Writer: Andy Leggott
Date:Friday December 8 2006
Here we go, it's that time of year again. Christmas? Forget it. It's time for the annual 4-0 drubbing off the biggest and best team in the world(c).
Just a hint of sarcasm intended there in response to the usual drivel that most blues have been subjected to this week.
The problem for rags is that their record over 'lickle siddy' since our return to the top flight is pretty poor.
It must be bad enough for any club having City as your bogey team, given our recent history, but when you live next door to us it must really grate.
Naturally, new reds don't see this as a real derby. They only happen when they play Chelsea or Arsenal these days. It was no surprise though to hear every other song on Wednesday night being about the team they don't care about, that very same team of whom 'nobody knows their name'. It was a pleasure though to hear that they now know what it feels like for their 'team to win nothing at all'.
That said, and forgetting the obsessives for a while, it's about time we triumphed at the sty. Draws maybe the normal order of the day but it's been a while since the 1-0 win that confirmed their relegation. Cole should have ended the hoodoo last year only to be denied in the last minute. However this season has seen the end of two hoodoos, Boro and Arsenal, let's hope this is number three.
On the pitch, City will have to watch for Angelina Ballerina's synchronised diving show and Chairman Neville's usual attempts to double bluff City by getting sent off/presenting them a goal.
I expect City to go one up front and strengthen the midfield to counter the threat from Rooney and Scholes. Naive reds would be wise to look at our defensive record, coupled with the occassion 0-0 looks a good bet.
Ferguson says Ronaldo doesn't dive. In fact he is the most fouled player in the Premiership? Make your own mind up.
Evra is their only doubt. Let him play I say.
Always does something against us.
I expect a formation similar to the Liverpool game with Corradi upfront on his own. If that's the case expect Onouha to come in at right back with Richards strengthening the midfield. Hamann could start for Reyna.
Key to controlling the midfield.
City haven't won at the sty since 74 but regularly manage the draw. Four points for the blues last season after a 1-1 draw at the sty and a 3-1 win at home.
Graham Poll .... Ok forget it already. Guaranteed disallowed goal from the ref who loves himself.
Heart says 2-1 City. Head says 0-0.
Date:Friday December 8 2006
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