Manchester City - Manchester United Preview: Top two set for titanic ‘title decider’

A win for the hosts will send them top of the Premier League on goal difference, while victory for the visitors will see them within a point of securing a 20th top-flight crown
  PROBABLE LINEUPS

MANCHESTER CITY

Hart
Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy
Y Toure, Barry
Silva, Tevez, Nasri
Aguero
MANCHESTER UNITED
 
De Gea
Smalling, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra
Valencia, Carrick, Scholes, Nani
Rooney, Welbeck


Manchester City look set to welcome back Micah Richards from injury, while striker Mario Balotelli is also available having completed his three-match ban after his sending off against Arsenal.

However, given their recent form manager Roberto Mancini is expected to continue with Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez up front.

Manchester United, meanwhile, have few absentees other than long-term injury victims Nemanja Vidic, Darren Fletcher and Anderson. Nani, who injured an ankle in training, and Jonny Evans are both doubts, but are expected to be fit for the clash.

However, after watching his side throw away a 4-2 lead against Everton last weekend, Sir Alex Ferguson may decide to shake-up his starting XI. Chris Smalling is being tipped to get the nod ahead of Rafael at right-back while in midfield Ryan Giggs, Tom Cleverley, Ji-sung Park and Ashley Young are all available.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Manchester City have an incredible home record this season. Roberto Mancini’s men have won 21 of 22 games at the Etihad, scoring 51 goals in just 17 games.
  • The hosts have already thrashed the visitors in this campaign. They famously won 6-1 at Old Trafford back in October, United’s heaviest ever Premier League defeat.
  • In the 6-1 win, City were ruthless in front of goal. They scored six goals from just seven shots on target.
  • However, on their own ground it’s a different story. City have not scored at home against United in the league for almost five years.
  • Manchester United have already beaten Manchester City twice this season: a 3-2 win in the Community Shield and another 3-2 win in the FA Cup at the Etihad back in January.
  • In Premier League meetings between these sides there have been six red cards, and Manchester United have been shown a whopping five of them. Jonny Evans (pictured right) was the last man to see red in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford.
  • The champions come into the game in red-hot goalscoring form. They have scored eight goals in their last two games, four against Everton and four against Aston Villa.
  • Manchester United won the title with 80 points last season. They have already collected 83 points to date and if they win their three remaining games they could equal their best-ever Premier League points tally of 92.

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