FOOTBALL NEWS

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

towering first-half header.

Did you know? City have not lost a league match at home since 20 December 2010, when Everton recorded a shock 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium. Since then, the Blues have remained unbeaten, even setting a record for the longest sequence of home wins with 20.

Opposition boss: Mancini has introduced a winning mentality and Italian ruthlessness since replacing ex-Reds striker Mark Hughes as manager in December 2009, eventually helping end a 44-year wait for a top-flight title. However, the former Inter Milan boss is under pressure at the Etihad after his side bowed out of the Champions League at the group stage, earning just four points from a possible 18 – the worst record of any English team in Europe's premier competition.

Star man: Vincent Kompany, quite simply, is the heart and soul of City’s team. The Belgian international is a behemoth presence at the back and is arguably the best central defender in the Barclays Premier League. The 26-year-old has become a firm fans' favourite since arriving at Eastlands in 2008.

Sub-plots: This weekend's fixture is the Reds' first clash with the Blues since last season’s dramatic final day, when City claimed the title on goal difference thanks to a stoppage-time winner from Sergio Aguero against QRR. United are also desperate for victory after losing both league derbies in 2011/12.

Whistle-blower: Martin Atkinson has been appointed referee for this barnstorming fixture, having already taken charge of many high-profile matches throughout his career. This

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