This is not only the first Manchester derby of the season, but the first for both managers of the clubs. David Moyes and Manchester United dispatched Bayern Leverkusen mid-week in the Champions League, and Wayne Rooney is in form for the first time in a year. Moyes feels past experiences will aid him for this derby match as he told ESPN ““I think because I’ve experienced derby games in Glasgow and Merseyside I have a bit of experience of that. But as I said every derby in every big city wherever you go is important to whatever team you support.”
Wayne Rooney will hope to continue his headband induced mojo after becoming only the 4th United player ever to eclipse 200 goals. Wazza, in reference to the milsetone told reporters, ““It’s certainly something I’m very proud of. My main aim is always to help the team win games and if I score, that’s a bonus. Hopefully there are still a few more goals to come from me yet.” He will hope to be on the scoresheet this Sunday as a goal would take him ahead of Joe Hayes and Manchester City legend Francis Lee as the leading goalscorer in Manchester derbies.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side is looking to recover from the “injury bug” in time for the derby. In particular, Vincent Kompany and David Silva returning to full fitness in time will be vital. Kompany was injured in the opening fixture against Newcastle, and Silva picked up a knock while playing for Spain. Both are expected to feature in Pellegrini’s starting XI which means Javi Garcia will no longer have to fill in at center back. Kompany is excited for the challenge the Manchester United front-line poses as he told PA Sport “I always want to play against players when they are at their best. I’m really happy for Wayne that he’s on top form. This is the great thing about the Premier League, you play against top strikers all the time. But there are many players to watch out for in both teams.”
City return from the Czech Republic on the heels of a 3-0 dismantling of over-matched Viktoria Plzen. They scored 3 goals in 10 minutes, and I expect there to be goals in this affair. Although Moyes and Pellegrini are both defensive managers by trade, each team has talent and confidence in abundance. An early goal would force one of the teams to open up and allow for a more free flowing game. United will play 2 strikers up top and it will be interesting to see if City do the same. 3 points, a chance to catch Liverpool, and bragging rights are all up for grabs this Sunday. Will Manchester be laden with Red or Blue after the final whistle is blown?
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