Fergie wary of paying penalty
David Silva will be given every chance to prove his fitness
ahead of the Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium.
The Spaniard missed the midweek loss to Borussia Dortmund in the
Champions League with a hamstring injury but remains in contention
and is battling to be ready.
Aleksandar Kolarov has been ruled out with a groin problem,
while Mancini will continue to monitor the progress made by fellow
injury victims Gael Clichy and James Milner.
Tom Cleverley is doubtful for Manchester United after limping
out of the game against CFR Cluj and will have a scan on his calf
Sir Alex Ferguson has also revealed that Shinji Kagawa and
Nemanja Vidic, who have both suffered knee injuries, are struggling
to be fit in time for the derby.
The likes of Robin van Persie and Patrice Evra are set to return
to the starting line-up after being rested in midweek.
The number of penalties City get at the Etihad Stadium has been
the subject of debate for the past two years.
Since the start of 2010-11, they have been awarded 21
In the past three games on home soil alone they have got four,
two against Aston Villa and one each in the draws with Real Madrid
And, ahead of his own side’s visit to City on Sunday, Ferguson
has cheekily raised the issue.
“The number of penalty kicks they get – 21 in the last year or
something like that,” said Ferguson.
“If we got that number of penalty kicks there’d be an inquiry in
the House of Commons. There’d be a protest.”
Bizarrely though, United have had more than City this season,
only to miss four of them.
It piles the pressure on referee Martin Atkinson ahead of this
weekend’s game, which Ferguson accepts has risen markedly in
profile since the days when he claimed Liverpool were United’s true
“Liverpool and United games over the last 25 years have been
unbelievable,” said Ferguson.
“They’ve always been the most important games.
“It’s shifted because at this moment Liverpool aren’t
challenging for the league like City are.
“City are our biggest threat and we’re their biggest threat, so
“Their fortunes changed the minute Sheikh Mansour took over.
“We know the minute that happened it was going to be a different
ball game altogether.
“But, as we have in the past, we have to accept their challenge
like we did when Chelsea came along and when Arsenal overtook
Liverpool in the early 90s.
“We have to do it again.”
Ferguson is still to discover whether Tom Cleverley will be fit
after limping out of Wednesday’s Champions League defeat to Cluj
with a calf injury.
Antonio Valencia and Nani have already been ruled out, whilst
faint hopes that both Shinji Kagawa and skipper Nemanja Vidic could
be involved appear to have faded.
“I thought Kagawa may have done enough to make the bench on
Wednesday but no, he’s well short,” said Ferguson.
“I don’t think he’ll be available until the Sunderland game next
“Nemanja Vidic is certainly doing well in training. It suits his
own confidence to play but I think the game on Sunday is a bit soon
“I think he’ll also be ready for Sunderland.”