Print and Go Back Five Aside [Print without images]

Friday, October 21, 2011
Battle for first in Manchester derby

A Manchester derby with first place on the line. Sounds like a beautiful Sunday morning in the Premier League. Here are five notes to get you ready for the top-of-the-table tilt between league leader Manchester City and defending champion Manchester United.

• Manchester United has won a club and Premier League-record 19 straight home matches, two shy of the all-time top-division mark of 21 consecutive home wins, set by Liverpool from 1972-73. United is unbeaten (24-0-1) in 25 straight league games at Old Trafford, last losing to Chelsea in April 2010.

• City's recent league record against Manchester United isn't much better, particularly at Old Trafford. United is 5-0-1 in their past six league meetings overall and also defeated City in the Community Shield in August. Man City did beat United in the FA Cup semifinals at Wembley Stadium six months ago, but City has only one league win at Old Trafford since 1975: a 2-1 victory in February 2008.

• With 22 points and a 7-0-1 record through eight games, Manchester City is off to its best league start since 1897. City proceeded to finish third in Division 2 that season, one point ahead of Manchester United.

• Could goals be plentiful? The league's top three scorers could all be on the field. Wayne Rooney leads the Premier League with 9 goals, followed by City's Sergio Aguero (8 goals) and Edin Dzeko (6). Manchester City leads the league with 27 goals, and United is second with 25. Chelsea is the only other club to score more than 13 times this season. City has also been the most unfortunate team this season, hitting the woodwork a league-leading seven times, two more than any other team.

• Don't turn away from the game late. In the past eight Manchester derbies across all competitions, five goals have been scored in the 90th minute or later. Three of those goals were decisive for Manchester United, including Michael Owen's 95th-minute winner at Old Trafford two seasons ago. Additionally, United leads the league with six goals in the past 10 minutes of their matches this season. City is tied for second-most with four, and neither club has conceded in that span.