The Manchester derby takes place on Sunday afternoon and it seems as though the mind games between Sir Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini have already started.
First up, Ferguson questioned the amount of penalties City get awarded at the Etihad Stadium, but Mancini has responded by branding Ashley Young as a diver.
Young has appeared to go down after minimal, or no contact at all in the past and conned referee’s into giving a spot-kick on a number of occasions over last twelve months or so.
Mancini said: “I remember very well last year, when Young (gesturing) swimming in the…
“I think four or five times in the last 10 games, and then (Ferguson) didn’t say anything, but this can happen.”
“I think in the last 15 years there have been some penalties for them. Not a lot, but two or three in the last 15 years.”
It often takes a brave move to take on Ferguson at mind games, as he has been the master of them over recent years. However, after City clinched the title and did the double over United last season – it appears as though he has met his match in the Italian.
There might well be a few heated moments on the touchline during the 90 minutes on Sunday, especially if a penalty is given in the Man City’s favour.
The Citizens have been given 21 spot-kicks since the start of the 2010/11 campaign, with 20 of them being awarded at the Etihad. However, in that time, United have been given just as many.
There is no doubt that this one will go down as the biggest game of the season so far and both teams are of course desperate to come out on top.
It has been four decades since the Red Devils have suffered three straight defeats in the league to their Manchester rivals in the Premier League – so Ferguson will be doing all he can to make sure that doesn’t happen.
In truth, you don’t want the game decided by a controversial decision or a player diving in the box being the defining moment. These two are fantastic footballing sides and fast-flowing, attacking football is what you want to see.
The likes of Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, David Silva and Sergio Aguero all have the talent to see this game alight and make it a classic encounter.
So let’s hope that Ashley Young hasn’t got his trunks on.