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EPL Preview: Manchester City v. Manchester United

The Etihad Stadium will be the setting of the the 166th Manchester derby on Sunday.

The Etihad Stadium will be the setting of the 166th Manchester derby on Sunday.

Following Saturday’s results, City and United are sixth and seventh in the English Premier League table, respectively, with Everton and Southampton having temporarily leapfrogged the Manchester clubs in the table after notching impressive away wins over West Ham United and Liverpool.

United won this corresponding fixture in dramatic fashion last season, as none other than Robin van Persie bagged an injury-time winner for the visitors.

Team News

Manchester City playmaker David Silva is expected to return to the starting XI after missing two games with a thigh injury, while injury-prone right-back Micah Richards could be in contention to feature for the hosts.

Gaël Clichy (thigh) and new signing Martín Demichelis (knee) are not available for selection.

For United, Danny Welbeck (knee), Darren Fletcher (illness), Phil Jones (ankle) and Rafael da Silva (hamstring) are all expected to be sidelined due to injury or illness.

Projected Lineups

Do not expect Manuel Pellegrini to make any changes to the side that defeated FC Viktoria Plzeň in the UEFA Champions League in midweek.

Manchester City (4-2-3-1): Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Kolarov; Fernandinho, Touré; Navas, Silva, Agüero; Džeko.

The same applies to David Moyes. No changes for United.

Manchester United (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Smalling, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Carrick, Fellaini; Valencia, Rooney, Kagawa; Van Persie.

Referee

Howard Webb, who has brandished nine yellow cards in four league matches this season, is in charge of this one, despite his reputation for favouring Manchester United.

Manager Quotes

David Moyes: “There is an excitement for any derbies in any big city in the world. I’ve experienced derby games in Glasgow and on Merseyside.

“They are all really important to your own supporters. They are important to the players as well but ultimately it’s about what happens come the end of the season and how many points you get together to see who is top. These points could be really important towards that, but also they may not be.”

Match Facts

Six of the past seven Manchester derbies at the Etihad Stadium have produced fewer than two goals. The only exception was United’s 3-2 win last term.

City have managed to find the back of the net in each of their last 52 league fixtures at the Etihad Stadium.

In addition, the hosts have kept the most clean sheets (21) in the Premier League since the start of last season.

Midfield enforcer Yaya Toure has completed more passes, 347, than any other player in England’s top-flight in 2013/14. Maestro.

Betting Odds

Manchester City (5/4); Manchester United (13/5); Draw (12/5)

Match Prediction

Manchester City 1 – Manchester United 2 (11/1)

Sat 21 September, 2013
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