First off, sorry I'm writing this later than usual (pesky work commitments getting in the way) but anyway....
Who would have thought just a few short weeks ago that United would go into the derby not only sitting above our cross town rivals but arguably as favourites for the win?
Four consecutive derby defeats have been tough to take (we have not beaten them since December 2012) but for the in-form Reds, there is no better time to face our stuttering neighbours.
We'd love to address that recent imbalance and move four points ahead of them in the process. Game on!
Jonny Evans is again suspended and Robin van Persie is back in training but is not ready for the derby, whilst LVG will assess Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw.
United have no new injury concerns.
Media pundits have spent hours trying to explain City's consistent inconsistency, but the fact is that too many important players are out of form for the champions.
They have twice dropped points against Burnley, been beaten at home by Arsenal, been held by Hull and succumbed to away defeats at Liverpool and, only last week, Crystal Palace.
Let's not be guided entirely by form, though- at the end of the day they are champions with some fantastic individual players so we will need to be at our best to win this one.
Part of the problem in their recent slump has been the lack of consistency amongst their four key players: Kompany, Aguero, Yaya Toure and David Silva- all have failed to reach the heights of last season but all can win a game on their own (Silva in particular is the man to watch with his ability to pick pockets, find holes and drift into space).
Speaking on Friday in his pre match conference, United boss van Gaal was in confident mood, and said:
" Never change a winning team is an English expression that I have heard before but I always have my eyes open, you must see the quality of your opponent and then make a decision, so it's not always about never changing the team.
"I'm always confident because I believe in my team, a game between two local rivals is always very special and of course I dream and the players dream of giving the fans a victory in this derby.
"I think that after Liverpool, Manchester City is the opponent that the fans want their team to win against the most- we shall do everything to achieve this."
Match odds: United 5/8 Draw 23/10 City 10/7
Form guide: United W W L W W W Manchester City L W L L W L
Referee: Mark Clattenburg
Post a Comment