Preview: Man City vs Man Utd

(Getty)

(Getty)

 

TKTG brings together all the best articles from around the web for Sunday’s derby clash between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium in the blue half of Manchester.  Both new managers will be out to draw first blood between two rivals that will, without doubt,  be fighting it out for the title by the end of season.  Although this match is too early in the fixture to be a title-decider, both sides will be going for maximum points to catch up with the rest of the pack at the top of the table.

 

ESPNFC

“Aye, Wayne Rooney — it’s normally about nothing else here,” Moyes smirked at his news conference on Tuesday night. He was confirming the subject of his comments to UEFA’s interpreter before they could be translated into German. A 4-2 victory against Bayer Leverkusen had him in an amiable mood. Two wins in three days had United back on an even keel. 

Manuel Pellegrini, over in Plzen, cut a similarly relieved figure. Monday had been a 60th birthday spent preparing for his maiden Champions League outing with Manchester City. He was brought to the Etihad Stadium to improve their record in that very competition. It meant he could relax, and even enjoy the bouquet of flowers Viktoria Plzen had presented to him for his personal landmark. Briefly, City’s indifferent league form could be put to one side. 

Sunday, though, has cast a long shadow. “It’s a good start in the Champions League,” Moyes said when pressed about the Manchester derby, deflecting the question. “That’s all I was interested in tonight.” He also knew he would not have long to dwell. 

The last time a new Manchester United manager took control of his first Manchester derby was in March 1987, when Alex Ferguson got the better of Jimmy Frizzell. Pellegrini is City’s 14th ‘permanent’ manager since 1987. City fans are relieved at the absence — at long last — of the man they often personified as an evil emperor. Ferguson had presided over the period that was their club’s darkest — the late ’90s fall to the third division — and spent his final season wresting back the title from Eastlands. 

Despite spending the past two United matches in Old Trafford’s director’s box, Alex Ferguson will not be at the Etihad. Instead, he will most probably be watching the game on TV in his Manhattan apartment, having flown out to the United States on Saturday morning. “I know Sir Alex Ferguson is not here for the first time, but that is their problem, not my problem,” Pellegrini said on Friday. 

Read the full article by ESPNFC’s John Brewin

 

BBC Sport

 

Here’s to the first real blockbuster of the season! We’ve had a couple of pretenders to the title which haven’t really delivered so far, but I’m confident that this one will live up to expectations.

Both teams may have made an unspectacular start in the Premier League, but their performances and goals scored in the Champions League on Tuesday will ensure that they come into the derby full of attacking confidence.

City could have scored a bucket-load at Plzen, with the pick of the three they did get coming from Yaya Toure. Although still nominally playing in a defensive midfield role, the giant Ivorian is again playing with a freedom that we perhaps didn’t see as much last season.

He’s certainly knocking the ball around nicely, with his 347 successful passes comfortably the highest number in the Premier League so far, and 65 more than United’s best passer Michael Carrick.

After shining against Bayer Leverkusen with his 199th & 200th United goals, much will again be expected of Wayne Rooney in a fixture he always seems to relish.

He’s scored four goals in his last three away to City, including two in last December’s thrilling 3-2 United win, and only needs one more to become the record scorer in all Manchester derbies. On 10 goals, he’s level with City’s Joe Hayes and Francis Lee, with seven in the Premier League equalling Eric Cantona’s total.

With Brian Kidd for City and Phil Neville and Ryan Giggs for United, there’s plenty of derby know-how in the coaching teams – yet this is the first time since 1947 that BOTH City’s and United’s bosses are new to this particular rivalry.

On that occasion, Jock Thomson’s blues and Matt Busby’s* reds drew 0-0. I’d be amazed if this one finished goalless.

Read the entire article by BBC Sport’s Guy Mowbray

 

Goal

Manchester City will look to strike an early psychological blow in the Premier League title race when they host Manchester United on Sunday.

Both sides have battled for the crown over the last two seasons with City emerging triumphant in 2012 before United re-established their supremacy last term in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final campaign in charge.

David Moyes has since taken the helm at Old Trafford and, aside from a defeat to league leaders Liverpool at the beginning of September, the 50-year-old has made a solid start.

The teams have posted identical records going into the contest – having both taken seven points from four games.

United emerged 3-2 winners in the same fixture last term, Robin van Persie scoring the winner with a late free kick, and Pellegrini knows the importance of atoning for that defeat.

“I don’t need to be here to know how big this derby is,” Pellegrini said. “Playing against Man United at home we must win, it’s more important to win than to not lose.”

City will be boosted by the return of captain Vincent Kompany, the defender set to make his first Premier League appearance since suffering a groin injury in the season-opening 4-0 win over Newcastle United.

David Silva is also set to be involved after recovering from a thigh injury. The Spaniard has missed City’s last two matches against Stoke and Viktoria Plzen.

Micah Richards has also returned to training following a hamstring problem and could be named in the matchday squad for the first time this season, while Gael Clichy (thigh) is a major doubt.

United, meanwhile, will be boosted by the news that Danny Welbeck has returned to full training and could be available, though defenders Phil Jones (ankle) and Rafael (hamstring) are doubts for the match.

The visitors will, however, be able to call on in-form forward Wayne Rooney, who has either directly scored or provided the assist for 40 goals in his last 44 Premier League outings.

And the former Everton man insists he is enjoying life at Old Trafford again, despite having been strongly linked with a move to Chelsea during the transfer window.

“I feel good and am glad to be out playing,” Rooney commented. “It’s good to work under him [Moyes] and hopefully we’ll be successful together. I feel great.”

 

Read the entire article by Goal.com’s Nicholas McGee

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