United’s match against local rivals Manchester City is the highlight of five midweek matches as the Premier League continues almost without pausing for breath following another eventful weekend's football in England. (JPN/Agencies)
Badly beaten 4-1 by their local rivals in September, United have home advantage this time and go into the game buoyed by successive victories over Olympiakos, to reach the Champions League quarter-final, and West Ham.
Saturday's 2-0 win at Upton Park, where acting captain Wayne Rooney scored arguably goal of the season from more than 50 metres, helped ease the pressure from manager David Moyes, who has struggled in his first season after taking over from Alex Ferguson.
“You get three points for winning any game but there is an added importance of winning the big games,” Moyes said.
“It's not been something we have done well enough this season, so it would be nice if we could get it in this game. Their ability to score goals would be in anybody's mind because if you look at the record this year they have been terrific,” he added.
City trail Chelsea by six points but have three games in hand and with a superior goal difference would go top by winning two of them.
They will again be without their leading scorer, Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero, who has a hamstring injury but captain Vincent Kompany is available after suspension.
City have been solid in defence, not conceding in the last three league games, but despite scoring five times without reply against bottom-of-the-table Fulham on Saturday, their total of 76 goals is now six fewer than rampant Liverpool, who have also joined the title race due to the hot form of their strikers Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.
United’s match against local rivals Manchester City is the highlight of five midweek matches as the Premier League continues almost without pausing for breath following another eventful weekend's football in England.