The FourFourTwo Preview: Man City vs Man United
The first Manchester Derby of the city’s new managerial era.
MAN CITY FORM
- Viktoria Plzen 0-3 Man City (CL)
- Stoke 0-0 Man City (Prem)
- Man City 2-0 Hull (Prem)
- Cardiff 3-2 Man City (Prem)
- Man City 4-0 Newcastle (Prem)
Although the Premier League has yet to splutter fully back into life, the big games still come thick and fast. The reality is that – like the Liverpool vs Manchester United and Arsenal vs Tottenham matches of three weeks ago – this one has probably come a little too early in the season to really set pulses racing.
Yet that doesn’t mean the outcome of this fixture will be any less significant come the end of the season, with both City and United sure to be involved in the title ‘shake-up’, despite one or two early wobbles under their new managers.
Both David Moyes and Manuel Pellegrini will have been encouraged by their respective teams' midweek Champions League performances, having both dropped points in two of their first four league outings.
The pressure will be on the Chilean come Sunday afternoon, though. Last season’s equivalent fixture brought a defeat that was perhaps the most costly of Roberto Mancini’s reign.
MAN UNITED FORM
- Man Utd 4-2 Leverkusen (CL)
- Man Utd 2-0 Palace (Prem)
- Liverpool 1-0 Man Utd (Prem)
- Man Utd 0-0 Chelsea (Prem)
- Swansea 1-4 Man Utd (Prem)
City's biggest concern will be David Silva, hoping to return from the thigh injury which has ruled him out of his club's previous two fixtures. They will at least welcome back skipper Vincent Kompany for his first league appearance since the opening weekend victory over Newcastle. Micah Richards and Martin Demichelis remain out.
Manchester United have defensive concerns of their own, with Rafael still sidelined with a hamstring injury and Phil Jones rated doubtful with an ankle knock. Shinji Kagawa should return to the league fold, having played 71 minutes against Leverkusen in midweek.
Player to watch: Wayne Rooney (Man United)
The England forward has seemingly put the summer’s uncertainty behind him and is once again playing with the kind of aggression and determination that made him a key figure for United in the first place. The goals are, of course, starting to flow, but last weekend’s performance against Crystal Palace also showed his willingness to find spaces and create chances for his team-mates.
LAST FIVE MEETINGS
- Man Utd 1-2 Man City (Prem, Apr 13)
- Man City 2-3 Man Utd (Prem, Dec 12)
- Man City 1-0 Man Utd (Prem, Apr 12)
- Man City 2-3 Man Utd (FAC, Jan 12)
- Man Utd 1-6 Man City (Prem, Oct 11)
David Moyes and Manuel Pellegrini previously crossed swords in what was one of the more frustrating episodes of the Scot’s tenure at Everton. The Toffees faced Pellegrini’s Villarreal in the Champions League play-off stage of 2005/06, and were beaten 4-2 on aggregate in somewhat controversial circumstances. Trailing 2-1 from the home leg, they thought they'd levelled late on in the second leg through cult hero Duncan Ferguson, only to see his header disallowed.
Facts and figures
- Manchester City have scored 4 of their 14 league goals from outside the penalty area this season – more than any other side.
- Since his Premier League debut in August 2006, Ashley Young has 12 penalties – a joint league high with former team-mate Gabriel Agbonlahor.
- Manchester City have scored in each of their last 52 home league games. The all-time record for the competition is 66, set by Man United last season.
- Six of the last 7 meetings between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium have seen fewer than 2 goals scored.
- Wayne Rooney has now either scored or assisted 40 goals in his last 44 league games.
- Marouane Fellaini has won 5 times against Man City in the league; only against Sunderland – 6 wins – has he won more often.
- Since the start of 2012-13, no side has kept more Premier League clean sheets than Manchester City (21).
- Man City have kept 6 clean sheets in their last 8 Premier League games.
- Robin van Persie has hit more shots off target than any other Premier League player this season (10).
- Yaya Toure has made 347 passes this season, 30 more than any other player in the division and 65 more than United's leading passer Michael Carrick (282).
A little more life than we’ve seen in the season’s previous showpiece clashes, but still a tight game. 1-1.
Man City vs Man United LIVE ANALYSIS with Stats Zone