Ball expects post-derby feelgood factor to keep City in hunt for Europe

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The Independent Football

Michael Ball hopes Manchester City can feed on the derby feelgood factor to secure a place in European competition.

City are still on a high after their win over Manchester United a fortnight ago, their first at Old Trafford since 1974. They have not played since but they return to the Premier League when one of their rivals for a European place, Everton, visit Eastlands tonight.

"The place has been buzzing, the city has been buzzing," said Ball, a former Everton player. "The amount of times people have been coming up to you to congratulate you is great. But we have to get a result against Everton to make those three points at United worth more."

The Everton captain, Phil Neville, for his part, is determined to put a dent in City's revival. Neville, who has gained hate-figure status with City fans because he played for Manchester United, said: "City are always going to be an emotional club. They are so up and down. If they win a couple of games they are going to win the league, and if they lose a couple they are the worst team in the league.

"But now they have got a manager who has not been emotionally involved in the kind of club that City are. He has had good financial backing and has brought in some very good players. It is up to us to put a dent into his plans."

Everton will have the central defender Joseph Yobo back after he was rested for Thursday's 6-1 Uefa Cup win over Brann Bergen.