Manchester United v Manchester City

Old Trafford, Manchester

Monday 8th April 2013 KO 20:00

Referee: M.Dean; Assistants: S.Child & J.Brooks; Fourth Official: H.Webb

Next up is the match we have all been waiting for, the Manchester derby. We will have waited a full week to see United play again, which would have been tough for most. This is the match that will either give City some life towards the end of the season, or put that final nail in their coffin. A win would see United 18 points clear of City, a draw would reduce the gap to 14 points and a loss would reduce it to 12 points. This is a must win match to make the noisy neighbours suffer.

Virgin Media are illuminating the Town Hall in Manchester in either Red of Blue at 19:30 tomorrow evening [Sunday] and from what I have seen it is likely to be Red. I found it pretty good that companies were willing to promote this match as one of the biggest domestic matches this season. We all remember what happened at Old Trafford last season, and we won’t dwell on it.

It has been a pretty eventful week for news on Manchester City, what with Tevez’s escaping a prison term for his driving whilst still banned, Kompany saying the derby if to be the champions of Manchester, Mancini saying the Premier League table lies and City did not deserve to be 15 points below United to today’s rhetoric with Joe Hart admitting United do deserve to be 15 points ahead of them this season. For everything other than the Tevez issue, what was City’s press office doing letting all that other tribe his the newspapers? It just makes them sound even more bitter than before.

Back to the match, Roberto Mancini has rules out Jack Rodwell, Maicon and Micah Richards. Samir Nasri, David Silva and Matija Nastasić all suffered injuries, but it is thought that all will be available for the match. Sir Alex Ferguson has a little injury problem. Alongside Darren Fletcher and Paul Scholes being on the sidelines, also Jonny Evans and Nemenja Vidic are 50-50 to feature in the derby, but Wayne Rooney and Rafael da Silva should be fit after returning to training this week.

Another win for United, brings number 20 that much closer to reality!

What boss says:

“It’s a derby game with a difference from a few years ago. We have to get used to playing Manchester City in big games and that’s the case again.”

“The important thing is to win Monday’s game. It’ll be a big game for City. They’ll want to come and derail us for a spell. We’re at home and our consistency is there for all to see. I expect us to perform really well on Monday.” – Sir Alex Ferguson

Players to watch:

Wayne Rooney: Having spent the last two matches for United on the sidelines Rooney will be ready for the derby. He will want to prove himself even more. Add that to the constant speculation in the press ever since he was benched for that match against Real Madrid a month ago. Rooney is the heart and soul of United, and proves it when he doesn’t play. United against Chelsea last Monday without Rooney showed us what happens if he doesn’t play. He is passionate about the club and shows it. Hopefully we will see Rooney in full form and determined to prove a point to our not so noisy neighbours!

Carlos Tevez: Like it or not Tevez is one of City’s best players. He has the skill to create that goal City need. That responsibility was left with Agüero last season, especially after Tevez’s golfing break. Tevez has scored 16 goals for City this season, three more than Agüero. Obviously Tevez has had a tough week with his driving ban court case and now that he has been spared a prison sentence, he might want to use his pent-up frustration against United, which can only prove a point for City, the the league is only a few matches from being won.

Manchester United Statistics:

Based on Barclays Premier League 2012/13 [statistics taken from the Official Barclays Premier League website]

Played 30 matches, won 25, drawn 2, lost 3 and currently have 77 points
Scored 70 goals (2.33 goals per match) & conceded 31 goals (1.03 goals per match) – 2 were pens
Longest unbeaten streak is 18 matches
Clean sheet record 37%

Manchester City Statistics:

Based on Barclays Premier League 2012/13 [statistics taken from the Official Barclays Premier League website]

Played 30 matches, won 18, drawn 8, lost 4 and currently have 62 points
Scored 55 goals (1.83 goal per match) & conceded 26 goals (0.87 goals per match) – 4 were pens
Longest unbeaten streak is 15 matches
Clean sheet record 47%

Top Scorers (in all competitions):

Manchester United: 23 – Robin van Persie, 16 – Javier Hernandez, Wayne Rooney, 5 – Ryan Giggs, Shinji Kagawa, 4 – Tom Cleverley, Jonny Evans, Patrice Evra, Own Goal, 3 – Rafael da Silva, Luis Nani, 2 – Luis Anderson, Danny Welbeck, 1 – Alexander Büttner, Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher, Nick Powell, Paul Scholes, Nemanja Vidic

Manchester City: 16 – Carlos Tevez, 13 – Sergio Agüero, Edin Džeko, 8 – Yaya Touré, 5 – David Silva, 4 – Aleksandar Kolarov, 3 – Mario Balotelli, James Milner, Samir Nasri, Pablo Zabaleta, 2 – Gareth Barry, Javi García, Own Goal, 1 – Vincent Kompany, Joleon Lescott, Marcos Lopes

Manchester United Form: LWWDLW

Last six competitive matches: Chelsea – L 1-0, Sunderland – W 0-1, Reading – W 1-0, Chelsea – D 2-2, Real Madrid – L 1-2, Norwich City – W 4-0

Manchester City Form: LWWDLW

Last six competitive matches: Newcastle United – W 4-0, Everton – L 2-0, Barnsley – W 5-0, Aston Villa – W 0-1, Chelsea – W 2-0, Leeds United – W 4-0

Head to Head at Old Trafford:

Played 15 matches at Old Trafford since in the Premier League:

Manchester United: Won 9, Drawn 4, Lost 2 – Scored 29 goals, conceded 18 goals and kept 5 clean sheets

Manchester City: Won 2, Drawn 4, Lost 9 – Scored 18 goals, conceded 29 goals and kept 1 clean sheets

Manchester United Squad:

Manager: Sir Alex Ferguson

Goalkeepers: 1. David De Gea, 13, Anders Lindegaard, 40. Ben Amos

Defenders: 2. Rafael da Silva, 3. Patrice Evra, 4. Phil Jones, 5. Rio Ferdinand, 6. Jonny Evans, 12. Chris Smalling, 15. Nemanja Vidic, 28. Alexander Büttner

Midfielders: 7. Antonio Valencia, 8. Anderson, 11. Ryan Giggs, 16. Michael Carrick, 17. Nani, 18. Ashley Young, 22. Paul Scholes, 23. Tom Cleverley, 24. Darren Fletcher, 25. Nick Powell, 26. Shinji Kagawa

Strikers: 10. Wayne Rooney, 14. Javier Hernandez, 19. Danny Welbeck, 20. Robin van Persie

Doubts/Injuries: 22. Paul Scholes (knee), 24. Darren Fletcher (ulcerative colitis) [injury details taken from PhysioRoom.com]

Suspensions: None [suspensions confirmed by the FA.com]

Manchester City Squad:

Manager: Roberto Mancini

Goalkeepers: 1. Joe Hart, 29. Richard Wright, 30. Costel Pantilimon

Defenders: 2. Micah Richards, 3. Maicon, 4. Vincent Kompany, 5. Pablo Zabaleta, 6. Joleon Lescott, 13. Aleksander Kolarov, 22. Gaël Clichy, 28. Kolo Toure, 33. Matija Nastasić

Midfielders: 7. James Milner, 8. Samir Nasri, 11. Scott Sinclair, 14. Javi Garcia, 17. Jack Rodwell, 21. David Silva, 42. Yaya Toure, 46. Michael Johnson, 62. Abdil Razak

Strikers: 10. Edin Džeko, 16. Sergio Agüero, 32. Carlos Tevez, 43. Alex Nimely, 45. Mario Balotelli, 60. John Guidetti

Doubts/Injuries: 2. Micah Richards (knee), 3, Maicon (knee), 17. Jack Rodwell (hamstring) [injury details taken from PhysioRoom.com]

Suspensions:  [suspensions confirmed by the FA.com]

Predicted Formation/Starting XI:

How I think United will start against Manchester City (Paul Bienkowski)

How I think United will start against Manchester City (Paul Bienkowski)

Score Prediction:

Manchester United 2 – 0 Manchester City

By Paul Bienkowski

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