Mancini cautious as City seek knockout punch

Manchester: Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini was in respectful mood as he pondered beating Manchester United in the FA Cup third round to deliver another major blow to his team`s arch-rivals.

The Premier League`s top two sides meet Sunday in a mouth-watering clash, with City looking for another triumph to go with their stunning 6-1 victory over United at Old Trafford three months ago.

United, who have lost their last two league games to Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United, also go into the match with major injury problems but Mancini is not taking them lightly.

"They are the best team because they have six or seven injuries to important players but they have 24 top players," he told reporters.

"It is a strong team with a strong mentality."

United manager Alex Ferguson was refusing to panic after two successive losses but he conceded that City had an important boost with a home match.

"The advantage is with Manchester City in that respect but it`s a Cup tie and it is a local derby so anything can happen in these games," he said.

United striker Wayne Rooney should start after he and the club denied reports he would be leaving in the January transfer window. City forward Mario Balotelli is injured and midfielder Gareth Barry is suspended.

Bureau Report

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