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FA Cup

  • January 8, 2012
  • • 13:00
  • • Etihad Stadium, Manchester
  • Referee: C. Foy
  • • Attendance: 46808
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FA Cup Preview: Manchester City v Manchester United

FA Cup Preview: Manchester City v Manchester United

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Mancini's men are current holders of this trophy, having beaten the Red Devils in last season's semi-final before overcoming Stoke at Wembley to end a 35-year wait for silverware


PROBABLE LINEUPS

MANCHESTER CITY

Hart
Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy
Nasri, De Jong, Milner, Silva
Aguero, Dzeko
MANCHESTER UNITED

De Gea
Valencia, Jones, Ferdinand, Evra
Park, Carrick, Anderson, Nani
Rooney
Welbeck

In a game that is the stand-out match of the round, Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini misses the services of Kolo and Yaya Toure due to their involvement in the African Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast. Gareth Barry is suspended, while Owen Hargreaves is also battling injury.

Mario Balotelli (ankle) is also expected to be sidelined for this fixture, while Edin Dzeko (knee) and Samir Nasri (illness) are doubts.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been enduring some rough weather in recent times in terms of team selection as well as results. Concerning the former, Chris Smalling (tonsilitis) and Jonny Evans (calf) are sidelined along with long-term absentees Nemanja Vidic, Darren Fletcher, Fabio and Michael Owen. Ashley Young is also unavailable through injury.


DID YOU KNOW?

  • Manchester City are the current FA Cup holders, having won the competition last season.
  • That 1-0 victory over Stoke City at Wembley proved to be the club's first piece of silverware in over three decades.
  • Roberto Mancini (pictured right) has a record of winning a domestic Cup with every club he has managed so far.
  • City beat the Red Devils 1-0 in the semi-finals of this competition last season, before going on to lift the trophy.
  • Manchester United have met their neighbours seven times previously in the FA Cup, and all games have been decided at the first time of asking; United have won four ties and City three.
  • The Red Devils have 11 FA Cup triumphs to their name, with the last one coming in the 2003-04 season.
  • United have won their last five away games in this competition, while Mancini's men have not conceded a single goal in their last five FA Cup matches.
  • Sir Alex Ferguson's charges are coming into this clash on the back of two consecutive Premier League defeats, against Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United.
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
30Costel PantilimonGoalkeeper
2Micah RichardsDefender
4Vincent KompanyDefender
6Joleon LescottDefender
13Aleksandar KolarovDefender
7James MilnerMidfielder
34Nigel De JongMidfielder
11Adam JohnsonMidfielder
21David SilvaStriker
8Samir NasriMidfielder
16Sergio AgüeroStriker
1Joe HartGoalkeeper
5Pablo ZabaletaDefender
15Stefan SavicDefender
22Gael ClichyDefender
20Owen HargreavesMidfielder
44Denis SuárezMidfielder
62Abdul RazakMidfielder
13Anders LindegaardGoalkeeper
12Chris SmallingDefender
4Phil JonesDefender
5Rio FerdinandDefender
3Patrice EvraDefender
25Antonio ValenciaMidfielder
16Michael CarrickMidfielder
17NaniMidfielder
10Wayne RooneyStriker
19Danny WelbeckStriker
1David de GeaGoalkeeper
6Jonny EvansDefender
2RafaelDefender
8AndersonMidfielder
13Ji-Sung ParkMidfielder
22Paul ScholesMidfielder
14Javier 'Chicharito' HernandezStriker
Players to Watch
Edin Dzeko
Edin Dzeko
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
5 2 2 0
Edin Dzeko, if fully fit and in the starting line-up, should prove to be a threat to the Red Devils in this fixture, as the forward has already scored thrice against Sir Alex's charges this season. Given the context of this clash, he would undoubtedly want to increase that tally.
Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Wayne Rooney can be a match-winner on his day and is well and truly capable of putting in a performance that could dump the current league leaders out of the FA Cup. He could also be deployed in a more withdrawn role if the manager sees the need to bolster the midfield area, but he remains a threat wherever he plays.
Prediction
The quality and skill present in both sides coupled with the derby day delight puts this as a lip-smacking contest that should be fiercely fought, as much for local bragging rights as for  progression in the tournament - as well as for psychological pressure in the title race.

Winner takes all, but the question is whether either side will do enough to warrant a win. Both will be wary of making a mistake, and a first ever FA Cup replay between the two neighbours could be on the cards.
Editor's Prediction

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