With thirty eight games in a campaign, one would think that the Premier League title wouldn’t have to be resolved in just one of those fixtures. However, with Manchester City trailing their fierce local rivals by just three points with three games remaining, the winner of this clash is very likely to be crowned top flight champions in the next couple of weeks.
It’s certainly been a rollercoaster of a season for Manchester City, who had seemingly forfeited the title just several weeks ago after finding themselves eight points adrift of top spot. However, recent form has aided them significantly and now they are over their bad spell, their fate is still in their own hands. Admittedly, they have still accumulated less points than their rivals, yet a superior goal difference means they are guaranteed of top spot should victory occur on Monday. The goal difference factor was aided significantly in one of their most recent encounters, with City thrashing Norwich 6-1 to give them a huge boost ahead of this game. Even though that has contributed to a three game winning run, Roberto Mancini still claims that the title will be going to Old Trafford this term – even if City are victorious evening. Time will tell if this is just a petty mind game.
Manchester United on the other hand must be feeling absolutely sick at the fact that they could be set to throw their title away. With Sir Alex Ferguson’s side leading at the top by such a margin a few weeks ago, the fact that City could overtake them this evening must be a tough pill to take. However, having dropped four points in their last three games, the ball is now in the other half of Manchester and United supporters will be praying that their side don’t let them take advantage again. Unlike his counterpart, Sir Alex Ferguson claims that a win for City will result in them becoming Premier League champions, which seems a strange statement to make by his standards.
As for team news, Roberto Mancini must decide whether or not to break up the strike partnership of Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez, with Mario Balotelli now back in the reckoning after completing a suspension. Elsewhere, Mancini also has a dilemma on Micah Richards, with the full back available again after serving a ban. Manchester United on the other hand have no fresh concerns, with Sir Alex Ferguson only without the usual suspects such as Darren Fletcher, Nemanja Vidic and Anderson who remain on the treatment table.
Even though City hold the form and home advantage ahead of this clash, our feeling is that it could swing in the way of Manchester United. The Old Trafford outfit have made a habit of prospering when the chips are down and bearing this in mind, our prediction will be a 2-1 win for them.