Manchester City V Manchester United Preview

Carling Cup: Manchester City 2 v 1 Manchester United
Tomorrow lunchtime Man United travel down the road to neighbours Manchester City, with a win being vital. If United win and Chelsea drop points against Tottenham Hotspur then we could be back in the title race.

Both teams won’t need any motivation for this game, not only is pride and reputation up for grabs but both teams need all three points. United still have a glimmer of hope in the title race and Man City are in pole position to claim the fourth spot and final Champions League place.

If United want to have any chances of taking all three points we must have improved from last weekend. Against Rovers we had a lot of possession but we never looked like scoring and didn’t have that creativity we needed- we didn’t have Wayne Rooney!

United have three key players all doubtful- Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand and Rooney. If we only have Rooney fit for tomorrow then that could be the difference. United are definitely without Michael Owen, Anderson and Wes Brown.

Owen Hargreaves is in the squad and it would be fantastic even if he was only named on the bench. Hargreaves hasn’t played for United’s first team since the 21st September 2008 in the 1-1 draw down at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea.

Unlike the other three games we have played against Man City this season, former United front man Carlos Tevez has kept fairly quiet. To say he had been slightly vocal ahead of the previous matches is an understatement. In fact instead of moaning about United and Sir Alex Ferguson, Tevez has been moaning about City manager Roberto Mancini and double training sessions.

Mancini has nearly a full fit squad to choose from with Michael Johnson, Joleon Lescott and Martin Petrov out injured. Stephen Ireland and Wayne Bridge are both expected to return.

The referee named for the derby is the one and only Martin Atkinson. He took charge of the derby game between these two clubs in the Premier League earlier on this season, which saw Michael Owen scoring the winner in added time, the game finished 4-3 to Man United.

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