Keep yer noise down, sir alex is trying to sleep.

What a difference a year makes! Well, I know it hasn’t been a full year as yet since we last played United in an FA Cup tie, just a mere nine months have past since that Yaya Toure goal went in. However the change has been nothing short of phenomenal. Going into that Semi Final we were looking at trying to get our first trophy for a generation. United on the other hand, were still in the Champions League and on course for yet another title. 

Since that game in April City have gone from strength to strength whereas talk of a mini crisis (in Manchester United terms) has arisen across the city after two back to back defeats in the League. Earlier this season Manchester United were dumped out of the Carling Cup by Crystal Palace and out of the Group stages of the Champions League. A group they should certainly have qualified from with games to spare, not to mention the 6-1 defeat at home by City. 

Fast forward now to the 8th January 2012 and it is United fans that certainly now see this as a must win game. Another defeat, against City, would most certainly be one straw too much for the Fergie camel to take, three defeats in a row, no domestic cup to fight for only the Europa and maybe the title once more. 

As you would expect the two clubs do have history in Cup competitions together and with the latest installment make no mistake that both managers, both sets of players and both sets of fans will ‘want it’. Certainly history is on the side of the Blue side of Manchester as far as United winning these games away from Old Trafford. City have lost twice to United in Round Three of the FA Cup, once in 1974 and again in 1987. Round Four in 1970, round five in 1996 and 2004 all ended in Manchester City’s elimination from the competition, but were all at Old Trafford (like now, in 1970 and 1974 we were concentrating on the League Cup!).  

The FA Cup Semi Final wins of last season and 1924 were both on neutral grounds and the two home League cup Semi Final ties, 1969 and 2010 were won, 2-1 both times. 

That said, City will be without the Toures, who are away on International duty for the Ivory Coast and Balotelli who still has a slight ankle knock. Will he risk Balotelli for this game? I think it is a testament to the squad and Mancini that with these talented losses the City still expects. Manchester United are coming off a bad run and will look to put things right as soon as possible and we know they are dangerous when cornered. Either way it is sure to be one of the tastiest FA Cup ties of the round.

Written By: PA Cityboy ( 

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