City Hosts United In Manchester Derby
With four games to go before the curtain falls on the current Premiership season, a lunchtime fixture has set up a clash between city rivals, United and City. Both teams campaign in Manchester, north of London. United plays at Old Trafford a.k.a. Theatre of Dreams, while City plays at The City of Manchester Stadium.
Any day, a meeting between the two is simply war. Emotions will run high as the duo engage in El Classico Expect ferocious exchange as Alex Ferguson and his men rally to bring their title defence back on track.
The team's 2-1 defeat at the hands of Chelsea remains a bad omen that has put its aspiration in jeopardy. It further got compounded last weekend when Blackburn forced their game at Ewood Park to a barren draw. Now, expectations are high that the team's playing staff will go for a kill in this one and nothing short of it.
City, on its part, will seek to spill blood to snatch the full point and send its rival back to Old Trafford in bitter defeat. City, under Mancini, is playing with fire in its belly, sending a warning signal to the visiting Devils with its 5-0 demolition of Birmingham last weekend. It is right in the hunt for a fourth place finish and wants every game to consolidate on its chase.
United triumphed over City in their third Premiership encounter before now, the last being the 1-0 victory in the reversed fixture of 2007/08 season.
In the Carling Cup this season, City defeated United 2-1 in the first leg, but United replied with a 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford to go through on 4-3 aggregate. And now, here they are, featuring in a game its outcome will decided, which of the two finishes where on the table.
With the absence of Wayne Rooney, United is fast losing its grip on the Premiership table, confirming analysts' earlier observations that the team was being carried on by the England international. Without him, many teams are beginning to know that United could either be defeated or played to a standstill.
Dimiter Berbatov has not been convincing despite sneaking in more than a dozen goals. Perhaps, the whole of United's squad has to come out and win this one if the team doesn't want to end in abysmal position in the days ahead.
Many would be looking to see how Carlos Tevez would take the encounter, which is crucial to both sides. The former United's forward, still livid after his exit from the Red Devils, may be going for the killer goals to spite his former manager, Sir Alex. He got a brace in City's last game.
Emmanuel Adebayor, who quit his Togo role early in the week, would be giving his all. His combination with Tevez might be the magic wand City would need to kill the game.
Super Eagles' potential Nadum Onuoha, expectedly, will use this one to tell Nigerians that he is the man Lars Lagerback needs most in his team. Indeed, the game would be a delight to watch.