Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Manchester United v Manchester City talking points

Published 23/10/2015

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini must decide whether to bring back Vincent Kompany, pictured, for the derby at Old Trafford
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini must decide whether to bring back Vincent Kompany, pictured, for the derby at Old Trafford

The 170th Manchester derby takes place at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Here, we look at five talking points ahead of United's meeting with City.

WILL MANUEL PELLEGRINI BRING VINCENT KOMPANY IN FROM THE COLD?

Kompany has not started a game for City since he went against his manager's wishes by playing for Belgium in their Euro 2016 qualifier versus Israel while carrying a calf injury.

At his pre-match press conference, Pellegrini would not reveal whether he would start the defender against United, but form suggests he would be foolish not to do so. The Chilean has praised Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala for their performances in Kompany's absence, but the facts suggest City are stronger with their captain in the side.

City kept five successive clean sheets with Kompany in the team at the start of the season. They have not kept one without him in the side.

WILL WILFRIED BONY SEIZE HIS CHANCE TO SHINE?

With Sergio Aguero sidelined by a hamstring injury, the onus will fall on Bony to lead the line for City. The Ivorian has failed to live up to expectations since his £28million move from Swansea, mainly because he has not had a proper run in the side.

Aguero has scored six goals in his last five appearances against United, so Bony has a lot to live up to on his Manchester derby debut. Unlike Aguero, he struggles to keep up with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Jesus Navas and Raheem Sterling when City are on the attack, and his only league goals so far this season have come against Bournemouth.

WHO WILL COME OUT ON TOP IN THE BATTLE OF THE BIG BUYS?

If you take into account all the add-ons involved in the Anthony Martial deal, United and City paid a combined total of £112million for the French striker and Kevin De Bruyne in the last transfer window. That is an incredible amount of money, but in fairness to both players, they have so far lived up to the hype.

Martial scored on debut and took his tally to five goals in nine games with his equaliser at CSKA Moscow on Wednesday. De Bruyne was also on target on Wednesday, scoring an injury-time winner for City against Sevilla. The Belgian has also scored five in his opening nine matches.

HOW MUCH WILL UNITED'S PREPARATIONS HAVE BEEN AFFECTED BY THEIR TRIP TO MOSCOW?

Louis van Gaal said City have the advantage over United because they did not have to make an eight-hour round trip to Moscow in midweek. The United boss tried to help his players recover by staying an extra night in Moscow after the Group B match, which was played in sub-zero temperatures, but City are bound to be fresher after their home game in midweek.

WILL WAYNE ROONEY MARK HIS FIRST WEEKEND AS A THIRTYSOMETHING WITH A GOAL?

Rooney turns 30 on the eve of the game. That landmark usually signals the start of a player's decline, but Rooney insists he has many years left in the game.

The United captain looked sharp at Everton, where he scored the final goal in a 3-0 win last weekend, but cut a frustrated figure in the Khimki Arena. In the first half, only David de Gea touched the ball fewer times than the United forward.

It is worth noting that Rooney has scored a record 11 goals in this fixture, however.

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph