Manchester United host city rivals Manchester City at Old Trafford on Sunday in the first Manchester derby of the season.The bitter-rivals are currently 2nd and 3rd respectively in the Premier League table. United will be out to prove that the gap in class is still vast despite City’s mega spending this summer.
It will be a big test of City’s Champions League credentials but they know that a victory over United on their own turf will send out a signal of intent to the rest of the Premier League.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side have only beaten their rivals twice in the last eight games at Old Trafford and the wily Scot will be hoping they can improve on that record. The Scot started the mind games very early on this season saying that City were ‘arrogant’ and ‘cocky’ after the Citizens signed Argentine striker Carlos Tevez. He also stated that City are a small club with a small mentality. This is sure to fire the City players up ahead of this clash.
The champions have also had a good start to the season apart from a small blip in the 1-0 away defeat to Burnley. They had a good victory last time out beating Tottenham 3-1 at White Hart Lane. Tottenham previously held a 100 per cent record in the Premier League but United proved their superiority. City also have a perfect record in the Premier League and United will be looking to change that.
United team news
United are likely to head in to this game without England defender Rio Ferdinand. The 30 year-old missed the Champions League 1-0 victory over Besiktas in midweek and it seems the star will also miss this clash. Northern Ireland international Jonny Evans deputised for the injury star against Besiktas and is likely to continue at the heart of the United defence.
United may revert back to 4-4-2 with striker Dimitar Berbatov returning to the starting line-up against Wayne Rooney, who started as a lone striker in midweek. Midfielder Paul Scholes is suspended for this clash after receiving two bookable offences against Tottenham.
Fellow veteran Ryan Giggs is expected to replace the former England international in midfielder after missing the game in Turkey. Scottish midfielder Darren Fletcher also missed the Besiktas game and is expected to come straight back in to the team in the heart of the midfield. However United are still without Edwin Van der Sar (hand), Rafael (shoulder), Owen Hargreaves (knee) and Gabriel Obertan (back).
City make strong start to season
This is City’s second consecutive big game after defeating Arsenal 4-2 at Eastlands in their previous Premier League game. City have had a fantastic start to their season with four victories in four Premier League games.
The City bandwagon may be gathering pace but its only four games in to the season and there is even talk of City as possible title challengers. It is too early to say if they could challenge for the Premier League title, but their start will be encouraging for fans and boss Mark Hughes alike.
City team news
City will be without key striker Emmanuel Adebayor as he serves the first game of his three match ban for his crazy behaviour against Arsenal in their last game. The Togo international will be a big miss for the visitors as he has scored in all the Premier League games hes appeared in for the Citizens.
Mark Hughes is facing a striker crisis with Brazilian star Robinho sidelined with a ankle injury and Paraguayan Roque Santa Cruz still sidelined with a knee injury. Craig Bellamy will again start up front with Benjani who is expected to recover from a thigh injury.
Former United star Carlos Tevez is also a doubt after picking up a knee injury while playing against Brazil for Argentina. He is however expected to take some part against his former employers. City also have doubts over Stephen Ireland (ankle/foot), defender Vicent Kompany (ankle) and Michael Johnson (hip).
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!