Premier League weekend preview – City v. United
April 26, 2012
Post created by Tim
By the time the top two side duke it out on Monday night the Premier League may have a more definite shape to it at both ends. Of course, the focus will all be on the Manchester derby, the biggest of Sir Alex Ferguson’s long career, according to the legendary Scot, and that game could potentially decide the title race.
If United win (5/2, Bet365) then they will be six points clear of their neighbours and rivals with just two games remaining, and that is obviously game over, but a City victory (5/4, BetFair) would leave the sides level on points going into the last rounds. The Blue half of Manchester has better goal difference at present which is not to be sniffed at, but Roberto Mancini has been keen to stress he feels his side are still underdogs.
That obvious bit of kidology is amusing, and to be expected, but this season one true underdog hasn’t had a second of rest, and it looks as though Steve Kean and his Blackburn side will succumb to relegation (2/11, BetFair). Even if they beat Spurs at White Hart Lane (8/1, VictorChandler) they could still be in the relegation zone, and wins elsewhere would leave them relegated, all but for a mathematical technicality.
Bolton and Wigan are the sides directly above the Rovers, and Bolton (5/4, BetFair) take on West Brom (21/10, BetFair) at the Reebok with a similar, if not identical plight in store to Blackburn, where a loss would leave them vulnerable to being cut adrift at the bottom and needing the kind of miracle more usually associated with crying statues and the like.
They can at least take comfort in the fact Wigan have a very tough task ahead, playing Newcastle at the DW Stadium. A home win (19/10, BetFair) would be a fantastic result and lift them close enough to taste safety on the breeze, but Newcastle (8/5, VictorChandler) are a tough nut to crack for any side, let alone a team struggling for survival and seemingly carrying a few players.
Overall, it’s a massive weekend and I’d expect the end of it to see a much clearer picture of who will and won’t be in the league next year, and who may be defending champions. While it is true a City win wouldn’t tie anything up the momentum it would provide would be a massive advantage going into the last games, and based on the previous meeting in the league this season you’d make Mancini’s men favourites to take three points.