The second Manchester derby of the season awaits us tomorrow afternoon at Old Trafford as a beaten Manchester United side look to bounce back against a Manchester City team in some indifferent form.
It is a match where the stakes are raised higher each year, and most will remember the two excellent Carling Cup matched last season, where United only made it through to the final thanks to a lat minute Wayne Rooney strike.
These matches were then followed up by an enthralling game at the City of Manchester Stadium in April, where 47,000 witnessed a last minute Paul Scholes effort that sealed a 1-0 win for United.
But with the hype surrounding the game in November reaching an all time high many will be expecting this weekends match to have a profound effect on the ultimate destination of the Premier League title. For those of you who don’t yet have a ticket for the game, you can still get your hands on one at TixDaq.
Rio Ferdinand, though unlikely to feature due to a calf injury, told United Review, that we will be going all out for the victory on Saturday. Along side him on the treatment table are long term absentees Owen Hargreaves and Antonio Valencia, otherwise Sir Alex Ferguson has a full strength squad to choose from as Ji-Sung Park has returned from Asian Cup duty.
Though it must be said as City have only emerged victorious in one of their last 26 outings at Old Trafford, an away win seems very unlikely, and a goal conceded in the first half even more so as United have not conceded at home in the first half since April 2010.
One key area of concern will be set pieces, as United have conceded the highest percentage of goals from set plays in the league. A massive 33%, though this is offset by the fact United have scored the most from headers themselves.
City’s main threat will come from former United striker Carlos Tevez. The Argentinean has scored 18 goals this season, while also bagging four in his last six matches against his former employers. City have also not lost a match in which he has scored, winning 23 from 25.
Kolo Toure added fuel to the fire ahead of the game claiming United could be at the beginning of a slump after last weekend’s defeat to Wolves, “When you’re on a good run like that and you lose, everything becomes harder. It shakes your confidence,” said Toure. “Maybe that can happen to them. It was difficult to lose that game.”
With United having more to lose than City according to BBC pundit Alan Hansen, we certainly have a key match on our hands, but whatever happens, we are sure to get a tasty encounter.
Possible Line-Up: Van der Sar; Rafael, Vidic, Smalling, Evra; Nani, Carrick, Scholes, Park; Berbatov, Rooney.