MANCHESTER FACE OFF
Manchester United are preparing for their second big game in the space of a week when they take on Manchester City at the Etihad stadium on Sunday.
This follows after the 1-1 draw with Chelsea last week. It could have easily been the first defeat for the club since the 5-3 thrashing against Leicester City a few weeks ago. As it was, Robin van Persie’s late equaliser has given United real belief that they can continue their unbeaten run despite coming up against the reigning champions. City come into the match on the back of a very poor run of form that is threatening to disrupt their league title aspirations.
After only managing a 2-2 draw against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League, City have suffered back-to-back defeats against West Ham and Newcastle United. The latest defeat in the League Cup happened despite manager Manuel Pellegrini fielding a strong team. Louis van Gaal has managed in several countries.
He told a web reporter that, from his vast experience, the Manchester derby feels the biggest local derby match that he has been part of in his career. Even though the rivalry between United and City goes along way, it has taken another dimension since the emergence of City as a real force in the Premier League.
"This is the biggest derby that I shall manage. It is one of 38 [league] matches we have to play, but for the fans it is unbelievably big as a rivalry and I have felt that also with a lot of the players in the squad, but also especially with Ryan Giggs. When he presented the analysis on City, I felt more tension with him. It was good to see,” said the Dutchman, who has confirmed that striker Radamel Falcao will once again be absent from the team because of an injury.