Manchester United: Predicting the Results of Team's Last Fixtures

Hristina Tisheva@soddisfazioneCorrespondent IApril 24, 2012

Manchester United: Predicting the Results of Team's Last Fixtures

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    The Premier League title race is back!

    Too bad it’s not for long. It will be over on Monday, April 30, when FC Manchester City meet local arch-rivals FC Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium. The game is on at 3 p.m. ET.

    Three games are left for each team to play and the 2011-2012 season will be over. The Red Devils could win their 20th English title, and second in a row, if they beat the Citizens in six days.

    Despite leading by three points, FC Manchester United cannot really afford to lose this matchup. Both teams' last two games are totally winnable, but Man City has the goal difference advantage of six goals over Manchester United.

    Let’s take a look at how Man United will do in the next three weeks.

The Derby

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    Prediction: Manchester United 1, Manchester City 2

    This is the most difficult prediction I have ever had to make.

    The top two teams in the Premier League are playing, with the title at stake. The managers of both clubs are masters at mind games and have been complimenting the other team.

    Citizens manager Roberto Mancini praised Man United for practically winning the title.

    Man United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is playing modest too, saying the initiative is back in City’s hands.

    So for this game, I’m going to ignore what everyone says and look at the numbers.

    The Red Devils have won six of their past 10 meetings. Of the five times they played at the Etihad Stadium, Man United have won three times.

    However, the two teams are in similar shape in terms of wins, losses and draws in their last six games. Both teams have lost once, but Man United’s 1-0 defeat against 17th-seeded Wigan was a surprise.

    So, needless to say, the numbers are inconclusive.

    Losing a two-goal lead in seven minutes against Everton last week is a bad sign. It also shows that the Red Devils have issues with their defense. The trouble is that Ferguson already knows that.

    The Citizens destroyed Man United 6-1 in October. They also lost 3-2 at to Blackburn Rovers on New Year’s Eve at Old Trafford.

    Most of the problems in the Red Devils’ defense come from the midfield. It’s because of that I think they will give away at least one silly goal.

    I don’t think that Fergie can really surprise Mancini next week. Mancini, however, has Carlos Tevez—who, I believe I can say, hates his former club with passion.

    In his first appearance for City after returning to England against Chelsea about a month ago, he played a key role in the win as his masterful reverse pass picked out winger Samir Nasri, who then scored.

    If the Red Devils win, it would be because they are passionate about basically saving their season after a disappointing performance in Europe.

Man United vs. Swansea

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    Prediction: Manchester United 2, Swansea 0

    Despite the Red Devils’ weak home form, this should be a no-brainer for Man United. The game kicks off at 11 a.m. ET on May 6.

    If the Red Devils lose to City, they will probably attack Swansea City AFC with the club’s best and most experienced player.

    But there will be no need for that.

    The 2011-2012 season is Swansea’s first in the Premier League, and they are doing quite well, but not well enough to match United’s class.

    Fergie will probably let forward Dimitar Berbatov start for United. He hasn’t been given many chances to play this season, nevertheless scoring seven goals in 11 appearances.

    United won the match the two teams played in November 2011, with Javier Hernandez scoring the only goal. The Red Devils didn’t play their best game, and occasionally looked uncomfortable on the pitch, but did not allow any surprises.

    Swansea have lost four of their last six matches. That doesn’t inspire too much confidence against the defending champions.

    If Man United loses to the Citizens on April 30, they would need to score many goals in order to improve their goal difference. If that is the case, then I think the Red Devils are capable of wining 5-0.

Man United vs. Sunderland

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    Prediction: Manchester United 2, Sunderland 1

    Even if Man United has won the title when it’s time for the last game against Sunderland AFC, they will still want to win.

    Sunderland have been fairly insignificant this season with only two surprising wins.

    One was against Manchester City in January when they won 1-0 at the Stadium of Light with Ji Dong-Won scoring in stoppage time.

    The other was against FC Arsenal in the FA Cup competition. The Black Cats won 2-0. 

    I don’t expect more surprises from them.

    Man United will leave nothing to chance if the race for the Premier League is still on. Theoretically, it’s possible.

    Wayne Rooney will likely be the guy every player will pass to. He is only one goal behind Arsenal’s Robin van Persie for the Premier League's Top Scorer title and Golden Boot award.