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Man United v Man City Match Preview

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The Manchester Derby is eagerly anticipated despite Alex Ferguson claiming that he considers Man Utd vs Liverpool as the real derby for United. Manchester United face Manchester City on Sunday 20th September at Old Trafford, K.O. 13:30.

Poor old bacon face is showing his advancing years as he attempts some kind of poor mind games ahead of the Manchester Derby. The aging red faced scot has claimed that the Manchester City match is nothing compared with the games against Liverpool:

"To me Liverpool will always be the derby game. It is just because of the history. When I came down here they were the king-pins of England. They had won four European Cups and quite a few league titles.”

Ferguson has still not managed to get the Carlos Tevez “Welcome to Manchester” poster from under his skin. He said in an interview prior to this weekend’s clash:

"That stupid poster upset us. It showed an arrogance. It was naughty. It showed a cockiness that wasn't required at the time because they hadn't done anything. The season hadn't even started."

Derby Press Conference

Ferguson does not seemed concerned at all at losing Tevez who was an integral part of United winning two championships and getting to two Champions League finals. Even though he publically stated he wanted to keep the player – United had even released a statement claiming they had reached the player’s valuation to make him a permanent player.

"It doesn't bother me one bit whether Tevez is playing or not," said Ferguson.

"I know their best player won't be. Emmanuel Adebayor has been their star player. There is no question about that. He has scored in every game. That is their loss."

"People talk about trying to get into the top four. That is not the question. The question is who is number one.”

Mark Hughes has responded to Ferguson’s comments, laughing at his former manager and claiming that United have been below par so far this season:

"It does seem to have really upset Sir Alex for some reason," Hughes smiled at his press conference in Manchester today.

"But I don't know, we'll just take it as a little bit of flattery, because obviously in recent years, and for a number of years, City haven't really affected the thinking of Manchester United to any great extent. Possibly that's changed now.

"I've watched a number of their games. I don't think they're playing as well as they did last year. They played well against Tottenham [Hotspur] – I think that's their stand-out performance. Prior to that, I think they've been below par."

You can see the previous posts on the Carlos Tevez poster campaign here, who photo’s of the poster and the mock posters created by both sets of fans in retaliation:


You can also see the Manchester United Cadbury Advert too that was released during the billboard wars:


United will obviously be without Ronaldo who left for Real Madrid in the summer. Ronaldo was key in all of the games where Manchester United managed success against City in the past.

City will not be worried by Fergusons comments in the slightest. If anything I really hope that Ferguson believes what he says and that filter’s down to his squad – then they will be likely to give yet another lacklustre team display in a Manchester Derby.

Let’s just have a look back at the 2002 Derby – the last at Maine Road. I still can’t help p*ssing myself when Garry Neville feeds the Goat for City’s second goal in the 3-1 victory. You have to feel sorry for Neville though who is clearly quite embarrassed, there’s nothing worse than being embarrassed and then doing something more embarrassing like spitting on yourself and then wiping it on your ear – 2 minutes 10 seconds:

City 3-1 United, 2002

With Adebayor now serving a three match suspension together with the injuries to Robinho and Santa Cruz, City will have limited choice of attacking front men. However Craig Bellamy will be sure to start after his fantastic display against Arsenal last week. Carlos Tevez remains a major doubt, however the Argentina striker has begun training again after a knee injury and could feature in the game if he passes a late fitness test.

Playing at Old Trafford with one striker may not be all bad news. City have shown this season that there main strengths are based upon quick counter-attacks. The pace of Shaun Wright-Phillips, Martin Petrov and Craig Bellamy – together with the acute footballing brains of Gareth Barry and Stephen Ireland are sure to cause Manchester United problems during the game. Stephen Ireland is still a doubt for the game however and faces a race against time to be fit.

Man City will definitely be without Robinho (Ankle), Cruz (Knee), Kompany (foot) and Michael Johnson (hip). Benjani may be in contention if he can shake a thigh problem, but that seems unlikely.

Manchester United will be without Paul Scholes who is suspended after picking up a red card against Spurs last week. Rio Ferdinand who aggravated his groin injury against spurs also looks set to miss the game but will have a late fitness test. Long term absentees to miss the derby are Van der Sar (hand), Rafael (shoulder), Owen Hargreaves (knees), Gabriel Obertan (back) and Berbatov (shit).

United’s major threat has to be Wayne Rooney, Ferguson will have to decide if he’s got enough confidence in Michael Owen to play or Berbaflop. United have about as much choice upfront as City (who have extensive injury woes).

My match prediction – a 1-1 draw – which I’d be quite happy with, however I have a gut feeling and I’ll probably put a bet on City to win the game 3-1... William Hill are quoting City at 9/2 to win the game, not a bad bet really – it is a derby despite what the poor old chap says.

William Hill Odds:
United 8/13 Draw 11/4 City 9/2

United To Win:
1-0 5/1 ; 2-0 11/12 ; 2-1 13/2 ; 3-0 11/1
3-1 10/1 ; 3-2 25/1 ; 4-0 25/1 ; 4-1 25/1

0-0 17/2 ; 1-1 6/1 ; 2-2 14/1 ; 3-3 50/1

City to win:
1-0 10/1 ; 2-0 25/1 ; 2-1 14/1 ; 3-0 80/1
3-1 50/1 ; 3-2 40/1 ; 4-0 100/1 ; 4-1 100/1

Probable Starting Line-ups:

Man Utd: Foster, O'Shea, Evans, Vidic, Evra, Nani, Fletcher, Anderson, Valencia, Berbatov, Rooney.

Man City: Given, Richards, Bridge, Toure, Lescott, De Jong, Barry, Ireland, Wright-Phillips, Petrov, Bellamy.


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