Manchester City v Manchester United: Five players under the spotlight

Etihad Stadium

David Moyes will take charge of his first Manchester derby as United manager and it will important that he gets something out of the game.

Both sides come into the game off good wins in Europe and each team will be looking to lay down a marker to one and other. Expect it to be a fiery affair as these two teams rivalry has picked up since Manchester City started competing for the major competitions.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini will be boosted by the return of his captain and he will hope that the Belgian can bring some solidity to a defensive line that has looked frail in his absence

Odds: Manchester City 6/5, Draw 5/2, Manchester United 13/5

Last meeting

Manchester United 1 – Manchester City – 8th April 2013, Old Trafford

A second straight league win for City at their fierce rivals home but sadly it wasn’t enough to affect where the Premier League trophy ended up, even after the loss Manchester United were 12 points ahead of Mancini’s men.

James Milner put the visitors ahead before Kompany put into his own net to level. An outstanding individual goal by Sergio Aguero secured the win in Sir Alex Ferguson’s last Manchester derby.

Five players to watch on Sunday:

Vincent Kompany

Manchester City’s captain has been out of the side since the opening day win against Newcastle. He made his comeback from a groin injury in their Champions League win against Viktoria Plzen and will be a great boost to the City squad ahead of this massive fixture. The defence has seemed stable or solid since the Belgian went out injured, Pellegrini and all of the fans sure will hope that his leadership will allow City to play more confidently

Shinji Kagawa

The player everyone seems to be talking about at the moment, will he start another game? Will David Moyes play him in his natural position? These are all the questions that fans and pundits have been asking. Sadly for Kagawa this may not be the best game for him to start, Moyes will look for a more functional midfield to protect the back four, if he plays to expansive they could be caught out by City’s dangerous attacking players.

Wayne Rooney

Rooney seems to have hit a good run of form just at the right time for Moyes and Manchester United. He was excellent in United’s win against Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday, he scored his 200th goal for the club and and talk of him leaving seems to have died down, for now anyway. He always seems to save his best for the big games and none are bigger than this derby. Manchester City will have to be very aware of him because he can hurt you from anywhere on the pitch.

Joe Hart

The England number one has come under a lot of criticism this season after mistakes in City’s loss at Cardiff and England’s win against Scotland. He will look to bounce back in style against United. Hart will know that people are ready to criticise him for any mistake so he will be out to prove a few people wrong in one of the biggest games of the season.

Yaya Toure

Toure doesn’t seem to be missing his brother Kolo too much this season as he has got off to a red-hot start. Each goal he has scored this season has been brilliant; his two free kicks would not have been saved by anyone. Adding to that he scored a potential goal of the season in Champions League in midweek, look for him to stamp his mark on this game. Amazing to see the difference between him at Man City and the player he was at Barcelona, City fans will be hoping the form continues.

image: © Free-ers

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