Manchester's football fans of both persuasions are gearing up for their visit to Wembley. The highways and byways leading to Wembley will be a sea of red and blue as the rival teams fans descend on the capital for the eagerly awaited F.A. Cup semi-final Derby.
Man. City fans have already faced some bad luck as a Royal Mail van carrying 900 tickets of their allocation was robbed. The average value of the tickets was £65 and it's possible they could end up on the black market at highly inflated prices. The F.A. says it has cancelled the tickets on it's computer system and anyone trying to use one on the day will be refused entry. The tickets may not be reissued but the club have said they will be holding back 900 tickets for the affected fans if necessary. The Club said “Manchester City are working closely with Greater Manchester Police and Royal Mail in connection with the theft of special delivery mail items from a Royal Mail van on Friday,”. “A number of tickets for the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley Stadium were stolen. All supporters impacted by the theft will be contacted by the club in the coming days. “Supporters are strongly advised not to purchase tickets from unofficial sources. “Only tickets purchased direct from the club will be valid for the game.”
It seems Man. City will be missing Micah Richards who is suffering from a hamstring injury. The 22 year old defender was injured in the England Under 21s victory against Denmark last week and will be unavailable for the next four to six weeks. “It is not what I wanted to hear,” he said. “I felt sick when I was told. Of all the games to miss, a Wembley date with United is the last one any player would choose”. Defender Jerome Boateng is also injured and City will be seeking a second opinion on whether he requires surgery to his knee when he returns from International duty with Germany.
On the other side of the city at Old Trafford, they have their own problems with Rooney facing a two match ban from the F.A. after he was charged with “use of offensive, insulting and/or abusive language”. Rooney launched into a foul mouthed tirade on camera after scoring a hat-trick in the match against West Ham. The player, who issued an apology soon after the game, appealed on the grounds the punishment was to severe, however the F.A. upheld their original decision. Rooney will now miss the Fulham game and more importantly the semi-final.
In spite of the problems faced by both clubs the fans will be looking forward to a great day out and hopefully some great football. The streets of Manchester look set to be extremely quiet on Saturday but the clubs and pubs might do quite well and if the weather's kind there could be quite a cloud of ‘barby' smoke hanging over the city!.
Full betting odds for the Manchester United Vs Manchester F.A. Cup Semi Final as listed below.