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Nani homes in on City

NANI is relying on Manchester United's incredible home record to see them to victory in Sunday's Premier League blockbuster with Manchester City.

Incredibly, United have dropped just two points in their last 25 home games, and they came against West Brom last season after Alex Ferguson's side were two goals ahead.

It is an amazing statistic, dating back to Chelsea's triumph at Old Trafford in April 2010, and ensures the Red Devils will approach this weekend's encounter in confident mood.

“City have a fantastic team at the moment with fantastic players,” said the Portugal winger. “They are playing a lot of good stuff and it will be difficult to play against them. But we should not forget: we are United.

“When we play at home it is very hard to beat us. That is why we are so confident.

“With a record like ours, we should be confident every time we play at home. We have to believe we are going to win most of the games.”

Nani concedes United will be additionally motivated on Sunday, purely due to the nature of the opposition.

At the same time, he does not believe it is either fair or accurate to bill the game as being crucial to the title race as a whole, not when there are so many more matches to face, and with other threats lurking elsewhere.


“City are one of the teams who have been doing fantastically well since the season started,” said Nani.

“But there are a lot of teams who are doing well and we need to be aware of them. Chelsea have been excellent for a start.

“I just feel it is too early to say it is just going to be about Manchester United and Manchester City for the title.”

Yet Nani accepts these games do tend to take on a life of their own, with so much scope for drama and tension.

“These are the games that always get the team motivated,” he said. “When we play these games the team has a different attitude and a different hunger. Everyone likes to play in matches like this one and clearly, we hope to win as well.”

Nani will hope the combination of two goals he scored against City in the Community Shield, including an injury-time winner, and Ferguson's praise for his

performance in Romania are enough to earn him a starting slot.

Along with Anderson and penalty hero Wayne Rooney, Nani was identified by Ferguson as one of the men who “changed the game” against Otelul Galati.


Their efforts allowed United to emerge from the Champions League trip to Bucharest with a 2-0 triumph that moved them into second spot behind Benfica in Group C.

Rooney has now become the highest scoring Englishman in the competition with 26, although the result came at a price thanks to the fifth red card of Nemanja Vidic's United career.

United may not find out until next week what Vidic's final punishment will be. Just as was the case with Rooney and England, the governing body has discretionary powers.

As the second-half dismissal was harsh anyway, it does seem likely Vidic will escape with a single game suspension that would rule him out of the return meeting with Otelul at Old Trafford on November 2.

However, UEFA will have the final say, even if Nani feels German referee Felix Byrch got it wrong.

“In my opinion it was a yellow,” Nani said of Vidic's challenge. “I thought it was a mistake by the referee.

“It is unlucky for Vida but that happens sometimes. We forget about that now and look forward to Sunday.

“It will be important to win and everyone is hoping for the chance to contribute.”