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Page last updated at 10:34 GMT, Saturday, 19 September 2009 11:34 UK

Manchester mind games

Barclays Premier League
Venue: Old Trafford Date: Sunday 20 September, 2009 Kick-off: 1330 BST
Coverage: BBC Sport website, BBC Radio 5 Live, local radio, live on Sky Sports 1 & highlights on Match of the Day 2

Shaun Wright-Phillips and Patrice Evra
Expectation is high ahead of Sunday's Manchester derby

Manchester United host neighbours City on Sunday in one of the most eagerly awaited derby matches in years.

City have spent big over the summer and expectations have grown at Eastlands while tensions have risen following striker Carlos Tevez's controversial switch from United to the blue side of Manchester.


Throw in a pre-match war of words between United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and his City counterpart Mark Hughes and the stakes could not be higher for the clash at Old Trafford.

And it seems the players cannot help themselves either...

BBC Sport brings you all the pre-match build-up.


"They have improved their squad and look a much better team than last year, but to say they are the best team in Manchester is crazy," told the Sun.

"If they win the Premiership title for the next 10 years in a row then maybe we can talk again, but until then we don't just believe we are the best in Manchester but also the best in Europe.

"I won't be happy with anything but Premiership and Champions League medals this year, one of them won't make us happy, that shows just how big this club is."


"When you are the best at school and you see somebody coming in who is trying to put pressure on you, you are not really happy," told the Telegraph.

"The fact Ferguson has made dismissive comments about City shows he is worried about what is happening here.

"It definitely motivates us. We have a great chance now to show that Manchester City are a club with a bright future who want to achieve success.

"Ferguson knows the players we have brought here are not just top quality but really professional and want to put this team on the top of the table. That is the mentality here."


"This derby comes at a very positive time for us - City could be without Emmanuel Adebayor, Robinho, Roque Santa Cruz and Carlos Tevez," told the Sun.

"However hard they work, City's attack will be inferior and this is a serious problem for them.

"I prefer to play against teams with all their stars but if our rivals are affected by injuries it's hardly our problem."


"I definitely think there's fear in their camp," told the Mirror.

"They know if we beat them on Sunday we could then go on an unbeaten run of 15 to 20 games and they'd be playing catch-up, which has never really happened.

"United have never had to play catch-up on City, but now the tables could finally be turning.

"Year by year the derby gets bigger and bigger.

"The atmosphere, the expectation, the quality of the players involved, it's such a huge occasion.

"With everything that's happened to us in the past year and with the players we've bought, this is going to be the biggest derby so far."


"Of course, there is a rivalry with City because of where we are - it's one city, two clubs, and there isn't room for both at the top," told Sport magazine.

Manchester derby bigger than ever - Schmeichel

"A few years ago, the rivalry wasn't so big with City because they weren't up there, but things are changing.

"I think the fact that Carlos Tevez went to City speaks volumes about the rivalries between Manchester United and both Manchester City and Liverpool.

"That tells you all you need to know, doesn't it? Carlos said he wanted to respect the fans by not joining Liverpool, but he thought it was okay to then join Manchester City. That just shows what the biggest rivalry really is."


"Move over, there are two big clubs in town now!" told the Manchester Evening News.

"We are the team to beat at the moment. Everyone gives 100% against us so we have to be prepared.

"The big changes here mean there is not just one big club in Manchester. We have come alongside, everybody has seen that. I hope the city is starting to get more and more blue-ish!"

"Our fans have been saying they just want us to beat United. That's always the case with derbies, here or in any country. It's the most important match for fans.

"We'll do our best and give 100 per cent to try and beat United on Sunday.


"The game is more special this seasonm," told the Manchester Evening news.

"When we have played them before they have never been in the top four.

"This year it is a big mission of City's to play in the Champions League.

"They have not lost yet, so they will come to Old Trafford with a lot of confidence. It will be an amazing game and it is a big challenge. I hope we are ready.

"I have been joking with Carlos Tevez about the reception he will get.

"I don't know if the fans will boo him or clap him. He did a great job at Manchester United. He respected the shirt and the fans understand that.

"But if they boo him I will join in."

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see also
Man Utd have got weaker - Hughes
18 Sep 09 |  Man Utd
Man Utd 4-3 Man City
21 Sep 09 |  Premier League
Adebayor avoids further sanction
01 Oct 09 |  Man City
Man City switch focus on to youth
18 Sep 09 |  Man City
Tevez likely to miss derby clash
15 Sep 09 |  Man City
Adebayor hit with two FA charges
15 Sep 09 |  Premier League
Man City a small club - Ferguson
26 Jul 09 |  Man Utd
Man City not a threat - Ferguson
21 Jul 09 |  Man Utd
Tevez hits back at Ferguson claim
14 Jul 09 |  Man City
Tevez completes move to Man City
14 Jul 09 |  Man City
Tevez keen to clinch Man Utd deal
16 Sep 08 |  Man Utd
Tevez completes Man Utd transfer
10 Aug 07 |  Man Utd

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