The Manchester Derby is one of the most anticipated matches of the 2010/2011 around the world. Over the last few years the tie has turned into a real unpredictable one, with the sudden influx of money into City allowing them to build a team which would compete with any team in Europe. With both teams separated by 5 points on the table, the match could prove to be a crucial one in the overall scheme of things.
Last week United's stunning 29 match unbeaten streak came to an end, after a less than convincing performance against Wolves. The loss brought the Red Devils back to reality after such a long run which included a number of lucky comebacks as well as some solid performances. Manchester City have been performing more consistantly this year. Although consitantly grinding out wins will not prove to be a successful tactic against the big four.
Sir Alex was quoted as saying that Rio Ferdinand's injury was much more of a worry than United's record unbeaten streak going out the window. United will be gambling with Evans or Smalling to partner Vidic. City also have their own worries in defence to deal with.
Manchester United Team News: With Rio Ferdinand out United will look vunerable at the back which may prove to be costly against Tevez who has been in such great form lately. Smalling or Evans will come into the squad as well as Rafael back in at right back. The recent news that Darren Fletcher may be out of the squad with an ankle injury will leave a massive gap in the midfield. With Valencia still out the Devils will be going into the squad very under strenghted.
Manchester City Team News: Right Back Micah Richards looks to be out after going into concussion, De Jong and Baotelli look to be out, both are close to coming back from their respective injuries, but may not be 100% by the time the game against United arrives. Adam Johnson is ruled out, Boateng will star in place of Richards and Milner in place of Johnson.
With so many players out injured the derby will prove to be a "watered down" version of previous installments of the rivalry. Nevertheless the game should be a high scoring contest with the two top scorers Berbatov and Tevez both starting for their respective squads.
Prediction - Manchester United 2 - Manchester City 3