Manchester City vs Manchester United preview

By Ric Turner, Fri 20 September 2013 14:19

Manchester City vs Manchester United previewA look ahead to Sunday's derby at The Etihad Stadium

Manchester City vs Manchester United

Date: 4.00pm Sunday 22nd September 2013

Venue: The Etihad Stadium, Manchester

Referee: Howard Webb. Assistants: M Mullarkey, D Cann. Fourth Official: M Oliver.

Television: Sky Sports

Odds: Manchester City 6/5, Manchester United 5/2, Draw 9/4,

Tickets: Sold out.

Manchester City

Manager: Manuel Pellegrini

Squad (from): Joe Hart, Costel Pantilimon, Richard Wright, Micah Richards, Gael Clichy, Aleksandar Kolarov, Vincent Kompany, Joleon Lescott, Matija Nastasic, Pablo Zabaleta, Fernandinho, Javi Garcia, James Milner, Samir Nasri, Jesus Navas, Jack Rodwell, David Silva, Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, Álvaro Negredo, Stevan Jovetic

Injured: Martin Demichelis

Doubtful: Gael Clichy

Suspended: none

Form guide: WLWD

Manchester United

Manager: David Moyes

Squad (from): David de Gea, Anders Lindegaard, Ben Amos, Phil Jones, Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling, Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra, Fábio da Silva, Rafael da Silva, Anderson, Ryan Giggs, Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Marouane Fellaini, Shinji Kagawa, Ashley Young, Nani, Antonio Valencia, Wilfried Zaha, Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck, Robin van Persie

Injured: Darren Fletcher

Doubtful: Phil Jones, Rafael da Silva, Danny Welbeck

Suspended: None

Form guide: WDLW

It is difficult to predict the outcome of Sunday's derby, but I suspect it will be a close affair and a draw wouldn't come as a great surprise to anyone. Both sides look like they are finally getting used to their respective new managers' styles of play, after sluggish starts, and will draw confidence from impressive midweek performances.

City will be buoyed by the return of captain Vincent Kompany, and hope that David Silva and Gael Clichy are declared fit. The prospect of Antonio Valencia's pace against Aleksandar Kolarov doesn't inspire confidence.

Another concern is the way we've been overrun in midfield in recent games, with the Blues still adapting to Manuel Pellegrini's preferred 4-4-2 formation (or 4-2-2-2, depending on your viewpoint). I'd like to see us play 4-2-3-1 against United to match them in midfield, with James Milner or Jack Rodwell holding alongside Fernandinho, otherwise there is a danger that Rooney will drop deep and cause us problems.

Yaya Toure must be played further forward where he can do most damage, alongside Silva and Nasri behind a lone striker (Aguero). Navas can be introduced later in the game to hopefully exploit space against an aging defence.

City's last league game against United ended in a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford, in Alex Ferguson's last ever Manchester derby. Overall the Blues have won 44 of the 154 games played against United, with 47 draws and 63 defeats.

Read the view of United fan Mo Naeem here.