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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.