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The Most Important Manchester Derby?

Mancunians divided, Feb. 10, 2008

Mancunians divided, Feb. 10, 2008

(While we all catch our breath from the Champions League,…)

Sunday, the 20th of September, 2009 marks (by my estimation) the 154th Manchester Derby. Also by my estimation, this weekend’s match is quite possibly one of, if not the most important match the 2 clubs have ever played against each other.

No one can forget the infamous Dennis Law relegation match of 1974 when Law, (a former United player, & United legend) then a City player, “back-heeled” United into the 2nd division. To City’s dismay, United made the climb back up the very next season. All wasn’t lost for United.

In the ’07-’08 Premier League season, City completed the double over United at Old Trafford on the day commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster. United went on to win the League & European Cup double that season while City mustered a 9th place finish & qualified for the now deceased UEFA Cup-albeit by the Fair Play ranking system. The clubs were still quite far apart in terms of ambition.

Throughout the 150+ matches the 2 clubs have played since the late 1800’s, more important fixtures exist from both side’s point of view. The point here is that for many years, City have been miles away from United in domestic & European football. They’ve lacked the ambition & winning pedigree United have possessed. That is, until now,..

For those living under a rock for the last year, the takeover of Manchester City was completed by the Abu Dhabi United Group in September of last year for 200 Million pounds. Over the summer, City spent 120 million euro on experienced players & full internationals from England, Togo, Paraguay, The Ivory Coast & Argentina. The sum spent was more than any other club in the premier league. City fans across the world quickly considered United’s ambition matched.

United currently sit 2nd in the table & considering the form of Wayne Rooney, Nemanja Vidic, Darren Fletcher & Patrice Evra, United look set to challenge Chelsea for their 4th straight league title.

Close behind (with a 100% record-having played 1 less match) sit high flying, (away fan taunting), Manchester City. With the new additions to the first team, City seem more than ready & able to match their cross town rivals & attempt an assault on the Big 4 of the Premier League. Wayne Rooney & Emmanuel Adebayor are 2nd & 3rd respectively in Premier League scoring this season. With the recent suspension of Adebayor by the FA, the Togolese striker joins 3 other attacking options for City on the bench. Robinho, Roque Santa Cruz & Carlos Tevez are all out. City will have to rely on Craig Bellamy & Benjani Mwaruwari up front if they are to breach United’s sturdy defense. The match at Old Trafford on Sunday looks set for an incredible atmosphere.

So, who’s it going to be?

Both clubs are coming off big wins & solid starts to the season. City passed their first Big 4 test last weekend with flying colors in the odd, but highly entertaining match against Arsenal. United continued their hoodoo spell over Tottenham in London with a dominating performance. I’ll keep my predictions & passions at bay for now, but am definitely expecting a great match.

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  1. Tyson

    September 18, 2009 at 12:51 am

    Hmm lets see Manchester United have missing:

    Rio Ferdinand
    Van Der Sar
    Wes Brown(If SAF decides to bench him)
    Owen Hargreaves.

    Considering Rio and VDS are two of the best in the world at what they do and pretty much made Uniteds season last year that is a pretty big omission. Wes Brown on the other hand is an instrumental United player.

    Owen Hargreaves is our only proper defensive midfielder. Generally against an attacking team those 4 players missing would be a disaster but City have their own injuries so it isn’t all bad.

    United will still spank them but they will have to play a little uneasy knowing their championship winning team is missing 2 key players so it may be a little boring with midfielders playing as defenders to make up for the problems at the back.

    • oliver

      September 18, 2009 at 9:41 am

      “Wes Brown(If SAF decides to bench him)”

      You can’t claim to be hard-done-by when you include managerial decisions.

      • Gaz

        September 18, 2009 at 9:54 am

        Anyone else think that City are going to win this one? I just think United haven’t gotten going yet and City have much more to prove.

      • Huh

        September 18, 2009 at 10:16 am


        That not his only bollocks claim! Ferdinand will start, VDS best in the world, he’s havin a laugh! Owen Hargreaves has only been involved in something like 22 games in 3 yrs and loads of them he was only a sub. Looks like he is getting his excuses in early just in case it all go’s tits up, and they don’t get there iffy penalties and offside’s

  2. nate

    September 17, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    i agree that the match will be one of the most important ones in recent history and its crap that City won’t be with their full squad… however they will both still have excellant players on the pitch. my money is on man utd simply because they all have played together for MUCH longer, let’s just keep in mind that a derby is a derby and that anything can happen.

  3. CJB

    September 17, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    It’s not the most important. With City missing all but one of their attacking options, it will be a very tough match for them.

    I will wait until their next meeting in 2010 when both sides are at full force.

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