I went over to Whoscored.com and saw some interesting stats that might point at City's playing style this season, our own, and how the Derby might probably pan out. Mind this may be redundant for those of you familiar with both teams this season. If you're like me, however, and ignorant to the sky blues' game of late, this should be fun.
Note that all stats are restricted to United Away and CIty Home.
Shots conceded per game
City: 9.5 (Lowest in league) (Up from 8.8 last year)
United: 12.1 (Down from 13.9 last year)
Fouls conceded per game
City: 12.1 (Up from 10.4 last year)
United: 9.4 (League lowest) (Down from 9.9 last year)
City: 19.9 (Up from 17.8 last year)
City: 14.1 (Down from 17 last year)
Goals scored (OP, CA, SP, P, OG)
City: 9 1 6 3 0 (Scored a total of 10 from SP last year)
United: 10 0 4 2 2
Through Balls Per Game
City: 6 (Down from 9 last year)
Crosses attempted per game
United: 26 (Up from 22 last year)
Attacking Zones (R M L)
City: 36% 27% 37% (Marginally (3%) more through the center than last year, at the expense of the right)
United: 31% 30% 38%
Note: City take more shots inside 18 yard box than any other team. 65% * 18.5 shots per game = approximately 12 shots on goal from inside the 18 yard box
On the attacking side of things, the biggest changes are undoubtedly City's sudden surge in number of goals from set pieces, and drop in number of through balls per game. This, coupled with the small shift in attack away from the right, seems to suggest that for all practical purposes, the 'playmaker' on the right has been in poor form. In any case, the attack isn't quite firing for the Citizens at the moment, and they've had to rely on set pieces to compensate. Of course, this bodes ill for United, who have been conceding left, right and center from set pieces.
A surprising stat from the United side has been an increase in number of crosses attempted - one would think that since our wingers are in woeful form (Even TonyVal has been so-so) we'd be funelling through the center more. However, it seems that we're stuck in our habits, and our wing play has deteriorated in quality but increased in quantity. This is worrying, especially since a bad cross could lead to a counter attack, which we are woeful at defending.
On the defensive side, surprises galore. United have, against our intuition, not deteriorated much as compared to their form last year. Considering that those stats include the 1-0ers in the aftermath of the derby drubbing, we could go as far as to as we have improved our defensive performance from when we let a poor David De Gea get peppered with shots. Hope persists, as with a better Evra and a more mature Rafael/Smalling, our major worry has been set pieces. That should be comparatively easy to iron out.
Probably the story of the data is the marked decline in City's (still impressive) defensive form. Allowing an average of a shot more this season than last, the Ethiad as a fortress may be breached more likely this season than last. A worrying statistic for Mancini is the shift from a proactive (and safer) defense to one that seems likelier to sit back and tackle reactively - there is an opposite trend between tackles and interceptions per game. While this in itself may not be conclusive, the associated increase in fouls conceded definitely points to a less set, more shaky set-up at the back for City.