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Etihad Stadium (ATT 47,259) 30th April 2012 - Kick off 20:00 Ref: A Marriner

Man City Manchester City vs Manchester United Man Utd

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V Kompany (45+1)

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Last Updated: 30/04/12 7:16pm

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Roberto Mancini and Sir Alex Ferguson go head-to-head in a potential title decider

Roberto Mancini and Sir Alex Ferguson go head-to-head in a potential title decider

The destiny of the Premier League title could be decided on Monday in what promises to be an unmissable Manchester derby between City and United.

Form guide: Man City: DLWWW Man Utd: WWLWD Injuries: Man City: None Man Utd: Anderson, Vidic Referee: Andre Marriner Sky Bet odds: Man City 11/10 Draw 5/2 Man Utd 12/5 Opta stat: Manchester City scored six goals from just seven shots on target against United in their 6-1 victory at Old Trafford earlier this season. Bet on Monday's match

Rarely has so much rested on the outcome of a local feud, with both sides prepared to admit that this is as big as domestic clashes get.

With just three points separating the two sides heading into a heavyweight encounter at the Etihad Stadium, a positive result for either would see them claim the upper hand with just two more fixtures to come.

United are seasoned veterans when it comes to title-chasing, but City believe they are the future kings of English football.

A 6-1 victory at Old Trafford in the reverse fixture back in October suggested a changing of the guard may be on the cards, but United have refused to surrender their crown without a fight and have surged their way back to the summit.

The Red Devils have, however, dropped five points in their last three Premier League fixtures, while City have been perfect during that run to haul themselves back into the title hunt.

The Blues have been buoyed by the return of Carlos Tevez from a self-imposed exile, with the Argentine frontman having netted four times in his last three outings to suggest he is ready to gun down his former employers.

United have their own striking hot-shot to call upon, though, and have seen Wayne Rooney spearhead their title defence with 13 goals in his last 11 games.

The Red Devils also boast an enviable record at the Etihad, with only one defeat suffered in their last five visits to the home of their noisy neighbours.

City, though, have swept all before them in league fixtures in front of their supporters and have taken 77 points from the last 81 on offer.

There would appear to be little to choose between the blue and red halves of Manchester ahead of an eagerly-anticipated encounter and it could be that one moment of magic, or a mistake brought on by the intensity of the occasion, makes the difference.

Team news

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli is available again after serving a three-match ban for his sending off at Arsenal.

It remains to be seen whether he will be recalled to Roberto Mancini's starting XI given the form of Sergio Aguero and Tevez, and the continued question marks over his temperament.

Defender Micah Richards (hamstring) is fit again after missing last week's win at Wolves.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson must decide whether to make changes to his league leaders and tinker with his tactics.

Full-back Rafael would appear to be at the most risk of losing his place from the team that threw away a two-goal lead in the final seven minutes of last Sunday's encounter with Everton.

Phil Jones and Chris Smalling could both step in, while Ferguson may also opt to reinforce his midfield with either Ryan Giggs, Tom Cleverley or Park Ji-sung at the expense of a wide player or Danny Welbeck.

Portuguese winger Nani is doubtful after picking up an ankle injury in training, but Jonny Evans will be in contention for a starting berth after shaking off a knock.

Possible starting XIs

Man City: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Milner, De Jong, Yaya Toure, Silva, Aguero, Tevez.

Man Utd: De Gea, Jones, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Scholes, Giggs, Park, Rooney.

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Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 6 16
2 Southampton 6 13
3 Manchester City 6 11
4 Arsenal 6 10
5 Swansea City 6 10
6 Aston Villa 6 10
7 Manchester United 6 8
8 Tottenham Hotspur 6 8
9 Crystal Palace 6 8
10 West Bromwich Albion 6 8
11 Stoke City 6 8
12 Leicester City 6 8
13 West Ham United 6 7
14 Liverpool 6 7
15 Everton 6 6
16 Hull City 6 6
17 Sunderland 6 5
18 Queens Park Rangers 6 4
19 Newcastle United 6 3
20 Burnley 6 3

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