After a run of 29 matches unbeaten Manchester United finally came unstuck last weekend at Wolves and will hope to bounce back against ‘noisy neighbours’ City on Saturday lunchtime and maintain their title charge. Indeed victory for the Red Devils will put them eight points ahead of their city rivals, having played a game less, and in all likelihood end Roberto Mancini’s hopes of landing the Premier League title. Manager Sir Alex Ferguson has insisted this is a “terrific” game for his side after defeat last weekend and having lost just once to Manchester City at Old Trafford since 1974, will hope that this is one run his side can maintain this weekend.
Manchester City, meanwhile, are quietly maintaining their own title challenge and a win on Saturday would see them, temporarily at least, move second and just two points behind their rivals. Last weekend’s win over West Brom saw a welcome return to form and after watching United’s unbeaten run end they will now hope they can inflict their first home defeat of the season. To do so they will need to show more attacking endeavour than they did in the reverse fixture at Eastlands earlier in the season, and against Arsenal at the Emirates last month. However, City possess one of the strongest front lines in the Premier League and one that certainly looks stronger on paper than the last City side to win at Old Trafford in February 2008, when goals by Darius Vassell and Benjani did the damage in a 2-1 win.
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