Date: 24th March 2012 at 3:22am
Written by:
Vidic lifts the trophy

Will we see scenes like this at the end of the season?

If the mind games have started then that, surely, means the title run-in has begun? United and City now have nine games between them and their destiny – be that success or failure. I’m aiming to use this piece to see where points could be won and dropped in the race to tie red or blue ribbons around the arms of the Premier League trophy.

March 24th/26th
This weekend offers City the chance to take a march on United as they play away to Stoke and United have to wait until the Sky cameras arrive at Old Trafford for a Monday Night Football session where Gary Neville will have to try and be as neutral as possible! City, for their part will be travelling on the back of a hugely morale boosting late win against Chelsea but will be aware that they travel to the Brittania where Stoke have taken points off United, Chelsea, Spurs and Liverpool this season.
Prediction: City 1pt; United 3pts

March 31st/April 2nd
Another round of fixtures that seem to mirror a penalty shoot out where one team takes their shot before the next. City, at home against Sunderland will know that, regardless of the score against Stoke, they can put the pressure on United who travel to Blackburn. These two reverse fixtures threw up two of the biggest upsets of the season yet I fully expect both teams to avenge these earlier surprises and pick up three points apiece.
Prediction: City 3pts; United 3pts

April 8th
A Super Sunday where both clubs play on the same day. This day could have a huge impact on the race for the title as United would fully expect to pick up three points at home to Joey Barton’s QPR but City will be very wary of an away trip to North London; the Emirates to be precise. There will surely be a few of the Arsenal lads who’d like to remind Nasri, Toure, Clichy of what they left behind in search of trophies. What better way for Ramsey, van Persie and Song to do so than by taking points off them?
Prediction: City 0pts; United 3pts

April 11th
United travel to Wigan on the same day that City entertain West Brom. If either club dropped points on the 11th then it would be a huge shock.
Prediction: City 3pts; United 3pts

April 14th
Another weekend of fixtures that would evoke major surprise if either club dropped points as United welcome Villa to Old Trafford and City travel to Norwich. The only thing that could prevent a Mancunian six point haul here is the fact that this’ll be both teams’ third game in a week and injuries may have a say. It could be a case of who has th strongest squad?
Prediction: City 3pts; United 3pts

April 22nd
After a lengthy break both clubs come back into the race after catching a breather and nursing back players. United invite Moyes’ Everton to Old Trafford whilst City motor to the Black Country and will fully expect to spank a very poor Wolves. I’ll be honest, if this game were at Goodison I’d fear it much more but, as highly as I rate this Everton team I don’t think they travel well and I still expect us to win this one. It’ll be close but a 1-0 win will satisfy.
Prediction: City 3pts; United 3pts

April 30th
The. Big. One. Much more will be made of the 6-1 humiliation than the FA Cup win at Etihad and I, for one, will be happy if that’s the case. It should prove ample spur for United to wrap one hand around the Premier League trophy. Experience will be huge huge here and nothing would sit more comfortable with me than to see our ‘act of desperation’ Paul Scholes score a winner at the Etihad. I think, however, this game will end in a draw.
Prediction: City 1pt; United 1pt.

May 6th
United are at home to the ever impressive Barcelona of Wales, Swansea City and Man. City travel to the North East and play Newcastle. United should beat Swansea at home and City will need to beat Newcastle. I’m tempted to predict this one as a draw as Newcastle may well still be in the hunt for European football themselves.
Prediction: City 1pt; United 3pts

May 13th
If all my predictions come true then United will have already won the league by now. However, if it isn’t I think City will begin the day as slight favourites as they welcome QPR to the Etihad and we travel to Sunderland. If both teams need a win on this fateful day I fully expect them to get them as Sunderland will have little to play for and, even though QPR are likely to be invovled in a relegation dog fight they won’t win at the Etihad.
Prediction: City 3pts; United 3pts

Going by my predictions United will win the league by a very comfortable eight points. Sounds easy, right? However, please realise that, whilst you can’t argue my prediction logic, on occasions like these I do become the eternal optimist. Remember, I was the man who said this would be Anderson’s year!

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