8th December 2012
Derby game against Manchester United is a perfect opportunity for City to make amends for the Champions League exit, although Roberto Mancini’s side are going to need to show massive improvement in order to win this match. The Red Devils won’t be too downhearted by the home defeat to Cluj, especially if they manage to extend their lead at the top to six points.
You don’t need to be too smart to see that Manchester City are playing way below their potential this season, with their performances at a much lower level than last term. While Roberto Mancini has got to take most of the blame for that, some dubious dealings in the summer transfer window also contributed to team’s poor showings. City allowed the likes of De Jong and Johnson to leave, and then went on to spend more than €60 million on players who have struggled to make an impact this term. The Citizens may be unbeaten in 15 Premier League games, but everybody can see that their performances leave a lot to be desired. After the defeat to severely weakened Borussia Dortmund marked the end of another disappointing European campaign, I don’t see how City players are going to be in the right mood for one of the most important games of the season. David Silva, James Milner and Gael Clichy are all injury doubts, while Aleksandar Kolarov and Micah Richards are definitely out.
Manchester United may have began their league campaign with a narrow defeat to Everton, but the Red Devils have been pretty impressive ever since. Sir Alex Ferguson’s team battled bravely with numerous selection problems, with team’s amazing attacking department making sure the team were not punished for regular defensive mistakes. The fact that United boast a three-point cushion at the Premiership summit despite conceding 21 goals in 15 games speaks volumes about their character and quality of their attackers. Four starting Champions League wins allowed Sir Alex Ferguson to rest his star players in matches against Galatasaray and Cluj, which should give his side an extra edge over their arch rivals, who didn’t have an opportunity to do something similar. The only thing that can worry Sir Alex Ferguson at the moment is a sort of selection crisis, given that Tom Cleverley is a major doubt, while Nemanja Vidic, Antonio Valencia, Anderson, Nani and Shinji Kagawa are sidelined through injury.
All parameters that should decide an outcome of a match appear to be going into United’s favour, but as we all know, these derby matches are usually very unpredictable. Even so, I believe United’s quality and experience should prevail and give them a huge advantage in the Premier League title race.
Verdict: United Draw no bet
Best Odds: 13/10