MAN CITY v Man United – The BIGGEST Game of the Season – THE PREVIEW

9 Nov

The time has arrived. A mere 207 days after Paul Scholes broke City hearts at Eastlands with a last minute winner, the Blues have the chance to send a message to their most bitter of enemies. Thrice last season, injury time goals from United secured them victory, leaving City absolutely devastated, but now the time has come to rectify that hurt, to banish those memories and to inflict punishment upon our silent neighbours.

Without doubt, this is the most eagerly awaited Manchester derby in living memory. It’s true that we said the same thing last season when we faced United in the Carling Cup semi-final, but after what has happened recently, the intensity and importance of this match is on another level. Both side currently lie in the top four of the Premier League, separated by just three points, and a win on Wednesday for City would see them join the visitors on 23 points.

The Blues come into this fixture on the back of a stunning team performance against West Brom, easing to a comfortable victory. That result will give them the confidence they need for the derby, although City do noticeably raise their game for the big matches, as Chelsea, Liverpool and even Arsenal will testify this season. United haven’t been playing well at all this campaign, but they have that winning mentality that Roberto Mancini craves.

They are the only unbeaten side in the division and defeated Wolves last week despite probably deserving to lose after a barrage from the Molineux men. For this game, they are missing the likes of Owen Hargreaves, Michael Owen, Antonio Valencia and most crucially, a certain Wayne Rooney. The former Everton man has been sent to USA for an intense conditioning period, and after what has happened with him recently, it would have been unwise to have him start.

For the Blues, my good friend Roberto Mancini has virtually a full strength squad to select from. The only major absentees are Michael Johnson, still sidelined with injury but expected to return soon, and the rather interesting character that is Mario Balotelli. It’s not easy to describe the Italian, though the words volatile and temperamental spring to mind, as does the less eloquent but probably more accurate, nutter. City appealed the severity of the card he received against WBA, arguing that the melée deserved a yellow rather than a red, but our case was ignored and as a result, Balotelli misses this game. Unfortunately for City, this match has probably arrived a week too soon for Aleksandar Kolarov, so Pablo Zabaleta can expect to continue at left-back.

This is the side Mancini is expected to select:

                                                              Hart

Boateng                      K. Touré                    Kompany                     Zabaleta

                                                          de Jong
                                   Y. Touré                            Barry

Milner                                                                                                           Silva
                                                            Tévez

Subs: Given, Richards, Kolarov, Vieira, A. Johnson, SWP, Adebayor

Key Battles

Carlos Tévez v Nemanja Vidic

Our inspirational captain has been waiting for this game for quite some time. He usually performs superbly against United, raising his game to even greater levels than normal. He will be desperate to lead us to victory and confirm his place as a true City great. But make no mistake, Vidic is an outstanding centre-back, someone who doesn’t give an inch. He’s an old-fashioned defender, a no-nonsense, tough tackling hardman, so this will be a real battle.

David Silva v Paul Scholes

Two creative midfielders, who, at their majestic best, are a joy to watch. Scholes prefers to orchestrate from deep, with his variety of passing, but is prone to the odd dirty challenge. Silva, our World Cup winning Spaniard, is a much more attacking option. He’s someone who controls the tempo of the play, and can pick a pass through the eye of a needle, as proved by his two assists against West Brom.

Vincent Kompany v Dimitar Berbatov

The Bulgarian, Berbatov, is, on his day, an absolute handful for defenders. He is more than capable of holding up the ball and bringing others into play, whilst he was a penchant for the extraordinary goal. Kompany has been outstanding so far this season, and was at his best against West Brom, so must keep up that form against United.

Referee: Chris Foy – Foy is one of the most underrated referees in the Premier League. He officiated the FA Cup final a couple of seasons ago, and is consistently one of the best refs. However, he did miss Tom Huddlestone’s blatant stamp at the weekend.

Prediction: MAN CITY 21 Man United A very tough match to predict the outcome of, but with City being at home, and confidence restored, we should be chomping at the bit. Goals to be scored by Carlos Tévez, David Silva and Dimitar Berbatov.

Advertisements

15 Responses to “MAN CITY v Man United – The BIGGEST Game of the Season – THE PREVIEW”

  1. mord 09/11/2010 at 6:08 pm #

    when exactly will your “good friend” bobby manc start picking AJ…..

  2. rama 09/11/2010 at 6:27 pm #

    good prediction….and sensible writing…even though i am a manutd fan i have to agree with most of what you have written…but would want the score to be in out favour

  3. Ricky 09/11/2010 at 6:28 pm #

    You say that Steven, but, last season he WAS good enough. He had the starting position but circumstances change. That is to say, players come and players go. Unfortunately for AJ, he has two potentially world class players that have arrived over the summer that are starters in both of his possible playing positions. But that is football. I fear now that he may only start league games if Milner is injured – even then Mancini will probably insist on playing SWP on the right.

    Two words can describe city this season so far – Typical City. We can go from the sublime (beating Chelski for instance) to the ridiculous in a few days. Only by removing that inconsistency, which is deeply sewn into the City shirt it seems, will we ever find Championship winning form – this will not happen this year or next, or ever, until we find more than Tevez and Silva to be reliant upon.

  4. JOHN GUIDETTI IS MY HERO!! 09/11/2010 at 6:40 pm #

    “United haven’t been playing well at all this campaign, but they have that winning mentality that Roberto Mancini craves.! >>> Could not agree more.

    It would not surprise me that despite the ‘flu’ rumours, Scholes, Berb and Vidic will play and again it wouldnt surprise me if flipping Rooney ended up on the bench.

    We need to watch out for Ferguson mind games and not be phased by them!

    Change my prediction back to 3-2 please, and chuck Berb back in to make it how it initially was 🙂 Thanks

  5. JOHN GUIDETTI IS MY HERO!! 09/11/2010 at 6:40 pm #

    p.s not too sure about Foy though….the Huddlestone incident was BLATANT!

  6. lenny 09/11/2010 at 7:18 pm #

    some good script but city go to hell united will win!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Amman Kallumpram 09/11/2010 at 10:12 pm #

    Surprisingly very well-written and unbiased article….. no huge digs against United which I was expecting. I would reluctantly agree with that prediction too considering our decimated squad at the moment. I would take a draw now considering how fired up City will be to win this one, especially after beating Chelsea and Liverpool at home. However I think another key factor that you have omitted is whether Nani will play or not. He has been by far and away our best player this season and is statistically ( according to Fantasy League Points on premierleague.com ) the most in form player at the moment. Hopefully he plays and a key battle will be between him and Zabaleta/De Jong.

    • View From A Blue 09/11/2010 at 10:56 pm #

      Why thank you Amman. As you know, I’m a balanced and fair writer, who, despite my obvious allegiance, try and convey messages of equality and attempt to provide a balanced outlook. Nani is indeed a great threat tomorrow, so despite Fergie’s utterances otherwise, it would not be ashok if he were to start… And it’s not out of the question that Rooney will play some part.

  8. Browny 10/11/2010 at 12:09 am #

    Have to agree with the interestingly named ‘Mord’ on both accounts. Am getting tired of the ‘my good friend Roberto Mancini’ line as it appears in every blog, and Johnson surely has the capabilities to win a match, unlike the likes of Milner (who so far has not replicated his form at Villa last year – another one happy to turn out average performances and pick up a massive wage…) and in particular Barry, he is exciting, and can win you a football match in an instant. I would play Milner in the middle instead of Barry with Johnson on the flank.
    A couple of points, when you say City noticeably raise their game against the big sides, and you quote Arsenal in this, didnt they lose 3-0 at home to Arsenal???
    Also, when you say that for this match, they are missing Owen Hargreaves, that is pretty much stating the obvious, although he started last game and lasted 5 minutes, he couldn’t last a half of a 5 a side game.

    Scholes will be the difference in my opinion, a truly class act. Easily the best English outfield player in the premier league this season and hes mid 30s, says a lot about the England team at the minute. Theres something you wouldnt see at City as well, a player who is truly in love with the club, who feels pride in representing them week in week out for over 15 years, not just someone who turns up, puts nothing in, and then picks up his crazy salary, to name but a few (Barry, Adebayor, Bridge, Santa Cruz (alright hes injured), etc). And yes you are right Steven, cue the horribly mistimed challenge at some point in the game, and a subsequent yellow for Scholes, it is bound to happen, make a note. I think it will be a draw or United may just edge it.

  9. Plattsy 10/11/2010 at 9:47 am #

    I cannot wait!

    City are going to put united to the sword. Ferguson just sounds pathetic now with his jabs at city – he’s an embarrassment to english football in my opinion.

    I agree with Steven, Browny – he’s by no means one of my favourite players, but Barry will be pumped for the derby, and he is a great man to have in the team when he’s determined.

    Come on Blues!

  10. JOHN GUIDETTI IS MY HERO!! 10/11/2010 at 1:00 pm #

    Browny, I have to agree with Plattsy and Steven here – Barry has been fantastic this season abr a couple of off games, but as you know, we all have those! As for Milner, he’s been playign really well recently so im not too sure why you slate him?

    I hope another one bites the dust and City come out on top 🙂

  11. teda 10/11/2010 at 1:33 pm #

    manchester city 1-3 manchester united

  12. Siamack 10/11/2010 at 5:00 pm #

    If anyone looks at this fixture without any prejudice. It would be a fair statement to say that this game can go either way.

  13. Browny 10/11/2010 at 7:11 pm #

    Sorry boys, however you cant deny that Milner hasnt been replicating his Villa form from last year, where he was the key man and scored pretty much every other week. Johnson has a bit more about him I think, its just my opinion, anyway will be an interesting spectacle.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: