Writer: Andy Leggott
Date:Friday January 13 2006
City of Manchester Stadium
City entertain the team that used to be known as their local rivals in a Saturday lunchtime kick off. Having been disenfranchised by 'those that are United' it is now difficult to know who our proper derby should be with, manyoo or fcum? Still it should, as ever, be fun. Watch for 3,000 John Travolta lookalikes, arms outsretched, singing about empty seats and council houses, enjoy the faux horror when their goading results in chants, that despite their denial, they actually enjoy hearing, contemplate the irony of their delusions of grandeur but most of all let them know that despite what they think, it's 30 years and were still here. As for the football, a minor sub plot that we really need to win to get the season back on track.
Stuart Pearce insists he isn't going to pay any special attention to mark Rooney out of the game.
'With the talent United have, I won't be considering man-marking Wayne Rooney because your own players get dragged out pf position and they've got so many fine players.'
As for United quotes; well we don't really care what Ferguson has to say as its all rubbish these days, but let's hope that if they dominate us it's like the domination they displayed at Old Trafford.
Riera could make his debut. Thatcher and Sommeil are suspended meaning Jordan will play at left back and one of Sun Jihai or Onouha at right back. Sibierski is injured as are Reyna and Mills. Fowler will probably return to the bench.
Purely because it's his debut at home to the rags .... instant hero possibilities.
Shergar should replace Saha up front. Both their new signings are in the squad. Pain in the backside, Scholes, misses the game with a head injury.
We'll be waiting for the traditional Gazza derby performance to enhance our chances.
City are in a dire run of form having just picked up one point from the last twelve. The rags are in good nick in the league having gone undefeated in ten games. City's record against them is reasonable since our return to the Premiership, having lost only twice in the league. In the same time we've managed to turn them over twice, 3-1 and 4-1. Last season saw them claim a 2-0 win in a drab and disappointing game. Earlier this season the points were shared at the sty with Barton equalising Shergar's opener. City should have clinched it at the end when Van der Sar produced a fine save to deny Cole.
Mark Halsey .... Still my favourite for the 5 minutes of injury time in the play off final. Certainly better than Riley, Poll and co.
Heart says 3-1 win head says we'll lose. I'll stick my neck out then 2-2 draw.
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Date:Friday January 13 2006
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