Manchester United - Manchester City Preview: Biggest game of the year so far as derby duo battle for top spot
The gap between the Red Devils and their 'noisy neighbours' is closer than ever, with the 19-times champions aiming to leapfrog City into the number one spot in the Premier League
By Joe Doyle
Smalling, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra
Nani, Fletcher, Anderson, Young
Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy
Yaya Toure, Barry
Aguero, Silva, Nasri
Darren Fletcher is favoured by Sir Alex Ferguson in the so-called 'big games', so should start on Sunday, and could be paired in midfield by Anderson after he was rested for the midweek trip to Romania. However, if Ferguson opts for a midfield three, Ji-Sung Park or Michael Carrick are both in with a chance of selection.
Meanwhile, City have no fresh injury worries, and look to be at full strength after Sergio Aguero recovered from a minor knock to appear as a substitute and score the last-minute winner in their Champions League clash with Villareal.
The only fit player that definitely will not be featuring is Carlos Tevez, who looks set to be on the sidelines for some time while his dispute with the club still ongoing.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Manchester United have won the last three derbies between the pair at Old Trafford, and 24 out of the last 25 home Premier League games.
- Wayne Rooney has scored five league goals in the Manchester derby, joint with Paul Scholes, while Eric Cantona has the most with seven.
- Manchester City have scored an average of 3.5 goals a game away from home in the Premier League this season, with 14 goal in four games.
- The last time Manchester City won at Old Trafford was in 2008, the only time in the past 36 years this has happened.
- United have now scored in each of their past 17 games.
- City did not beat any of the 'big four' of United, Arsenal, Chelsea or Liverpool away last season.
- Andrei Kanchelskis was the last player to score a hat-trick in this fixture in a 5-0 victory for United in 1994.
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Top 3 Predictions
Manchester United 2-1 Manchester City
- 16.06 %
Manchester United 3-1 Manchester City
- 15.37 %
Manchester United 2-0 Manchester City
- 12.22 %
|Premier League (EPL)||22 Sep 2013||Manchester City 4 - Manchester United 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||8 Apr 2013||Manchester United 1 - Manchester City 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||9 Dec 2012||Manchester City 2 - Manchester United 3|
|Premier League (EPL)||30 Apr 2012||Manchester City 1 - Manchester United 0|
|FA Cup (FA)||8 Jan 2012||Manchester City 2 - Manchester United 3|
|8 Mar 2014||West Bromwich Albion 0 - Manchester United 3||EPL|
|25 Feb 2014||Olympiakos 2 - Manchester United 0||UCL|
|22 Feb 2014||Crystal Palace 0 - Manchester United 2||EPL|
|12 Feb 2014||Arsenal FC 0 - Manchester United 0||EPL|
|9 Feb 2014||Manchester United 2 - Fulham 2||EPL|
|1||David de Gea||Goalkeeper|
|35||Fabio Da Silva||Defender|
|34||Nigel De Jong||Midfielder|
The Manchester United winger scored in the same fixture last season before sending in the cross for Wayne Rooney's infamous overhead kick, and has three goals and three assists in the Premier League so far this season. He always presents a threat to the opponent's goal.
The diminuitive Spaniard has been in fine form this season with two goals and six assists, and seems to have created a great understanding with new import Sergio Aguero. Beyond the stats though, Silva has become an integral part of Mancini's winning machine this season, and will no doubt be involved if they come away from Old Trafford with a positive result.
It will be a tight contest, and could be decided by a single goal. With the match being at Old Trafford, Sir Alex Ferguson will accept no less than a win, though the added pressure could get to the home team, and City have nothing to lose. But if Rooney and Nani are on top form, I think United will edge it.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed