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It seems the upcoming Manchester derby will more unpredictable than most as a virus has swept through the Manchester United training ground, and Manchester City’s newest acquisition is suspended for today’s derby. I’m stil picking United for the victory.

Man City

Manchester City’s run of success has come to end of late and they are looking to restore the momentum behind their Premiership campaign. However, with Adebayor and Balotelli both unavailable due to injury and suspension, it seems they will be sort of attacking players out front. This will make hard for them to avoid consecutive defeats in the the league. While they may have more first team players fit than United, it is a measure of how far they have yet to go to equal the Red Devil’s power that they cannot be confident of victory for the Manchester city jersey.

Carlos Tevez bears some responsibility for this as his constant cries of homesickness surely must be beginning to grate on the ears of his teammates as much as they annoy the rest of us. I have little sympathy for a man making his salary and living in a posh Chelsea townhouse who sheds crocodile tears over his sad life in England. He complains about everything, even the weather. In the words of Jeremy Paxman of BBC Newsnight once said, “its England in winter…what do you expect?” But Tevez’s sunny Uruguayan delusions aside, City will have a tough time finding openings and without regular options up front will need all of their creativity to pull out three points.

Man United

While the strangest infectious disease news this week has to be Drogba’s bout of malaria, for the men in Manchester United jerseys, it seems a case of the flu has struck down Scholes, Anderson, Berbatov, Vidic, and Evra. With Giggs, Hargreaves, Rooney, Owen, Valencia, and Nani all out with injuries it seems Sir Alex will be forced to dip deep into his reverse to find a striker. For the time being, the burden rest squarely on Bebe’s and Chicharito’s shoulders. The question is, can these two play the full 90.
Chicharito has momentum be hind to be sure. but he has yet to play a full game for United, and questions remain about his fitness level.

The same question can be asked of Bebe. While Chicharito was at least playing at a top flight club in the Mexican league, and coming off the World Cup when he joined United, Bebe was playing in the Portuguese 2nd division. Nothing against the Portuguese 2nd Division, but I seriously doubt a player of his quality had to maintain much in the way of fitness to score goals. He is a clever player, and certainly has it all to play for, but I’m not sure if he will make it to the second half without needing a sub.
United have made a business in recent years of playing to the top with less than a full team thanks to their youth players and Obertan should be able to handle any gaps that may arise in the midfield. But upfront, United will be dipping very deep into thier pool indeed to find someone who is fit enough to replace Berbatov or Nani.

Overall, I’d tip United to win an ugly affair marked by dirty challenges and Nigel De Jong being sent off. City lack the commitment to each other needed to generate any creativity or passion. United, for all their injuries, remain the only undefeated team in the Premiership, and have made a habit of working through adversity.

Prediction: Man Utd 1 – 0 Man City

Written by Matthew Wall, editor, soccerprose.com


About the author: Matthew Wall


I've played soccer since I could walk thanks to my father and love keeping up on all the latest gear and gab. I'm in my twenties, and I'm lucky enough to have found work in search marketing for a leading soccer retailer after completing my M.A. at Georgetown in 2008. My team is Liverpool, and national side is Ireland, but I've also got a passion for GAA and a number of sports. Feel free to give me a shout on Google+


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