Manchester City vs Manchester United Preview: Manchester, A City Divided
Whether you’re a blue, red or neutral, this will be one match that will be watched worldwide.
A clash between the English Premier League’s top two teams, which also happens to be a local derby, Sunday’s game will without doubt be a fiercely contested affair.
It is a match-up between the top scorers in the league – Manchester United, and the team with the meanest defense – Manchester City.
City famously won both matches between the two last season, which included a 6-1 drubbing at Old Trafford.
They then followed their emphatic away win with a 1-0 victory at the Etihad, a result which proved definitive in the title race. Needless to say all the fans will want for Christmas will be a win for their side.
Manchester City will be without Rodwell (hamstring), Richards (knee) and Kolarov (thigh).
Manchester United will be without Anderson (hamstring), Cleverley (calf), Nani (hamstring), Kagawa, Vidic (both knee) and Valencia (hip).
A win for the home side will see them match the Red Devils at the top of the league whereas a win for United will see them further pull away from the chasing pack.
Both sides hold sizeable gaps from their nearest challengers Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.
Mancini’s men are yet to record a loss in the league whereas Sir Alex’s men have amassed 12 wins from their 15 games thus far.
The traditional pre-match talk has already begun between the two managers and personnel affiliated with the clubs.
Most recently ex united frontman Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made a scathing blow labelling City as United’s “little brother”.
Sir Alex Ferguson questioned how many penalties their rivals have been receiving.
It will be Roberto Mancini who holds the bragging rights if his side do prevail on Sunday. A win for his side would be the first time the sky blues have beaten their local rivals three times in a row in the league since 1970.
He will hope to have James Milner, Gael Clichy and David Silva fit and in contention as he aims to trump Sir Alex.
The two managers famously clashed at the Etihad Stadium with both managers feeling the pressure of the match, as Ferguson felt Mancini was trying to influence the referee.
The two managers had to be separated by fourth official Mike Jones and Mancini’s assistant David Platt.
Since being taken over by Sheikh Mansour city have been able to splash the cash and have become an instant contender Championships, prevailing in 2011/12.
With big money signings including Argentine Sergio Aguero, Italian Mario Balotelli and Spaniard David Silva money bags City were able to up themselves to another level.
However Manchester United made the biggest signing of the latest transfer window with the arrival of Dutchman and the league’s leading top scorer Robin Van Persie. The striker has made an instant impact, scoring crucial goals in the league and in Europe.
The tie will see a showcase of numerous other world class strikers between the two teams. United as well as Van Persie are able to call upon Javier “Chichorito” Hernandez, Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck.
City are also able to call upon their whole strike force including goal scorers from the 6-1 victory at old Trafford – Mario Balotelli (2), Edin Dzeko 2, Sergio Aguero (1) and not to mention Argentine international Carlos Tevez.