It’s interesting to see Manchester City entering the Manchester derby with the team that has more at stake, meaning the Premier League title, than Manchester United, who find themselves in a weird position of fighting to even play in Europe next season. The numbers suggest this has been a United fixture for many years, but times are changing.
Some Manchester United fans has suggested that they’d rather let Manchester City win if it destroys the chances of Liverpool to win the title, although even a Manchester City loss doesn’t put the Reds in the drivers seat.
This will be the 166th derby match between the two sides. They’ve met 148 times in the league, with United winning 59 times, City winning 40 times and a draw being the end result 49 times; nine times in the FA Cup, with Manchester United coming away as the victors six times; Six times in the League Cup, with Manchester City holding a 3-2 edge, and one match ending in a draw; and twice in the Community Shield, as United win both matches.
Manchester United usually rely on Old Trafford to be an extra point almost considering how well they’ve done inside their home stadium over the years. This season? They’ve already lost five times, which is equal to the number of home losses they amassed in the previous three seasons.
Wayne Rooney is the all-time leading scorer in the Manchester derbies, including that goal from 2011. He will be playing as the lone striker for Manchester United, at least early on, so it won’t be surprising to see him score again. He has 13 goals in 25 league matches this season. He has also scored five goals in his last five matches against Manchester City.
Even with Alex Ferguson at the helm, the tide has turned City’s way, winning four of the last five Manchester derbies. The 4-1 earlier this season, once last year at the Old Trafford, and their first sweep on derby day since the 2007-2008 season, winning their famous 6-1 at Old Trafford and another hard earned 1-0 en route to a championship. Manchester United won 3-2 at the Etihad last season with a late Robin van Persie winner.
3.2 or 2.0?
The Sergio Aguero factor. The Argentine striker won’t be playing because of an injury (just like Robin van Persie) but it’s quite interesting to see the difference between Manchester City with and without him. They score 3.2 goals per game in the 17 matches that Sergio Aguero has played in this season, compared to an average of 2.0 without the Argentine.
There have been 24 players that have played for both clubs during their career. The last of them was Carlos Tevez, who spent a couple of seasons with Manchester United (and winning two championships and a Champions League trophy) before moving on to Manchester City, scoring a lot of goals but having a falling out with Roberto Mancini at the beginning of the 2012 title season.