So it's finally time for probably the biggest game in English football in recent times... The first Manchester derby of the season is finally here!!!
Injury-and-flu-stricken Manchester United look forward to a visit to the City Of Manchester Stadium knowing they can't drop points to keep the pressure on Chelsea... United, who go into this game on a six game winning streak, are currently 2 points off the top spot & 3 points ahead of fourth-placed City...
Half the United squad including manager Sir Alex are down with a flu that has swept through Carrington since their return from Turkey... Things aren't looking good on the injury front too as United will miss in-form winger Nani through injury... Giggs is still doubtful for tonight's game & Anderson hasn't yet recovered from his knee injury... Talismanic striker Rooney is in the US & may return this week - rumour has it that he may appear out of nowhere to play at Eastlands!
On the other side, Man City will miss only Mario Balotelli, who was sent off against West Brom after scoring both goals of the entire game... City will though not dwell much on that since their talisman Carlos Tevez is back from Argentina... Besides, Roberto Mancini has a full-strength squad to choose from in contrast to their city rivals...
United will hope that their top goal-scorer this season Dimitar Berbatov recovers from flu in time... In absence of Nani, Berbatov's creativity will be much needed... It was observed in the last game against Wolves that Chicharito Hernandez is still incapable of playing as a lone forward & so Berba's presence is essential... Also returning to the squad will be Michael Carrick, who was rested for the game vs. Wolves on Saturday... Other contenders for the central midfield spots will be Darren Fletcher, Paul Scholes & Darron Gibson... Obertan & Park are likely to start on the wings though Park will probably be assigned the task of neutralising David Silva... The back-four should remain intact with Vidic leading the line as usual...
My Starting XI: Van der Sar, Rafael, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Obertan, Carrick, Scholes, Fletcher, Park, Berbatov/Hernandez
Red Devils Reign, United Again!!!
That's all Folks!