Andre Marriner to referee Manchester City v Manchester United

Marriner in the middle! Referee Andre to take charge of Manchester derby

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UPDATED:

15:05 GMT, 23 April 2012

Andre Marriner will referee next week's Manchester derby as Premier League title rivals United and City battle it out at the Etihad stadium.

Marriner has been handed the biggest game of the season and one which is likely to determine where the trophy ends up.

United lead City by three points ahead of Monday night's clash.

Man in the middle: Andre Marriner will referee Manchester City against United

Man in the middle: Andre Marriner will referee Manchester City against United

Marriner, from Sheldon in the West Midlands, was the man in the middle
during the match between United and Liverpool in October when the race row between
Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra blew up.

Meanwhile, Yaya Toure has urged City to seize the initiative and capitalise on being handed an unexpected title lifeline by United.

Toure has described the eagerly awaited clash as one of the most important games in the club's history.

The midfielder and other City players found out about United's shock 4-4 home draw with Everton while on the coach to Molineux for Sunday's clash with Wolves.

Tough task: Marriner tried to calm down Patrice Evra (left) and Luis Suarez

Tough task: Marriner tried to calm down Patrice Evra (left) and Luis Suarez

A 2-0 win, thanks to goals from Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri, means City are only three points behind United and with a superior goal difference.

Toure said: 'United's result was amazing. It was an unbelievable day for us with United dropping points at home. For me, it was strange.

'We found out about it on the bus on the way to Wolves. It was quite unbelievable and we now have to try and take advantage.

Pegged back: United blew a two-goal lead against Everton on Sunday

Pegged back: United blew a two-goal lead against Everton on Sunday

'We did the first part by beating Wolves but we have to settle down and continue to work hard because United still have three points more than us.

'We have to play them at home and, if you look at the record of United, they are very strong away and it will be a very difficult test for us.

'I think this year the club need to win the cup (title) and it will be difficult. But we need to win this derby because it will be one of the most important games the club have had.'

Turning up the heat: Manchester City beat Wolves to close the gap at the top

Turning up the heat: Manchester City beat Wolves to close the gap at the top