English Premiership

United look to end poor derby run

2014-10-30 12:36
Manchester United (Getty Images)

Manchester - The Manchester derby was a fixture that filled the blue half of the city with dread during United's glory years under Alex Ferguson.

Now, it's United fans who are starting to fear the worst when one of English football's biggest matches comes around.

City is looking for a sixth win in its last seven Premier League games against United when the fierce rivals meet at Etihad Stadium on Sunday. City beat United 4-1 and 3-0 last season and dished out United's heaviest ever Premier League loss in 2011, a 6-1 thrashing at Old Trafford.

It's a very different story to the period from 1990-2001, when United never lost to City as Ferguson laid the foundations of his trophy-winning empire.

Both teams need a win to keep on the tail of undefeated leader Chelsea, which holds a four-point lead over second-place Southampton and also plays in a derby, against west London rival QPR on Saturday.

City, six points behind Chelsea in third, is going through a poor run of form that continued with a surprise loss to Newcastle in the League Cup on Wednesday. United is in eighth place, 10 points off Chelsea, as it continues a rebuilding job under Louis van Gaal.

After serving his three-match ban for kicking an opponent, Wayne Rooney was due to be back for United this weekend.

However, there is a doubt surrounding the England striker's fitness after he was seen apparently limping at a promotional event at Old Trafford on Monday.

United hasn't officially given an update on Rooney's condition.

Fellow striker Radamel Falcao could also be back for United after missing the 1-1 draw against Chelsea on Sunday because he was hurt in training three days earlier.

If Rooney and Falcao are declared fit, they could join a three-man frontline with Robin van Persie that was last fielded by Van Gaal in the 2-1 win over West Ham on September 27.

Rooney is the record scorer in Manchester derbies with 11 goals.

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