Manchester derby: A must win for Manchester United

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Manchester United go into Sunday's crunch derby clash with city-rivals Manchester City knowing full well they cannot afford to lose if they hope to retain their Premier League title.

United have had a slow start to the Premier League managing just two wins - with a draw against Chelsea and a loss to Liverpool among the results garnered from the four games played so far in the league.

This is definitely not the first time United are experiencing a slow start to the season as this was sometimes the case during the Sir Alex Ferguson era. But with a new manager at the helm it is improbable that United can bounce back from a slow start to the campaign - that is one reason why United must brace up now for the challenge against City.

A win against City at the Etihad stadium is achievable if the Red Devils can reproduce their superb display against Bayer Leverkusen in the Premier League. It is very likely David Moyes will retain the same team that defeated Leverkusen.

It is heartening to know that United striker Wayne Rooney has settled down and is in form following his horrific head injury and is ready to terrorise the City defence with Robin van Persie also in splendid form going into the fixture.

For me, United are the favourites going into this encounter despite City having the home-advantage. United have got the spirit and have also found their rhythm.

The Red Devils prevailed over their "noisy neighbours" last season - beating City 3-2 at the Etihad after Van Persie grabbed an injury-time winning goal - so they definitely can do it again.

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