Manchester United Vs Manchester City Preview

Posted by Saim Sunday, September 20, 2009
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Manchester United host cross town rivals Manchester City in the most highly anticipated Manchester derby in recent memory

And thus it is here. Ever since Manchester City were turned into the richest club in the world overnight and then systematically started to buy a team which could get them success of the magnitude that their more illustrious cross town rivals, Manchester United were used to, there has been a sense of heightened anticipation for this season's Manchester derby. Of course, throw in the fact that Citeh have not lost any of their four encounters so far in the league and then the small matter of a certain diminutive Argentine who decided to chase dollars and ended up on the other side leaving the land of Mancunia and the tie attains high intensity status. Add in the then systematic media insult of SAF by Tevez, the revelry and idiotic boast of City fans and management and you know what this tie's importance is now.

This is not just about three points anymore. It never is against City but it's been farthest from just three points this time round. This is about being the Kings of Manchester, this is about putting the blue overzealous brigade back in place and of course, it's about mounting pressure on Chelsea who play later in the day. The war of words in the media from both sides has only added to the spice with every barb, taunt and conjecture seemingly making the dish tastier.

There can however be no denying the footballing aspect of this game. For all their small club ways, City have started like a big club. The Arsenal result was as good a statement of intent as any. The fact that they have been able to grind out a couple of results even when playing badly enhances their credentials. On the other hand, Manchester United seem to be hitting the straps after an initial slow start. Even this early in the season, United know that dropping points is a luxury. Thus, there can be no doubt this Manchester derby is far more important than any in recent memory.

On the team news front, City for all their striking options seem to be in a crisis. With Robinho injured, Adebayor suspended, Santa Cruz still missing and Tevez highly doubtful, Craig Bellamy is the only viable option left. For Manchester United there is some concern over Rio Ferdinand missing out and Paul Scholes misses out because of suspension. It is expected that Darren Fletcher will be restored back to the centre of midfield after not playing in the away trip to Turkey as also is Ryan Giggs. It remains to be seen whether SAF decides to play Berbatov or once again goes with the highly negative 4-5-1 formation.

Whatever be the result, expect fireworks and crunching tackles. To the game now.

What should be the 1st choice midfield combo for United?