Giggs plays down City rivalry
On-loan Peterborough striker Saido Berahino has returned to
parent club West Brom after scans revealed the teenager has a
chipped bone in his knee.
The injury is expected to keep the 19-year-old out for at least
two months and, with Tyrone Barnett and Emile Sinclair on the
transfer list and currently out on loan at Ipswich and Barnsley
respectively, Posh boss Darren Ferguson will look to sign a
replacement striker in January.
He told the club’s official website: “It is a massive blow
because Saido has made a real impact, but he is going to be out for
at least eight weeks so has returned to West Brom.
“We will look at maybe bringing him back again when he is fit,
but will have to remain patient on that one.
“We will be looking to strengthen in that particular area of the
field in the new year.”
Berahino joined Peterborough in October and scored two goals in
10 npower Championship appearances.
United and City are limping into the first Mancunian showdown of
the season following midweek Champions League defeats.
Yet their dominance of the Premier League scene is such that the
pair have already established a massive advantage over third-placed
United are 10 points clear of third, and City seven; enough for
many pundits to declare this season’s title battle a two-horse
Given the pair’s scrap for honours last term was only decided in
the last minute of the last game, when Sergio Aguero scored the
goal that sent the Blues into ecstasy, it’s little wonder the hype
has started to go into overdrive.
But 39-year-old Giggs, who boasts a record 35 appearances in the
fixture, refuses to lift City above any of the other fierce
rivalries United have had down the years.
“It doesn’t mean anything extra because it is City,” said
“There are different rivalries.
“Liverpool has always been the biggest rival for me. It has
always been the biggest test.
“Arsenal were a brilliant team and we had some ferocious battles
with them. Chelsea were also a brilliant team under (Jose) Mourinho
and now City are a good team as well.
“The added dynamic is that they are on our doorstep. But we
still want to win the league no matter who we are competing
It is well over two decades ago now that Giggs turned up for
training at City’s youth set-up wearing a United kit, eventually
jumping at the chance to switch to the club he supported and has
now made 920 appearances after captaining the Red Devils in their
1-0 Champions League defeat to CFR Cluj.
Until 2008, the thought City might actually deprive him of
silverware was laughable.
Sheikh Mansour’s deep pockets have changed all that, though.
And whilst Giggs agrees with Sir Alex Ferguson’s assessment that
Chelsea cannot be written off, the Welshman is aware how
significant Sunday’s game can be.
“We have found over the last couple of years that the derby,
with the money City have spent and the quality they have brought
in, has got bigger and bigger,” said Giggs.
“The two games against them were the difference last season.
Hopefully we can get the right result and that will be the
difference come the end of this season.”
It promises to be a fascinating occasion, not least because of
the obvious flaws in their respective make-ups.
City remain unbeaten. Yet they crashed out of Europe altogether
this week after the worst Champions League performance by an
English club in the competition’s history and have drawn three of
their last six games in the Premier League.
United boast the league leadership, but in doing so have
conceded 21 goals – more than relegation-threatened Sunderland –
and Sir Alex Ferguson said earlier this week if there was any
repeat of the appalling defending on show at Reading last weekend
‘God knows what will happen’.
“We are both in a similar situation,” said Giggs.
“We are in a good position in the league but haven’t hit the
form we did in parts last season.
“That can be frustrating because we want perfection.
“We want to be the best team and each individual wants to be the
“We must be doing something right because we are in a good
position and there is the belief we can score goals.
“But that doesn’t mean we should neglect our defending and not
try and stop the goals we are leaking because we need to stop
It is a point Ferguson has drilled home countless times this
And it is one that is steering the United boss towards a feeling
Sunday’s game will be a sterile affair.
“On paper, it is a match between the two best teams in the
country,” Ferguson told United Review.
“As the table tells us, there is not much between us.
“We need to come out unscathed and with so much at stake I
wonder if there will be a little bit of caution from both
“Roberto Mancini and I will both have to think deeply about our
selections and tactics and there may well be an element of playing