Off-colour Manchester giants hoping to bounce back in English Premiership
Posted Saturday, October 5 2013 at 01:00
London- Manchester United will be hoping to avoid a third successive league defeat when they travel to Sunderland on Saturday.
David Moyes’s side have dropped to 12th place in the table after last weekend’s 2-1 reversal at the hands of West Bromwich Albion.
United come into the match at the Stadium of Light following Wednesday night’s draw against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League.
Managerless Sunderland will also be looking for a win to haul themselves off the bottom of the Premier League.
The Black Cats have lost five of their six league games so far this season, including last Sundays 3-1 defeat to Liverpool.
Caretaker-manager Kevin Ball will be without injured defenders Wes Brown and Phil Bardsley, while Andrea Dossena is expected to be out due to a thigh injury.
For United, Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney could return to the side after both missed the midweek match against Shakhtar. Tom Cleverley may retain his place in the starting XI after completing 90 minutes in Ukraine.
Everton meanwhile makes its way to the Etihad Stadium to take on Manchester City this Saturday with the Toffees aiming to extend their strong recent Premier League record against City and Manuel Pellegrini’s side looking to stop a two match skid.
For Manchester City, Saturday’s match represents the opportunity to change the tides after dropping all three points at Aston Villa last weekend and losing 3-1 to Bayern Munich in Tuesday night’s Champions League action. Lapses in defense continue to plague the Citizens, with the center-back combination of Vincent Kompany and Matija Nastasic no longer looking as impressive as it did last year.
The Villa and Munich loses came on the heels of an impressive Manchester Derby victory, where Pellegrini’s men had the look of champions. They pounded their rivals with four goals, bringing their league unbeaten streak to three games after drawing 0-0 with Stoke City and beating Hull City 2-0 . That streak followed a shock 3-2 defeat at Cardiff City after an impressive 4-0 victory over Newcastle in the season opener.
Coming into the season many Evertonians worried the club would suffer under the possession-based attacking style of play of Martinez. The general consensus was that the Toffees would need 6-12 months to adjust from the conservative, defensive style David Moyes implemented at the club during his 11 year tenure. But the recent unbeaten streak has removed the fear and made believers out of the Everton faithful, who are all too happy to see their side keep the lion’s share of the ball.
The new recruits into Goodison Park are impressing as well. With James McCarthy and Gareth Barry in the holding role Everton are confident defensively and creative on the bounce. Bringing in Romelu Lukaku to lead the line was a stroke of genius and his connection with fellow countryman and winger Kevin Mirallas is one that opponents would do well to not take lightly. With Ross Barkley in the holding role and Leon Osman or Steven Pienaar on the wing, the Blues’ attack is one with pace, creativity and bite.
LONDON DERBY FACTS
Manchester City have won just two of their last 12 Premier League meetings with Everton, losing nine
Everton have the same record (W3, D3) after six games as they did in 1986-87, their last title winning season
Manchester City have scored eight goals from crosses in the Premier League this season; twice as many as the next best side