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Who is more worthy of the EPL title this year?

With Tottenham out of the title race after their defeat at Arsenal last Sunday, it remains to be seen on which side of Manchester will the Premier League title end this season. This year is, without a doubt, witnessing a fierce competition from the two...

With Tottenham out of the title race after their defeat at Arsenal last Sunday, it remains to be seen on which side of Manchester will the Premier League title end this season. This year is, without a doubt, witnessing a fierce competition from the two Manchester clubs, with Manchester City relatively new to the picture, while United has won the title more than any other English club.

With 26 games in the books and only 12 remaining, City is only 2 points ahead of United with the two teams set to clash in another Manchester Derby on April 30th ; a match that could decide this season’s champion.

One could argue which of the two teams is more worthy of lifting the glorious trophy come May 13th. Both clubs have had their ups and downs, as both showed some dazzling displays as well as conceding to some surprising results.

United have had to deal with an injury crisis this season, with key players like Tom Cleverly, Ashley Young, Nemanja Vidic, Michael Owen, Darren Fletcher, Anderson and Lindegaard spending lengthy time on the sidelines. United depleted squad still managed to grind out results, thanks to the brilliance of their manager, Sir Alex Ferguson and the good form of their ageless legends Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, who came back from retirement as a midseason SOS signing.

Moreover, United’s other key players have stepped up when called upon, with Rooney netting 17 times, Chicharito with 8 goals and Berbatov with 7, as well as Valencia chipping in with 9 assists and Giggs and Nani with 8 a piece.

City on the other hand, have enjoyed a season with minimal injuries to a squad characterized by its depth, however the timing of such injuries has come at a crucial time. City was without the Toure brothers who were on international duty till February 12th, at the same time strikers Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli suffered knocks that kept them out for few weeks.

During the absence of Yaya Toure, City’s midfield struggled to show their dominance; losing to Liverpool  0-1 (Carling Cup), narrowly beating Wigan and Spurs 0-1 and 3-2 respectively, drawing with Liverpool 2-2, losing to Everton 1-0,  defeating Fulham 3-0 then edging Aston Villa 0-1.

City’s arguably best season so far has been decorated by Aguero’s 16 goals, Dzeko’s 13 and Balotelli’s 10. Also, David Silva has the most assists in the league with 12, Nasri contributing with 8 and three other players with 5 assists a piece.

However, the most precious highlight of the season for City fans is their convincing display against their city rivals and closest challengers in a stunning 6-1 win at Old Trafford itself.  They lead the league in scoring (67 goals) and have conceded the least amount of goals (19).

It is important to note that the Manchester clubs, shockingly, didn’t make it past the groups stage of the Champions League and are now playing in the Europa League. Domestically, both clubs were knocked out from the Carling and FA Cup, minimizing their chances at getting any other local trophies.

So, who is more worthy of lifting the Barclay’s trophy at the end of the season? A United side that has been hit hard with injuries and yet are still competing for the title, or a City side that struggled without one key player, but has been playing the best football in England this year?

Published with permission from oalmasri.

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