Friday, 21 October 2011
Manchester United Vs Manchester City preview
If you are a Manchester City fan I would not read on if I were you, you will no doubt experience anger, jealousy and a few tears if you continue to read. But I am more than happy to direct you to SkySports for a more unbiased preview of the Manchester derby!
So this Sunday we will see one of the biggest Manchester derbys of all time, with the noisy neighbours becoming noisier by the day, they currently sit top of the Premier League, two points clear of United, but obviously still lightyears away when it comes to everything else (trophies, history, prestige). With the game being at Old Trafford it will go without saying that United fans, players and staff will expect the three points, whereas City will be content with a draw as it would keep them at the top with United still having to travel to the Etihad Stadium (although United will probably pick up all three there as well). Both sides remain unbeaten in the league this year, and something will most certainly give this weekend.
In recent years United have struggled in the early stages of the new seasons, but The Red Devils have enjoyed a surprisingly good start to their new campaign, picking up notable wins against Arsenal and Chelsea, and equalling the tally for most goals scored in the first six premier league games (21). Although they have had a good start to the season, recent performances have not been up-to-scratch, squeezing out a 1-1 draw at Anfield, and needing two penalties to see off Otelul Galati in the Champions League, but most critics will agree, this is a sign of Champions, not playing well, but grinding out them hard results.
City have had one of their best starts to a Premier League campaign, proving that if you throw money at something it will eventually come good, but they are yet to become too much of a thorn in United's side, and although they have been scoring freely with the likes of Aguero and Dzeko scoring for fun, they haven't posted any notable wins, such as the reigning champions, and have also struggled in the Champions League. United have also not been playing well in Europe but it does beg the question, can City handle the 60+ games a season, that being a 'big club' brings. So far they are managing it just about, but come February/March it remains to be seen if they can hold the pace they are currently setting.
Other than having a stronger squad, Man United have one not so secret weapon that will prove to be the difference this weekend, and that is Sir Alex Ferguson. He has been preparing for this game since last Saturday, resting players against Liverpool and keeping the likes of (Wayne) Rooney, Nani, and (Javier) Hernandez fit. Fergie also knows just what it takes to overcome City rivals in such a high profile game, now i'm not saying Mancini doesn't know what it takes, just that Fergie will be a million times more prepared and he probably already knows how the game will go (to an extent).
Ones to watch:
Rooney - he will be absolutely itching to get going here, didn't play in the FA Cup loss to City last year due to suspension, and recent events in the England camp and negativity in the press will leave him with a point to prove. For United's sake lets hope he doesn't direct his energy in a negative way. Scored the winner with a tremendous overhead volley last year.
De Gea - he will be tested, been a little hit and miss this year and the occasion may get to him. Hopefully Rio and Vidic will be there to give him the confidence he needed with Rio missing the mid-week game so he could play here and Vidic coming back from injury this week.
Young - Wing play will be the key to creating chances, and the more chalk Ashley Young gets on his boots the better. He has proved to be extremely influential with his contributions this year, and Sunday will be no different. Critical to feeding Rooney and other front players. Can even pop up with a goal of his own at any given time.
Joe Hart - he is undoubtedly an amazing goal-keeper. Something tells me he will be the busier of the two keepers on Sunday, and if he has a good game, he may be able to scape his side a point.
Aguero - top goalscorer for City this season and is in prolific form. He will be out to prove a point to City's rivals, but Ferguson would already know this so he will probably be defended out of the game.
My prediction - United 3 - 0 City
Probable line ups:
GK De Gea
RB Smalling CB Rio CB Vidic LB Evra
CM Carrick CM Anderson
RW Nani LW Young
ST Hernandez (4-2-2-1-1 attacking) (4-5-1 defending)
RB Richards CB Kompany CB Lescott LB Kolarov
RM Milner CM Barry CM Toure LM Silva
ST Dzeko ST Aguero (4-4-2)