For both Manuel Pellegrini and David Moyes this will be the first time they experience a Manchester derby. Both teams will be looking to take the bragging rights after unconvincing performances in the last round of fixtures.
– David Silva was a big miss for Manchester City in their game against Stoke, and it was clear that the Citizens missed his creative spark. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that the Spanish international has completed a pass in the opposition half at an amazing rate of a pass every 1.8 minutes. The Spaniard is an industry best 23/2 with 888sport.com to score the final goal of the match on Sunday.
– Yaya Toure’s infamous marauding runs were an essential component of Roberto Mancini’s title winning side, and although he is now playing slightly deeper he is still making his mark. He has completed 163 passes in the opposition half this year, which is more than any other player.
– Toure has also been influential defensively for Manchester City, making a total of 18 tackles – no other City player has made more.
– Pablo Zabaleta’s stock has risen considerably over the past couple of years. Last year he was voted the Player of the Year by the City faithful, and he has continued in the same vein this season. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index has shown that his 34 defensive contributions (blocks, interceptions, tackles and clearances) is the most of any player in the City ranks.
– Sergio Aguero was sorely missed on Saturday because of his ability to scare defenders with his pace. The Argentinean has completed more dribbles than any of his teammates.
– Wayne Ronney’s return to form was showcased again on Saturday, as the England man struck a superb free kick to seal the three points for Moyes’ men. His influence in the game is evident in his passing, as no other United player completed more players in the opposition half. He completed 33 passes in Crystal Palace’s half, more than any other Red Devil player. Rooney is 6/1 with 888sport.com to score the first goal at the Etihad.
– Rooney’s strike partner Robin Van Persie was the lynchpin in United’s offensive play last year, and his eye for goal has been evident again this campaign. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that no other player has had as many shots as the Dutchman.
– Another United player who tops the individual stats league is Michael Carrick. He has made 25 interceptions, 11 more than his closest competitor Mile Jedinak.
– Managing the workload of ageing centre halfs Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand was a task Sir Alex Ferguson performed meticulously, but so far this season Moyes has played the duo in every minute of every league game. Based on Vidic’s performance last week it isn’t hard to see why. The veteran cleared the ball 13 times, which was the third most in the league.