It’s time for one of the biggest derby games in club football. It may be early days in the Premier League season, but these are the kind of games that makes or breaks a season. When United lost the EPL crown to their city rivals in the 2011-12 season, the whole debacle began with United’s unbelievable 6-1 home loss to City, after which the red devils lost their spine completely. More than the 3 points at stake, its the pride of winning against their biggest rivals that matters a lot for the fans.
Both teams are fresh from wins in the Champions League ties held in mid-week and will be high on confidence. City, however have a few injury problems to deal with. Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany made his return from injury in midweek and hasn’t played at the top level for a long time. Even Gael Clichy could miss out, alongside another defender, Martin Demichelis. David Silva is also a doubtful starter after missing the last two league games. But, City have enough fire power in their ranks. They have one of the best midfields in EPL, with the likes of Yaya Toure and Fernandinho.
On the other hand, Manchester United have no major injury concerns apart from Scotland captain Darren Fletcher, who is not expected to return any time soon.The form of Ronney is the biggest plus for United. Rooney has arguably been United’s best player this season, and is fresh from picking up two goals during the Champions League clash between United and Leverkusen in midweek. Right through the season he has demonstrated his willingness and ability to drop deep, and his ability to find space and create chances for those around him. He along with Robin van Persie will be a threat up front.
This is one match where making a prediction would be like predicting the result of a coin toss. When emotions run high and the players respond more and more to the fans’ passion, one goal could decide the outcome of the match. Both the managers will settle for nothing less than a win. Whatever happens, we can expect a high-tension match filled with cards and emotions running high with violent tackles thrown in and clashes along the way.
Manchester City line-up(4-2-3-1): Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Kolarov, Yaya Toure, Fernandinho, David Silva, Aguero, Navas, Dzeko
Subs: Costel Pantilimon, Micah Richards, Joleon Lescott, James Milner, Jack Rodwell, Alvaro Negredo, Stevan Jovetic
Manchester United line-up(4-4-1-1): De Gea; Smalling, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Fellaini, Kagawa; Rooney; van Persie.
Subs: Lindegaard, Fabio, Buttner, Evans, Anderson, Cleverley, Giggs, Zaha, Kagawa, Hernández