Date: 18th August 2007 at 4:28pm
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On Sky

This is probably one of the most eagerly awaited derbies in years with City on a bit of a high with two good opening wins and United yet to find that exhilarating form that won them the title last season.

Vital Quotes:

Sven talks extensively about his love of derby games: “I have managed many teams in derbies before. I`ve never sat on the bench for one here, but I`ve seen some of them from the stands, so of course I know how important it is.

“You look forward to these kind of games. Every game in the Premier League is difficult but this is a special one because of the closeness.

“I think if you are a fan, a player, or a coach you are looking forward to these kind of games, because these are the big ones. Lots of press, a lot of talking before and after the game, what happened – was it fair? These are the games you want to be involved in.

“For the players it`s one of those games that if you are not up for it by 1.30 on Sunday, then you shouldn`t play. I don`t need to shout at players about it two or three days before, every player looks forward to these games.

“They are the sort of the games you dream about when you are young. For our players that are new to the Premier League, this is like a dream for them.”

Ferguson looks to the positives after an indifferent start to the season: ‘I`m looking at the performances of the team in the first two games and saying to my players, ‘Well done`,’ the boss said at Friday’s press conference.

‘We`re dropping points and that`s disappointing and frustrating because the performance levels have been very good. The important thing is to be patient now. The situation is recoverable, of course.’

Manchester City Team News:

City have still failed to bring in a replacement keeper for Isaksson and so Kasper Schmeichel continues to deputise with Joe Hart on the bench. Apparently Elano had a knock but should recover. Michael Ball is available again after his after match 3 game suspension.

Player to watch: Elano Blumer

The man has the magic key to unlock those premiership defences.

Manchester United Team News:

Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo starts a three-match ban for his sending-off against Portsmouth.

e joins the injured Wayne Rooney, Owen Hargreaves, Louis Saha, Anderson and Gary Neville on the sidelines.

Player to watch: Paul Scholes

He has always been dangerous in derby matches, it is essential that one of City’s midfielders constantly track him or he will be a threat.

Match Facts & Stats

United dominate the premiership meeting stats in the derby games until recently where it has been about honours even with both teams being able to beat each other.

Ref Watch:

Mark Clattenburg: A very fair referee as depicted by his first game this season where he kept his cards firmly in his pocket, will that however please Sir Alex Fergerson?

Match Prediction:

City to cause United a few problems, but ultimately United to have that bit extra, United win; 2-1.

Next Fixtures:

Arsenal Away Saturday 25th Aug 15:00 kick off.

 

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