Football

Manchester City v Manchester United: Match Preview

Ferguson and Mancini do battle tonight (©GettyImages)
Ferguson and Mancini do battle tonight (©GettyImages).

Manchester City v Manchester United
Barclays Premier League
Etihad Stadium
April 30 2012; 20:00

 

Team News

 

Manchester City have Mario Balotelli available for their showdown with Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium after the Italian forward completed his three game suspension, although Carlos Tevez is likely to retain his place in the starting line up.

 

Micah Richards is available after missing the 2-0 win over Wolves with a knee complaint.

 

Manchester United have no new injuries to worry about, with long-term absentees Nemanja Vidic, Darren Fletcher and Anderson the only players missing.

 

Managers gear up for title showdown

 


Both Roberto Mancini and Sir Alex Ferguson have conceded that the title race would be over for their respective teams if they taste defeat in tonight’s winner-takes-all Manchester derby.

 

Manchester United lead the way by three points with just three games of the season remaining ahead of tonight’s Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium.

 

Ferguson has previously insisted that he won’t settle for a draw which would keep his side in the drivers seat for a record 20th league title, and says he is anticipating one of the games of his career tonight.

 

“This is the derby game of all derby games," said Ferguson. "It is our city rivals and that makes everyone step up a notch in terms of anticipation.

 

"Our fans will look upon it [a possible league win] as a special one because they are our fans' most bitter rivals, there is no getting away from that.

 

"It means everything to the fans and I think going into work on Tuesday morning will be the most important day of their lives for both sets of supporters.

"People are brought up through their grandfathers, their great grandfathers, their grandmothers to be what they are. You can't change a family's traits.

 

“It is steeped in the blood of these supporters and they will give everything to win this game on Monday," he added.

 

While Ferguson was talking up the biggest Premier League game in living memory, Roberto Mancini pleaded with both sets of supporters not to go over the top with their celebrations.

"It is a football day and not war and, for this reason, I hope all supporters will enjoy the game," said Mancini, who admitted he is worried about the day.

 

"The United game is like a final and you can lose these games; you are not playing against a small team."

 

United go into the game on the back of a 4-4 draw with Everton which helped City, who strolled to a 2-0 win over Wolves at the Etihad Stadium last weekend, cut their rivals gap to three points at the top of the table.

Topics:
Football
Manchester City
Premier League
Manchester United

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