With the MLS season all wrapped up, we're going to try and highlight a match of the week to help the soccer nuts out there in LA-LA land get through the cold cold winter. Seriously, it's like 65 degrees outside right now.
This week's match of the week is the Manchester Derby, which for the third straight year has legitimate English Premier League title implications. City are currently three points behind United, and the winner of this match will be in first place with a good shot to keep that slot through Boxing Day. The match will be broadcast live starting at 5:00am PST on Fox Soccer.
According to Opta, there have been just five goals scored in the last six meetings between City and United at the Ethiad and no more than one goal in any of those matches. There have been some more explosive affairs at Old Trafford, however.
"I think we’re going to get a battle," said Fox Soccer's Warren Barton We’re really going to get two dominant forces, two heavyweight monsters, going head-to-head. I think Sir Alex will particularly want to go after City after last season’s 6-1 thumping and make a big statement. With Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney in particular, Manchester United will come out on top 2-1."
One of the major story lines going into the match will be Roberto Mancini's job security. Despite winning the FA Cupand then the Premier League for Manchester City, rumor has it that poor performance in Europe could doom the scarf wearing manager at City.
Robbie van Persie has been lighting it up for United with ten goals. City have no end of striker options, but it's Edin Dzeko leading the charge for the club thus far. Neither is as good a story as Carlos Tevez wanting to get revenge against his old club or Wayne Rooney feeling he has to reassert United as the dominant club in Manchester. We'll see who steps up tomorrow morning.