While the Premier League doesn’t conclude for another couple months, two teams have already become the clear frontrunners for the title: Manchester United and Manchester City. These two teams represent a rivalry in Manchester that has seeped deep into the routes of the city. Man United are the establishment team, with more championship titles than any other English football club, while Manchester City haven’t won a League championship since 1968. However, City are currently two points clear and enjoy an all-star roster, billionaire backing and a passionate fan base.
Indeed, Manchester City has looked like the team to beat since its purchase in 2008 by the Abu Dhabi United Group, shooting up in the rankings over the years. Manchester United has remained strong throughout that time, and its fans criticise Man City for its overseas owners and billion-dollar roster. For their part, City fans enjoy the position of the underdog, creating a city divided by football fans in Manchester.
Who Has the Best Chance to Win?
In previous matches this season, Manchester City and Manchester United are tied; Man City won handily in October 2011 with a 6-1 victory over the incumbent champions, while United’s Red Devils defeated the up-and-coming rivals 3-2 in January 2012 thanks to a star performance by star forward Wayne Rooney. From that perspective, it is anyone’s championship to lose, and all eyes are on the next Man City vs Man United match on April 30.
In the mean time, analysts predict that Manchester United will eke out a win in the overall championship despite currently lagging behind Man City by two points. It is believed that Manchester United will be facing weaker opponents than Man City in the final eleven matches of the English Premier League. Despite the incumbent champions’ club’s poor performance against Man City in the earlier half of the season, Manchester United is picking up the pace and has an impressive 9-2-1 win-loss-draw record in the last twelve games.
For its part, Manchester City is also doing well, with an 8-3-1 win-loss-draw record. It should be noted, however, that the vast majority of these wins were achieved in home games. When it comes to away games, Man City’s record is slightly less impressive, perhaps indicating that the team is not quite ready for a championship level of play. It is clear that Manchester City draws much of its strength from its fans, however, and they should by no means be counted out.
Looking at the Players
As far as star players go, Manchester United’s key figure is Wayne Rooney, a star forward whose goal-scoring abilities are second to none in the Premier League. He towers head and shoulders over his teammates in terms of stats. Manchester City’s talent is a little more widely distributed, with names like Sergio Agüero, Edin Džeko and Mario Balotelli rounding out a strong forward roster. While Rooney is widely seen as a magician on the football pitch, City’s front line emphasises teamwork and passing to get past the toughest defences.
While it remains unclear which team will win in this city divided, it is all but certain that the championship will be won by a Manchester team this year. Both Man United and Man City are over ten points ahead of rival teams, and analysts agree that they are not likely to be ousted from their position at the top of the ranking. Only time will tell whether the English Premier League title will go to United or City; in the mean time, fervent fans will follow each upcoming fixture with passionate intensity.