Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Vincent Is out to Rule the ROOst! ; the Blues Skipper Is Looking Forward to the Challenge of Facing the Reds' On-Song Striker but Says Fans Must Be Ready for a Derby Shock

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Vincent Is out to Rule the ROOst! ; the Blues Skipper Is Looking Forward to the Challenge of Facing the Reds' On-Song Striker but Says Fans Must Be Ready for a Derby Shock

Article excerpt

EXPECT the unexpected when Manchester's titanic twosome go head to head in the derby on Sunday.

That is City skipper Vincent Kompany's message to Blues and Reds who will flock to the Etihad Stadium for the biggest showdown of the season so far - and to the millions who will tune in worldwide.

Both teams have new managers after some hot-tempered clashes between Roberto Mancini and Sir Ale Ferguson in the last four years, but City's new gaffer Manuel Pellegrini is unlikely to get mixed up in any shenanigans.

David Moyes actually clashed with Mancini when he was Everton boss, and has a fantastic record against City in his 11 years at Goodison Park, when he won 12 and lost six of his 22 meetings - and since the takeover he has won seven out of ten.

But Kompany does not believe in such hoodoos, and says that the fact it is a Manchester derby throws all such statistics out of the window.

"It's a different team, it's a different season and I would say there has never been anything too predictable in the derby," said Kompany, who has returned from injury in time to lead his side into battle.

"Nobody predicted we would win 6-1 at Old Trafford, and that they would beat us at the Etihad and that we would win at Old Trafford last season. I guess that's what the fans want too. It is unpredictable."

Both sets of fans would be delighted to see an outbreak of bubonic plague in the opposition camp on the eve of any derby - victory is all that matters, regardless of who plays. But Kompany does not share that mind-set. He wants United to go into the game on form, and says he is happy to see Wayne Rooney fire his way back to form for the Reds.

The United striker has scored three times in the last two games, and has a big track record against City, with ten goals in 23 appearances.

But that just raises the stakes for Kompany, who relishes the chance to take on the stars.

Asked if he hoped Rooney's return to form was a short-lived one, the Belgian replied: "No, it's brilliant. You want to play against top players at their best. That's personally how I feel about it.

"I always want to play against players when they are at their best. I'm really happy for Wayne that he's on top form.

"This is the great thing about the Premier League, you play against top strikers all the time. But there are many players to watch out for in both teams.

"It's always a game you look forward to. And I don't think it's just the people in Manchester, but all over the world who look forward to enjoying it. It's a game that attracts a lot of attention.

"I never take it for granted and I feel blessed that I am able to participate in those games. You do your best to make sure you play well in these games."

Kompany played 90 minutes in the 3-0 Champions League win at Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday night, his first game since he limped away from the opening day win over Newcastle with a groin injury. …

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