Come tomorrow, the most important fixture of the 2001-12 season of the Barclays Premier League will take place . Manchester City play host to Manchester United in the clash of the titans of Manchester . This game is quite the perfect finish for a season which is nearing its end after witnessing many twists and turns in the title race. Till week 27 of the BPL, it looked like the blue side of Manchester is going to emerge the victors for the first time in the Premier League era, but they faltered and the red devils took advantage. Now the red side has stepped off the gas a bit in the last few weeks.
The three point gap between United and City on top of the table could stretch to six if the visitors win or could go down to zero and send the home side to the top of the Premier League division on goal difference.
Who could make or break the game tomorrow ? Which team is more likely to be crowned Champions of England? United or City?
MANCHESTER UNITED :
+ After having been demolished 1-6 by ‘noisy neighbors’ City in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford, Man Utd are will looking to avenge that result.
+ Sir Alex Ferguson and his red devils are set to go all out to prove to their local rivals and the rest of the world that they are the best English side.
+Their team chemistry and ability to perform under pressure will be key.
Key Players :
* Paul Scholes : The man who came out of retirement to help United resurrect their title bid this season has done his job well so far, now the legend faces his biggest test tomorrow when his team is under more pressure than ever before . Scholes’ credibility in the midfield and in passing is unquestionable and everyone knows how handy he could be with his long range cross field passes and his pile driver shots that send shivers down opposition defenses. His performance is crucial for United tomorrow.
*Wayne Rooney : The last time the two teams faced off at Etihad in the Premier League , Rooney scored the winner through a wonderful bicycle kick that left thousands awestruck. Rooney has been in pretty good form throughout the season and scored two goals in United ‘s last fixture against Everton which ended in a 4-4 draw. Rooney’s strength , amazing stamina and his ability to create chances, shoot from tight spots and shooting range will be key to United’s game tomorrow.
*Jonny Evans : I’m pretty sure Jonny is hungry for revenge. His defending was bad in United’s 1-6 loss at OT and him getting sent off in the game made life difficult for United. Ever since then Evans has grown in stature as a defender and has filled in the void left by Nemanja Vidic (who is out for the season because of injury) pretty well . Jonny’s defending tomorrow will definitely be a talking point in tomorrow’s fixture.
+EXPECTED LINE UP : (4-4-1-1)
De Gea, Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Scholes, Young, Rooney, Welbeck
+Looking to win their first Premier League title.
+One of the most expensive assembled football unit hasn’t won anything yet in this season.
*Micah Richards : He was voted as man of the match at the reverse fixture in OT. The right back who is strong and fast and can threaten in attack as well. Micah is looking to perfect his game more than ever tomorrow and his performance in the derby could also be key to his selection for the English team which will travel to Ukraine and Poland for the 2012 Euros.
*Carlos Tevez : Former United player. Went into Argentina on a holiday for six months after a high profile feud with manager Roberto Mancini. Ever since his return , he has been in sizzling form alongside strike partner and fellow Argentine international Sergio Aguero who has been in hot form over the last few weeks as well. Tevez is the last person United fans want to see performing well in the derby, especially this one.
* Mario Balotelli : Hot – headed Mario returns to the City line up in this fixture. He dazzled United’s defense at OT and opened the scoring for City there. Mario is quite literally the player who can make or break the game for City tomorrow. He is very capable of losing his head and going haywire and getting sent off , thus handing over the game to United.
EXPECTED LINE UP: (4-3-2-1)
Hart, Richards, Lescott, Kompany, Clichy, Yaya Toure, Nasri, Silva, Tevez, Balotelli