Manchester City’s victory over their closest rivals in this fixture last year has been seen by many as one of the key turning points in last year’s championship race that saw United pipped to the title by their "noisy neighbours". This time around there is no doubt that it will be the red side of Manchester that will re-assert their authority as the dominant force in English football as they look to further extend their 15 point cushion at the top of the table.
Defeats at the hands of Chelsea and Real Madrid in the cup competitions have ensured that Sir Alex Ferguson will not feel the need for any squad rotations going into Monday’s match, meaning it is more than likely that another classic can be added to the list of Manchester derbies that have produced an average of 4.6 goals in the last five games. Ferguson will ensure that no complacency enters the United ranks despite the title effectively in the Old Trafford trophy cabinet already.
City’s last few games have typified their season, with a win against Chelsea followed three weeks later by a 2-0 loss to Everton. Mancini will hope, however, that a recent 4-0 thrashing of Newcastle and the recent news that Yaya Toure has extended his contract to 2017 will provided the morale boost needed to produce a performance that will salvage some pride, if not the title.
KICK-OFF: Monday, 8pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS...
Man City 2 (Toure, Zabaleta) Man Utd 3 (Rooney 2, van Persie), Premier League, December 2012
Man City 1 (Kompany) Man Utd 0, Premier League, April 2012
Man City 2 (Kolarov, Aguero) Man Utd 3 (Rooney 2, Welbeck), FA Cup, January 2012
23 goals have been scored in the last five Manchester derby’s; an average of 4.6 a game.
Manchester United are unbeaten in 18 and have won each of their last seven games, both of which are Premier League bests for the season.
Manchester City have the most clean sheets in the league this season with 14; United are in second with 11.
Manchester United are yet to concede a penalty this season.
Manchester United to win: 2.30
Manchester City to win: 3.25
The last time the two sides met at Old Trafford saw a 6-1 demolition of United, with Mario Balotelli grabbing the headlines for his two-goal/ ‘why always me’ cameo. A brace by Edin Dzeko, alongside goals by Sergio Aguero and David Silva, destroyed United, who could only muster a Darren Fletcher strike in reply.
TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 at 8pm
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