The following article refers to an older United-City game. Watch Manchester United v Manchester City live online here.
The first match of the weekend and one that two teams in London will be watching very closely.
On the surface it’s an easy match for Manchester United – they’re home (where they haven’t lost to Manchester City in quite a long while), in amazing form (top of the league, 6 points clear) and Manchester City are struggling this season.
But in the context of a Manchester derby, things are rarely so cut and dry. City have consistently raised their game against United, not losing in the last two seasons at Old Trafford, and not losing at home either.
I don’t see Manchester City winning this one. They tend to raise their game a lot when they come to Old Trafford and usually manage to hold us off, but United are still to hit top gear and have already been in much movre convincing form than that of the last 3 seasons.
Manchester United have Park and Solskjaer back from injury – Park played in a Reserves game (beating City, incidentally) this week, while Ole got a run out against Benfica in the Champions League. With Smith continuing his rehabilitation by scoring for the Reserves, United have almost a full squad to choose from.
I say almost because Evra was injured in training and it looks like Heinze will be starting at left-back for Manchester United.
No new injury news for Manchester City though.
Expected Starting Lineup
Manchester United are expected to stick with the same team that they played against Benfica (with Heinze taking Evra’s place). United have two breaks of a week each between the City (9th) and West Ham (17th) games, and then the West Ham (17th) and Aston Villa (23rd) games. It’s come about because United are out of the Carling Cup, but it’s a welcome break considering that the Christmas period is going to be very hectic (2 games on a weekend, with Reading at home on the 30th (Saturday) and Newcastle away on the 1st (Monday)). I don’t think Ferguson will mess with the lineup too much, unless there are niggles in training (the sort that plague Neville and Giggs.
Edwin van der Sar
Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Heinze
Ronaldo, Carrick, Scholes, Giggs
Manchester United will be going all out to win this one, to give themselves a 9 point lead at the top and to put a bit of pressure on Chelsea before their home game against Arsenal.
Manchester United to win, 3-1.