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Fans get ready for 192nd Manchester derby

This weekend, Manchester City will take on Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium in 192nd Manchester derby. City are, incredibly, on for back-to-back trebles, a feat no club in the history of football have ever accomplished while United are merely pushing to try and close the gap on Aston Villa in fourth place in the Premier League.

The gap between the two clubs on the pitch is significant at present, but the Reds have an opportunity on Sunday to restore some pride in the shirt and put a severe dent in City's title and treble aspirations. For City, their record against their local rivals in recent years is magnificent so their fans should head to the Etihad on Sunday with the expectation of victory.

However, derbies don't work like that and football fans have a knack of always fearing the worst, regardless of what statistics, data and odds say. This is particularly the case for the older generation of Man City fans who lived through a period where Man Utd were a dominant force in English and European football and whose fans would taunt them relentlessly every time the two clubs met.

How are both sets of supporters feeling ahead of the clash this weekend? Let's take a look.

Manchester derby
Man City won the last Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium 6-3 – Photo by Icon sport

Manchester derby: How the fans are feeling

Man City fans

Plenty of Man City fans are feeling confident ahead of the clash on Sunday. One Blue took to X to send the Reds a warning after Haaland and De Bruyne tore Luton Town apart on Tuesday night. They said: “Just a friendly reminder that Erling Haaland & Kevin De Bruyne were just using this match against Luton to boost their confidence. Pray for United's funeral in the derby on Sunday.”

Another confident City fan said: “I want us to roll them over on Sunday. Make them suffer at The Etihad.” Others weren't so confident, perhaps with scars of the past rearing their head. One older Blue posted: “It would be nice if we could again on Sunday. Derbies are unpredictable though, always have been.”

One of the most popular posts online came from a City fan who still isn't over the old ticker banner that used to sit on the Stretford End at Old Trafford. The banner would have a number on it that would go up each year when City failed to win a trophy. See below:

Man Utd fans

Man Utd fans have far less optimism than their neighbours, which is understandable given their team's performance against Fulham last weekend. One United posted: “Friday wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t one bit convincing. But we won, it’s a cup match, we’re in the last eight, and the quality of that free kick/header was outstanding. Am I confident about Sunday? Not one bit.”

Another United fan is worried about their chances without Rasmus Hojlund up front. They said: “The lack of threat and control up front without Højlund is so evident! Not looking forward to the Derby without him.”

Other fans are worried about the timing of Marcus Rashford's recent interview with the Player's Tribune, where he's slammed those who say he isn't committed to the club. They said: “Really feel Rashford has put himself in a bad spot here. Takes a lot for fans to turn on a player but if we get battered and he’s walking around the pitch I think he’s trouble. Feels a now or never moment for him this Sunday.”


Andy Delaney

Andy is a freelance sports writer with ten years of experience covering major sporting events across Europe. He has also been a season ticket holder at Old Trafford since 2008 and has visited over 40 football stadiums in the United Kingdom and abroad following the Reds.

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