Vincent Kompany returned from injury midweek. Image courtesy of uefa.com/Getty Images
The Manchester rivals have had very similar starts to the season. Both have new coaches – City with Manuel Pellegrini and United bringing in David Moyes to replace Sir Alex Ferguson – while each has seven points from four starts. The sides also hit their straps in the UEFA Champions League during the week; City disposed of Czech side Viktoria Plizen 3-0 while the Red Devils smashed Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 .
City has had issues at the back so far this campaign, but with Vincent Kompany returning from a groin injury against Plizen, the Sky Blues looked far more solid in defence. This has traditionally been a low-scoring encounter with six of the last seven games at Etihad Stadium finishing with less than two goals scored. The exception was United’s 3-2 victory last campaign.
Despite persistent transfer rumours, Wayne Rooney seems to have settled in to David Moyes’s starting XI well supporting Robin van Persie. He delivered a delicious free kick in the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace, then scored his 200th goal for the club against Leverkusen. The former Everton manager brought over his old midfield monster Marouane Fallaini who made his full debut midweek, and his presence will intimidate plenty of opponents this season.
City has won three of the last four Premier League clashes between these teams, but the Citizens have only taken the three points once at home in the past five derbies. The 0-0 stalemate in late 2010 is the only draw in the past 15 EPL encounters.
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