Red or Blue, find out which colour prevails over Manchester this weekend!




With United as the league leaders and the red flags flying high all over Manchester, City might have a point to make as this is the right opportunity to get to the top of the league by cancelling out the 3 point deposit that United have. As for United there might be a revenge on the cards for the 6-1 mauling last season. The Premier League has started taking shape and every point at this juncture becomes crucial. United having lost the title to City on goal difference last season will not let the history repeat itself. On the other hand Roberto Mancini’s men might look to compensate for the disarray of performance in the Champions League.

Manchester Derby

Manchester Derby

With the dismal performance in the Champions League, and failing to qualify for the Europa League, City fans might wonder where it all went wrong. City have been unbeaten in the Premier League so far but the English giants haven’t tasted victory even in a single game in the Champions League. This has been the worst record by an English club in the Champions League. With city managing only 3-draws and 3-losses out of the 6 games they played, and a goal difference of 4 which saw Dutch club Ajax finishing above them in 3rd slot and potentially saw them out of the Europa League too.

City took the Premier League by storm last season and went on to win the league ahead of the fellow Manchester Derby on goal difference. City acquired the title with the help of some of their new signings. They had spent a whooping £63.6m in the transfer window previous season making them one of the biggest spenders in Europe. Having brought in the likes of Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Mario Balotelli, Samir Nasri and Edin Dezko, Roberto Mancini felt he had the right team to win it all. With the surplus addition of Scott Sinclair, Jack Rodwell and Javi Garcia, the City bench doesn’t lack quality either. The defence looks really strong with Hart between the sticks, and Kompany, Lescott standing tall ahead of him. With the aging Zabeletta, the injured Richards and Clichy, Kolarov performing at times the fullback positions seem to be an area of concern for them. The midfield doesn’t require any introduction with Toure and Milner playing in a holding position and the fellow mates Nasri, Silva joining the attack. And unarguably the strike force is one of the best in Europe with the likes of Teverz, Augero, Dzeko and Balotelli.

What has led City down is the lack of quality young players. City haven’t had a bright prospect from the youth academy so far. The main reason for the Champions League exit is the lack of team rotation policy. With a surplus of players at the club it would be much better to follow the rotation policy and to promote youth players. Mancini has named an unchanged side for most of matches which makes it really difficult for the players to give it their all as fatigue becomes a huge factor. With City out of contention of the league of Champions they can solely concentrate on the EPL this season. City fans might expect that their team might repeat its heroics against their city rivals Manchester United, in which they handed over a 6-1 defeat to the depleted united side.

Predicted Manchester City lineup:

Joe Hart (GK)
Maicon, Pablo Zabeletta (RB)
Lescott, Kompany (CB)
Alexander Kolarov, Gael Clichy (LB)
David Silva (LM)
Yaya Toure, James Milner (CM)
Samir Nasri, Johnson (RM)
Teverz, Augero (ST)

Bench:
Matija Nastasić, Micah Richards, Jack Rodwell, Javi Garcia, Balotelli, Gareth Barry

Coming to the Theatre of Dreams
Despite the 6-1 defeat and loss of the title to their city rivals last season United showed real characters to fight till the end. One should never forget the overhead kick from Rooney that gave united a 2-1 win in the previous meeting. But this season United have strongly bounced back and with the signing of Robin van Persie and Kagawa the attack looks really lethal. United’s attack considered to be one of the strongest in the league, City should be varying of the threat they carry. United possess one of the best striking partnerships with the inform Robin van Persie and Rooney who have steered United to the top with some jubilant finishes and dazzling skills. United also have got into the habit of clearing the deficit and going on to win the games. For most of the season the team has come from behind to win the games.

Though Uunited have failed to maintain a clean sheet for most of the season their defence hasn’t been bad, small error have made them pay. The return of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling from injuries makes things easier for Sir Alex Ferguson. Rafael and Evra have been in formidable from in the fullback position, providing a huge boost to the attack. Anders Lindegaard performing well above expectations a place for De Gea looks unlikely. The ginger boy Scholes has played really well since his comeback from retirement, United has seen Fletcher coming back with a bang and Anderson, Cleverly also have chipped in to give a strong midfield mantle. But the wider areas have been a concern for United as Antonio Valencia has been injured and Nani, Young have failed to perform and the weary legs of Giggs have failed to shine. United have the most lethal attack in the Premier League, with the diamond formation in play and Rooney dropping deep in the midfield the attack has been a nightmare to the defence. Hernandez has shown his class and has scored every time he is called upon from the bench. Welbeck who had a fantastic last season, has failed to impress in the Theatre of Dreams so far. United bench shows no lack of class as the youth have stepped up the gears and with the signing Nick Powell and Alexander Buttner there’s been no doubt that the United scouting radar is on target. United fans might be eagerly waiting for their side to respond to the forgettable 6-1 defeat to City last season. What has worked well with United is Alex Ferguson has rotated his players more often than not. With an impressive Champions League record of 4 wins and 2 losses, United have qualified for the round of 16 and undoubtedly the praise goes to the Scottish magician Sir Alex.

Predicted Manchester United lineup:

Anders Lindegaard (GK)
Rafael (RB)
Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans (CB)
Patrice Evra (LB)
Nani, Giggs (LM)
Darren Fletcher, Anderson, Paul Scholes (CM)
Welbeck, Ashley Young (RM)
Rooney, Van Persie (ST)

Bench:
Shinji Kagawa, Phil Jones, Hernandez, Tom Cleverley, Alexander Buttner, Nick Powell, Carrick.

Can City complete a double or will United spoil the party is the biggest question. United seem a better side overall and ability to bounce back makes chances of winning more likely. With the depth in the squad and the magical touch of Sir Alex Ferguson United are more likely to avenge the 6-1 defeat last season. City can never be written off. Overall form and morale wise United seem to be better placed than City. Ability wise both the teams looks strong. Surely it’s gonna be a nail biting fixture. The scoreline is gonna be pretty close, United might edge it out though. A Manchester United win on the cards. I predict a 3-1 win for United.

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