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All eyes on Manchester for Premier League Clash

Milner and Evra challenge for ball in Manchester derby.


Manchester United host local rivals Manchester City on Saturday lunchtime in a fixture that could have massive implications on the resting place of the Premier League trophy this summer.

Should United take all three points – as they have done in 12 out of 13 league games at Old Trafford this season – then they would move eight points clear of City with a game in hand, effectively ending The Citizens’ title aspirations for another year.

But if City can become the first away team to win at Old Trafford this season then they would move to within two points of the leaders and blow the title race wide open.

Sir Alex Ferguson is without the services of Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans so Chris Smalling will pair up with Nemanja Vidic in the heart of the United defence. Park Ji-Sung is also likely to be involved for the first time since returning from Asian Cup duty with South Korea.

Mario Balotelli remains sidelined for City but the form of Carlos Tevez and ability of Edin Dzeko mean that Roberto Mancini has ample attacking options. Nigel de Jong may also miss out with an ankle injury.

If City are to ignite their title challenge then they’ll need to buck more than a few trends. The Citizens have failed to get on the score sheet in four of the last five Premier League fixtures between the sides and they’ve won just once in their last 26 league visits to Old Trafford. Plus, Ferguson’s side have not conceded a first half goal at home in the league since April 2010.

However, City do have the second best away record in the Premier League, so there is certainly something there for them to cling on to.

The bookmakers are, unsurprisingly, favouring United here with a home win priced at odds of 4/5. City are 4/1 to inflict a second consecutive defeat on the Red Devils and it is 9/4 that the game ends level.

Their industrious home form suggests a straight forward win for United, but last week’s action proved that there is little that can be predicted with any certainty in the Premier League this season.

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