Manchester United used to dominate the Manchester derby and have everything on their terms but since Sheikh Mansour took over the Citizens in 2008, the bragging rights in Manchester have become equally split.
After a ragged start to the season, the jury is out on Wayne Rooney’s capabilities to spearhead Manchester United’s attack but with 18 goals in 30 games against Saturday opponents Newcastle, he will be confident of overcoming his drought to silence the critics once again.
Louis van Gaal is aware of the pressures at a club of Manchester United’s stature and agreed with West Brom boss Tony Pulis that more will be expected next season having been given a three-year contract in which he must win the league.
Manchester United will be without Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Daley Blind and Michael Carrick as they seek to cause an upset at league leaders Chelsea on Saturday.
Manchester United, the 13-time Premier League champions, sit one point and one place above last season’s winners and will be looking to avenge their 1-0 defeat at City earlier in the season to all but secure a Champions League berth next season.
Despite winning five of their last seven games, Manchester United have come under pressure for their laboured, under-par performances in recent weeks, culminating in the Arsenal loss at Old Trafford.
With Falcao having turned 29 last month, anything near the quoted £43 million price that Manchester United could pay in the summer for his permanent services would undeniably represent a monumental gamble on the club’s part.
In 1995 Wayne Rooney’s boyhood club Everton beat his current employers and ever since the FA Cup has been a source of fascination for the England striker.
Wayne Rooney insists that Manchester United cannot afford to look past their game at Newcastle United tonight after boss Louis van Gaal admitted they were in a ‘rat race’ for Champions League qualification.
With a manager as confident in his own abilities as he is in his team’s potential, everything seems rosy at Old Trafford though in reality Man Utd are close to boring people to tears.
Manchester United great Paul Scholes said what was on everyone’s minds however when he called watching his old club ‘miserable’ in his newspaper column on Friday.