like it.
A win for United will see them jump seven points clear at the top – a feat they could have achieved last week if it wasn’t for Wolves, and if a win is achieved, it will strike another dent on City’s hopes of winning their first League title in 43 years.
It has to be said, the omens look good for the men in red. City have won just one of their last 26 league visits to Old Trafford and have failed to score in four of their last five league encounters with their rivals. Consider then that United have the best home record by quite a distance this season, and the mountain that City have to climb is a daunting one.
City do have some of the statistics on their side however. As they travel to Old Trafford, they can remember that their away record is the second best in the League, having taken 22 points on the road behind Arsenals 25.
It must be emphasised though, that form counts for nothing in derby’s. And in any case, whatever the form guide tells us about United this season, it can’t hide the fact that the performances haven’t been the strongest in some very lucky results.
Dimitar Berbatov, the Premier League top scorer is up against Carlos Tevez – a former United team mate, and current second in the top scorer list with 18 behind the Bulgarians 19. Both players will have their chances to build on those impressive tallies, and whats more, both could make themselves local heroes in what could be the game of the week-end.
Sir Alex Ferguson could be without Javier Hernandez due to fatigue after the Mexican had to travel across the world and back for his countries friendly against Bosnia in the week. The United manager will be without Ferdinand and Evans who have a calf and ankle problem respectively, so the youn Chris Smalling will partner Nemanja Vidic in the centre of defence.
City will definatley be without England starlets Adam Johnson and Micah Richards, while Mario Balotelli is doubtful with a problematic knee injury and Nigel De Jong is struggling with ankle trouble. Football fans will be hoping that the drab 0 – 0 draw which was witnessed between these two sides earlier in the season will not be repeated, but perhaps the Man City manager Roberto Mancini might accept that result now.
There will be top quality on show on Saturday, and anything could happen. Both sides should be eager to win, and as long as they are not too cautious as was previously witnessed, it could be an entertaining and enjoyable match of football. Much depends on whether the impressively good United or the poor United show up.
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Submitted by DBSFootball
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