Manchester City vs. Manchester United Preview

Fa Cup

Football
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Published: 12/12/2011
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Manchester City host their arch rivals Manchester United in the F.A Cup on January 7 in what is undoubtedly the pick of the third round draw.

After their recent Champions League heartache, both clubs are likely to throw their full weight behind England’s premier cup competition in an attempt to compensate for failure in Europe.

And aside from their already bitter animosity, United will be planning revenge after being humiliated 1-6 by City in front of their home supporters in early November.

That defeat has left United trailing in City’s wake in terms of the Premier League title – and Alex Ferguson’s men will be desperate to stop their current rot and wrestle back some initiative heading into the second half of the campaign.

Roberto Mancini gathered his first piece of silverware as City boss via the FA Cup last season and he will also be adamant in regards to his approach as he looks to keep the trophy in the club’s cabinet for another twelve months.

Manchester derbies rarely need much stoking up and this clash is set to be hotter than ever after the team’s meeting at Old Trafford a few weeks ago.

City may well expect a back lash from United however it is extremely doubtful whether the Red Devils can actually hurt their mega-rich opponents.

After years of dominance in Lancashire, United are in real danger of being eclipsed as the city’s number one side not only on the pitch but also in the media as Mancini’s men continue to make the headlines.

Common consensus seems to suggest that United have lost their firepower and have not been the same team ever since the likes of Paul Scholes and Edwin Van Der Sar hung up their boots and gloves.

Whilst City can boast a wealth of world class players in every department, United have failed to replace much of their old guard and consequently rely on their star man Wayne Rooney to produce the goods.

Rooney has never really been seen as a natural goalscorer and he has struggled to cope with the mantle of lone striker this season after an injury to the talented Javier Hernandez.

City meanwhile are freely scoring goals all over the pitch and can also perhaps count themselves a little lucky to be out of the Champions League – considering that they did amass ten points in what was a very difficult group.

Conversely, United went out with a whimper and their recent defeat to FC Basle in Switzerland signalled a whole host of problems.

City already look set, whereas United now seem set to undergo a lengthy period of transition.

At 11/10, City look excellent value to follow up their triumph at Old Trafford and put Manchester United out of yet another tournament.

Ferguson’s porous defence will be vulnerable to David Silva’s creativity and the pace and guile of Aguero and Balotelli who will both fancy their chances of making their mark on the cup.

Home advantage should also enhance City’s presence and the form is quite simply in the book following their demolition of United and the pre-season Community Shield where City dominated United for long periods of the game before surrendering a two goal lead.


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