Manchester United v Manchester City: Match Preview

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Manchester United v Manchester City
Barclays Premier League
Old Trafford
Sunday, 23 October 2011; 13:30

Team News

Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic will make his domestic return from injury after appearing against Otelul Galati in the Champions League, with midfielder Tom Cleverley and defender Rafael the only absentees for Sir Alex Ferguson's team.

After a cameo appearance in the Champions League, Sergio Aguero could make his first appearance since the start of the month, with Mario Balotelli ready to step in if need be.

Nigel de Jong is ruled out, while Owen Haregreaves' return to his former club could be cut short if he fails to come through a practice match.

Ferguson and Mancini predict thriller

Sir Alex Ferguson and his opposite number Roberto Mancini are expecting a thrilling contest in the Manchester derby, with the winner guaranteed to be top of the Barclays Premier League come Sunday afternoon.

City hold a two-point lead at the top following their emphatic victory over Aston Villa last weekend, which preceded United's draw with Liverpool.

Matches between the two have swelled with importance over the past few years, with entertainment always high on the agenda, and the same predicted this time around.

“I think City are doing fantastically well," Ferguson said. "If they hadn’t thrown away a two-goal lead at Fulham they’d have a 100 per cent record. It could be quite a game on Sunday and I’m looking forward to it.

"The 0-0 at City was a damp squib and nothing happened in that match, but it's not normal for these games. Usually, they're full of incident and we've had two or three quite exceptional games against City, particularly in the cup ties.

"Sometimes derbies are disappointing. Last Saturday against Liverpool, for an hour-and-a-quarter, nothing happened, but once a goal was scored it was a great game. Goals change the complexion of a match and you can get a reaction when a team goes behind. It could happen on Sunday, but who knows?"


Mancini hopes City take confidence from their league current league position, and insists his side's new found attacking mentality means they won't be content with a point.

"The derby is usually different from other games but in this case it is very different, because for the first time in a long time we can go there on top," Mancini said.

"We know that it will be a very hard game because United at home are incredible. It's important that we are ready to play a good game and defend very well, because they have fantastic strikers.

"If we leave Old Trafford with a draw that is good for us, but that is not our mentality, and it's the same for United. Like us, they always want to win every game.

"If we win it will be important but I don't think it will change anything because the season is long. I'm happy that our supporters are happy, but to stay up there you have to work very hard."

GMF possible line-ups:

Manchester United: De Gea; Jones, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Nani, Fletcher, Anderson, Young; Rooney, Hernandez.

Manchester City: Hart; Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy; Barry, Toure, Silva; Nasri, Aguero, Dzeko.

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Manchester City
Premier League
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