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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Manchester City vs. Manchester United Match Preview

Thirteen Manchester City managers have tried and failed to match the exploits of Sir Alex Ferguson since the Scot arrived at Old Trafford in 1986; incumbent number 14 is discovering just how difficult a job he has on his hands.

While Ferguson was celebrating his 24th anniversary at Manchester United this weekend with a now trademark last-minute victory over Wolves, Roberto Mancini was battling to prolong his 11-month tenure at West Bromwich Albion.

The outcome was successful, but the reprieve only temporary. Defeat in Wednesday's derby would put Mancini under massive pressure and only serve as a reminder of how much work there is still to do before City can emerge from United's shadow.

Mancini has lavished £140m on his squad in 11 months, but is no better off in terms of points-per-games than Mark Hughes's side at this stage last season and rumours of disharmony between players and coach refuse to go away. Nonetheless, a first league victory over United since February 2008 would see City go level on points with their neighbours, who are are looking to extend a 24-match unbeaten run.

The derby will be the first since Wayne Rooney's reported flirtation with City ended with the England striker signing a lucrative new deal to stay at United. Rooney, however, will be 5,000 miles ways as he undergoes treatment on an ankle problem in the United States.



• Manchester United have won their last four Premier League derbies against City, since a 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford in February 2008.

• This is Sir Alex Ferguson's 34th Manchester derby in the top flight. He has won 18, drawn nine and lost six of his previous 33 league matches against City.

Man City

• City are looking to avoid back-to-back Premier League defeat at the City of Manchester Stadium for the first time in two years - since losing to Manchester United and Everton between November and December 2008.

• They have won five of their last seven Premier League matches.

• They have failed to win any of the three league matches in which they have conceded the opening goal this season.

Man Utd

• United are the only unbeaten team in the country (all competitions).

• They are unbeaten in their opening 11 league matches for the first time in Premier League history.

• United have scored at least twice in 10 of their 11 league games this season. The only club to stop them scoring was Sunderland in a 0-0 draw at the Stadium of Light on 2 October.

prediction:united:2- city:0^^