FOOTBALL NEWS

07/12/2012 16:52, Report by Mark Froggatt
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Preview: City v United

Date, time and coverage: Sunday 9 December, 13:30 GMT. Watch it live on Sky Sports (UK) or follow the action live via radio and text commentary on ManUtd.com.

Form guide: The 164th Manchester derby is a battle of the top two teams in the Barclays Premier League, with United holding a three-point advantage over City ahead of Sunday’s clash at the Etihad Stadium. Both teams are on a good run of form in the top flight, although neither was able to record victories in the UEFA Champions League during the week after the Reds lost to CFR Cluj and the Blues went down to Borussia Dortmund in Germany.

Betting: After scoring in North London derbies during his time at Arsenal, Robin van Persie will be looking to mark his first appearance in the Manchester equivalent with a goal. You can back him to score first at generous odds of 11/2.

Ins and outs: Sir Alex Ferguson has already ruled out Antonio Valencia, who remains on the sidelines with fellow winger Nani. Nemanja Vidic and Shinji Kagawa are also unavailable, while Tom Cleverley is a doubt after picking up a calf injury against Cluj on Wednesday. The boss must also decide which of his two goalkeepers, Anders Lindegaard or David De Gea, will start. Roberto Mancini is set to be without David Silva, Alexander Kolarov, James Milner and Micah Richards, but might be boosted by the returns of Jack Rodwell and Gael Clichy.

Last meeting: Billed as the biggest Manchester derby of all time, United travelled to the Etihad Stadium in April 2012 with the title seemingly on the line. Unfortunately, under the Monday night lights, the Reds suffered a slender 1-0 defeat, inflicted by Vincent Kompany’s

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