This match is about more than bragging rights between two arch rivals—if City loses, the Red Devils will extend their lead to six points in the standings, which could result in a shakeup for the Blues.
According to The Guardian, City plans on adjusting its usual conservative ways, as Roberto Mancini may be looking to spend come January.
The table standings surely make for an interesting match on Sunday, but the fact that City boasts a slightly better goal difference only adds to the enticing nature of the match.
Mancini admits that rival United is the favorite to run the table, according to ESPN:
They are better than us at this moment. We have only been here for two years. They are used to playing these games in the title race for 20 years. They have won everything for 15 years. You can't change this in two or three years. You need more time. For this reason they have a small advantage.
Speaking on the current standings, Mancini also said, "They can lose because they have three points more. We have three points less and we can't lose."
A win for the Blues would put them right back atop the table alongside the Red Devils, but sinking three points lower would put Chelsea that much closer to the top of the table.
United striker Wayne Rooney knows the importance of this match, telling Sky Sports:
If we win it will put more pressure on them. Three points would be massive. Us going six points clear would be a big statement...With City out of the Champions League, they are having a bit of a tough time—I think everyone can see that.
Who wins the match?
Both squads enter this match facing injuries, but City has some significant ones, with the likes of Aleksandar Kolarov sitting out and Gael Clichy and James Milner battling back from injuries (h/t ESPN).
Following Rooney's comments, City should come out looking to take ahold of this match from the start.
Look for forward Sergio Aguero to put the pressure on early and make a play on a big stage against rival United.
It's a big match for both sides, but don't be surprised if it ends in a draw.
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