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United preview

The 151st Manchester derby is upon us this Sunday, and added to the usual spice of a derby clash, a couple of sub plots have been thrown in to the mix, namely United aiming for the title and ourselves gunning for seventh spot to secure Europa League qualification next season.

Looking at our final three games, I feel six points should be enough to achieve this but I would argue that taking something from tomorrows game would be a huge boost. Make no bones about it though, it will be tough. United are on a good run of form and confidence is likely to be high at present. Their home form this season has been excellent (winning all but two at Old Trafford) and they clearly possess the players to cause us problems.

The game earlier this season was a strange affair, with it lacking the usual derby atmosphere and our performance was a largely insipid one which saw us never really in the game. Tomorrow should be different of course though for many reasons - new additions to the side, the side looking a cohesive unit, three wins on the bounce bringing confidence of our own, the desire to finish seventh and importantly, that the players appear to be fully focused and ready on achieving success tomorrow.

Victory at Old Trafford last season will also have buried some ghosts of derby's past, so we do have players in the ranks who have experience of winning at Old Trafford and there has been plenty of postive talk coming out of the City camp in the latter part of the week.

It goes without saying that we need our big performers to step up if we are to get a result - namely the trio of Robinho, Ireland and Elano, but also important are the duo of de Jong and Kompany who will do the 'dirty work' and to allow the attacking players to get involved.

I don't see many surprises with the line up and even if Shaun Wright-Phillips is back to fitness, I don't see more than a place on the bench for him given Elano's impressive form of late.

A goalless draw doesn't appear the likeliest of options given United haven't been involved in one for fourteen games and we haven't registered one all season, but I don't see a huge number of goals - despite the attacking threats that are on display, and perhaps a 1-1 draw looks the best bet.