posted at 04:50
Author Name: Tom Williams
Manchester supremacy on line in derby clash
United goalkeeping great Peter Schmeichel, who also played for their cross-town rivals, opined this week that City's status as champions meant that they are presently "a bigger club" than United. His words echoed a claim made in February by City manager Manuel Pellegrini, whose side beat United 4-1 and 3-0 last season en route to finishing 22 points above the 20-time champions in the league. City have gone three games without victory, falling further behind Chelsea after a 2-1 loss at West Ham United last weekend and then seeing their reign as League Cup holders ended by Newcastle United on Wednesday. Compounding City supporters' anxiety is the knowledge that the previous time they won the title, in 2012, they failed to kick on the following season and finished 11 points adrift of eventual champions United. United struck a decisive blow when they went to the Etihad in December of that campaign, winning 3-2 through an injury-time Robin van Persie free-kick to move six points clear of City. Another stoppage-time goal by Van Persie means that United approach Sunday's game with renewed confidence, after the Dutch striker earned his side a morale-boosting 1-1 draw at home to Chelsea last weekend. United have been given a further boost by the news that David Silva will miss out for City after sustaining a knee injury against Newcastle that is likely to keep the Spain midfielder out for around three weeks. United captain Wayne Rooney, the top scorer in Manchester derbies, will make his return after completing a three-match suspension, but fellow striker Falcao remains unavailable due to injury.

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