Man United vs Man City: top 5 Manchester Derby storylines

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As the Manchester Derby will soon be upon us, here are five top storylines to watch out for.

1. City are much more desperate for a win.

United are playing for top four, City are playing for the title. If the Citzens lose, and Chelsea win this weekend…well the idea of repeating as champions becomes pretty far-fetched. A draw would be great for Louis van Gaal. It would be disastrous for Manuel Pellegrini. Man City have won just twice in their last six. Newcastle eliminated them from the Capital One Cup on Tuesday.

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2. City’s stars are ailing

David Silva and Yaya Toure are doubtful with knee and groin problems. Missing either one would be a huge setback. If both are unavailable, it could be disastrous. Toure has really been off for awhile now. He doesn’t appear to truly be himself.

3. Is Wayne Rooney going to be Wayne Rooney?

The Captain will be fit and likely starting for the Manchester Derby. This despite legitimate injury concerns earlier in the week.

4. United have been terrible on the road in league play

Away from Old Trafford, United have drawn against relegation fodder Burnley and Sunderland; as well as the mediocre West Bromwich Albion. We’ve also seen the EMBARRASSING losses to MK Dons and Leicester. A road result is badly needed. At home United have been alright, save the season opening upset at the hands of Swansea City. The Red Devils got a point versus Chelsea and won three matches at the Theatre of Dreams.

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5. Sergio Aguero vs. United’s weak back-line

The Premier League’s scoring co-leader versus United’s weakest link. And again there’s injuries in defense, making the position group even weaker than usual. How Louis van Gaal adjusts for this, and finds advantages elsewhere in more favorable match-ups, will determine how United can compensate for this disadvantage, and get a result in the Manchester Derby.

Paul M. Banks owns, operates and very often writes The Sports Bank.net ,which is partners with Fox Sports. Read his features stories in the Chicago Tribune RedEye edition. Listen to him on 1620 The Zone. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks). His work has been featured in hundreds of media outlets including The Washington Post and ESPN 2

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