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Premier League preview: Manchester City vs Manchester United

29 Apr 2012

koclokindoblog, 29 April 2012, Manchester City can move to the top of the English Premier League with two games to play if they defeat rivals Manchester United on Monday.

The title race looked over on April 8, when United defeated Queens Park Rangers 2-0 and City lost at the Emirates Stadium, going down 1-0 to Arsenal.

That meant Sir Alex Ferguson's side led the league by eight points with just six matches of the season left.

Enter Wigan Athletic.

Roberto Martinez's strugglers pulled off a surprise 1-0 win over Manchester United on April 11 at the DW Stadium. On the same night, City put West Brom to the sword, winning 4-0.

The gap was back to five points and City had some hope.

The blue side of Manchester had been desperately clinging to the chance they would win Monday's derby showdown, but even then, the gap between the two sides would be two points.

That was until David Moyes' Everton came from 4-2 down to grab a stunning 4-4 draw at Old Trafford last Sunday.

Just hours later, goals from Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasir gave City a 2-0 win at Wolves which relegated the losers.

A Manchester derby is always an enticing prospect but Everton's comeback has made this fixture season-defining for both clubs.

Manchester United have won 12 of 19 Premier League titles - success is now routine and expected from the club's fans.

For Manchester City - who have won just one trophy since 1976 (the 2011 FA Cup final) - the thought of a top-flight title decider at Old Trafford must be unimaginable, especially for the fans who watched them play the likes of York City and Macclesfield Town in England's third tier less than 15 years ago.

Both managers are fully aware of the importance of the match, with Ferguson labelling the clash as the most significant in his 26 years of management.

"It's an important game. I think it will decide the title. We are in a better position than Man City. They have to win, we can draw or we can win. We'll be trying to win," Ferguson said.

City have failed to win in their last three Premier League matches at home against their rivals but will be confident after registering a 6-1 victory in the last meeting between the two sides in October 2011.

Nemanja Vidic (knee), Darren Fletcher (bowel condition), Anderson (hamstring) and Michael Owen (thigh) head the list of Manchester United's injury concerns while Micah Richards - who missed Sunday's win at Wolves with a hamstring problem - is City's only worry.

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