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AA
Adeela Akmal
January 7, 2012
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City wary of United backlash in FA Cup showdown

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AA
Adeela Akmal
January 7, 2012

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LONDON: Holders Manchester City are preparing to face a Manchester United thirsting for revenge on Sunday (tommorrow) as the two rivals collide in a heavyweight FA Cup third round showdown.
City sent shockwaves around English football in October when they thrashed United 6-1 at Old Trafford, a result that Sir Alex Ferguson described as the “worst ever day” of his career in football.
Since that memorable victory at the home of their rivals, City have kept their noses in front of United in the Premier League title race and head into Sunday’s encounter having opened up a three-point lead at the top of the table.
United’s preparations for Sunday’s clash at Eastlands could not have been worse, with Ferguson’s men reeling from back-to-back league defeats against Blackburn and Newcastle.
Nevertheless history would appear to favour United, who have not lost three consecutive games for more than a decade, when they suffered three defeats to Derby, Southampton and Tottenham when the title had already been won.
While United will also be determined to avenge their exit to City at the semi-final stage last season, City midfielder James Milner believes the derby thrashing at Old Trafford will have stung their rivals more.
“That will have hurt them badly,” Milner said. “Everyone, from the players, to the management, will be more than up for it.
“As much enjoyment as we got from it, they probably felt three times as much pain. We have got to be aware of that.” Victory for City may represent something of a double-edged sword, leaving the club fighting on four fronts while United are free to concentrate on the title race and the Europa League.

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