Fergie eyes epic Manchester derby triumph tomorrow



AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

Published — Saturday 8 December 2012

Last update 7 December 2012 10:28 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

LONDON: Alex Ferguson lit the fuse on a potentially explosive showdown with Manchester City as the Manchester United manager claimed a victory at Eastlands would be one of his club’s greatest ever results.
For the first time in 44 years, City will go into the Manchester derby as reigning English champions, but the bragging rights from piping United to the title on the final day of last season will count for nothing if Ferguson’s side inflict a first league defeat of the season on Roberto Mancini’s men at Eastlands tomorrow.
United are three points clear of second placed City at the top of the Premier League and the prospect of allowing their bitter rivals to extend that lead is certain to provoke a ferocious response from the hosts after their exit from the Champions League in midweek.
With United showing alarming defensive frailties in recent weeks, encapsulated by a chaotic 4-3 win at Reading last week, Ferguson knows it won’t be easy to subdue City, especially as the Blues have a formidable record on their home turf.
City haven’t lost a league home game since Everton won at Eastlands in December 2010 and they can also take confidence from a pair of league victories over their bitter rivals last season.
In the circumstances, Ferguson believes a derby victory would rank as one of the all-time great United triumphs.
“If we win (on Sunday) it will be one of our best ever results. They are a really good, powerful team with massive players,” Ferguson said.
“It won’t be easy and if we defend like we did at Reading we’ll be in trouble.
“The important thing for us is to take lessons from the mistakes we’re making and do something about it. We need to find a solution.” Mancini faced renewed questions about his future after City’s latest European flop and a defeat to United would only add to the pressure on the Italian.
Reports of Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho replacing him at the end of the season will make unpleasant reading and, while Mancini is convinced he will be given time to get his spluttering team back on track, even he admits his players need to raise their game.
The theme of managers under pressure runs through the rest of the weekend’s program at both ends of the table.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has been under fire of late and another negative result against West Bromwich Albion today would trigger more bile from the growing number of critics among the club’s previously loyal fanbase.
Wenger’s team are on a miserable run of two wins from their last nine matches in all competitions and Spanish midfielder Mikel Arteta, is well aware that a victory over West Brom is essential to ease the sense of crisis enveloping the Gunners.
At the Stadium of Light today, both Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez and Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill are in desperate need of a morale-boosting victory.
Benitez has yet to win a league match since replacing Roberto Di Matteo, while O’Neill has presided over a woeful run of two wins from their last 22 league games.
Fixtures (1500 GMT) unless stated)
Saturday: Arsenal v West Brom, Aston Villa v Stoke, Southampton v Reading, Sunderland v Chelsea, Swansea v Norwich, Wigan v QPR
Sunday: Everton v Tottenham, Man City v Man Utd (1330GMT), West Ham v Liverpool (1600GMT)
Monday: Fulham v Newcastle (2000GMT)

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: A number of parents have complained about the lack of hygiene in schools, expressing fears about the potential spread of the MERS virus with the beginning of the new academic year. This comes in the backdrop of another death due to the deadly...
JEDDAH: Disputes over sharing of property or inheriting family business are common. But Dhahran has witnessed an unusual fight among four brothers — over donating kidney to their youngest brother.Coincidentally, all the brothers were found fit to don...
JEDDAH: A number of visually impaired citizens are expecting candidates to address their problems and make life easier for them after winning the Dec. 12 municipal elections.A section of these voters have also sought special programs so that they can...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Interior recently launched a series of training programs to upgrade the efficiency of its female staff as a new step to empower women and give them an opportunity to shine in security-related fields.Maha Frehi, the manager of...
RIYADH: Sixty-one Filipinos, who met with a vehicular accident on the day of Arafat on Nov. 5, 2011, hope to come to the Kingdom as the guests of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman.Most of them could not complete the Haj rituals because of...
JEDDAH: At the start of each academic year, parents face a common and expected problem — their children are afraid of going to school.After spending five years in the arms of their mothers and siblings, children know leaving home means entering a new...

Stay Connected

Facebook