The mood at Manchester United has certainly improved of late - but Manchester City will be out to spoil the spirit on the other side of town on Tuesday.
No doubt United’s first season under David Moyes will still go down as a massive disappointment - though qualification to the Champions League quarter-finals has thrown out a lifeline of temporary goodwill.
Over at the Etihad, City have lived to rue another exit from Europe’s elite competition, yet reclaiming the Premier League crown off of their fallen rivals would nonetheless be as sweet as it gets.
The clubs will come to blows at Old Trafford with pride on the line for the Red Devils and a trophy in the balance for the Citizens - yet here is the point where we digress from the collective and cast an eye on the individual.
Yet how does the multi-national youngster compare to his elder counterpart, one who’s been making the headlines for years now on English shores - even if not always for the right reasons?
Let’s take a look at what the numbers have to say.
Goals and shooting
|Name||Team||Goals||Total Scoring Att||Ontarget Scoring Att||Big Chance Missed||Apps||Mins|
|Samir Nasri||Man City||4||28||9||1||24||1,639|
|Adnan Januzaj||Man Utd||3||42||9||0||22||1,328|
With front men including the likes of Robin van Persie and Sergio Aguero, who will both miss out on Tuesday, spearheading the attack for Manchester side, Nasri and Januzaj aren’t looked to as primary sources of goals.
Yet both can produce, the Frenchman having hit four strikes to date to pip the three netted by the 19-year-old, himself unable to get on the scoresheet since mid-December.
Nasri is a far more accurate shooter (32% accuracy) than Januzaj (21% accuracy), though the latter is nonetheless far more likely to have a pop at goal, possibly hindered in his ability to find the target by playing with his dominant foot on the outside.
Passing and crossing
|Name||Team||Pass Accuracy||Total Cross||Accurate Cross||Touches / apps||Key passes||Pen Area Entries||Apps||Mins|
|Samir Nasri||Man City||90.76%||122||40||68.46||24||69||24||1,639|
|Adnan Januzaj||Man Utd||80.35%||73||19||39.73||12||44||22||1,328|
On the whole, Nasri is a far more accurate distributor of the ball with an overall pass accuracy of nearly 91%, dwarfing Januzaj’s average of 80%.
The France international has posted significantly more key passes, penalty area entry balls and accurate crosses than United’s youngster - cutting a more incisive figure that can rely on his vision to pick apart opposing defences.
It’s quite clear that Nasri sees a greater amount of possession for City than Januzaj does when patrolling the flank clad in red, having seen just over 68 touches per appearance whilst the Belgium native has averaged less than 40.
Each winger is renowned for possessing skilful feet, the two clocking in dead even for dribbles won on the term with 36 apiece.
Nasri is the more discerning of the pair in succeeding at a higher rate, however Januzaj has won far and away more fouls for United to provide a steady stream of set-piece opportunities.
Yet being more enterprising in running at defenders can come at a price, as Untied’s 19-year-old has given away possession markedly more frequently than Nasri, who expectedly has a higher degree of maturity in choosing his battles at this point in his career.
|Name||Team||Total Contest||Won Contest||mins / Dispossessed||Was Fouled||Apps||Mins|
|Adnan Januzaj||Man Utd||70||36||27.10||47||22||1,328|
|Samir Nasri||Man City||59||36||42.03||19||24||1,639|
Of course, it’s important to bear in mind that Januzaj is still a developing talent as Nasri is much further along in his playing days - a 26-year-old with six years’ Premier League experience.
Regardless of tenure, however, both should have the chance to leave their mark in a major way at Old Trafford, the youngster in looking to lift the club he’s been touted as the next star of and Nasri in pursuing his second title since leaving Arsenal for Eastlands.
And what better a stage for the two than Old Trafford to accomplish their ends - the clock ticking on a season that has taken contrasting paths for a pair of clubs each in dire need of a victory on Tuesday evening.