Manchester United and Manchester City will play out the latest installment of their rivalry when they clash in the English Premier League on Monday.
Defending champions City have all but surrendered the title this year to United, who lead the Citizens by a whopping 15 points coming into this week.
And with just seven games remaining after this one, you'd have to think that the Red Devils are capable of holding on for the title either way.
However, just because the title might not be on the line in this one doesn't mean that this growing rivalry game won't be any less significant or carry any less feeling.
Roberto Mancini's men will be desperate to avenge the loss that they suffered at home to United earlier in the year, as the battle for Manchester heats up.
Read on to see all the need-to-know details for this heated rivalry including start time, live stream and viewing information as well as a last-minute prediction.
Date: Monday, April 8, 2013
Start time: 3 p.m. ET (8 p.m. local time)
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester, England
Live Stream and TV Info
ESPN Deportes, ESPN, TalkSport Radio, ESPN3 and SiriusXM FC will all provide coverage of this match throughout the United States (per Live Soccer TV).
Sky Go, BBC Radio 5 Live, Sky Sports 1/HD, Sky Sports 1 Ireland and Sky Sports 3D will all do the same throughout the United Kingdom.
A live stream can be found via ESPN3 or Watch ESPN.
Key Player to Watch: Yaya Toure, Manchester City
Having signed a massive contract during the week that will keep him with the Sky Blues until 2017, Yaya Toure will no doubt be looking to prove himself once more against the best in the world.
The midfielder has been instrumental in City's season again this year—as expected—but has shown particularly good form against Manchester United throughout the years. The least of which being the 6-1 drubbing he sparked at Old Trafford this time last season.
Toure has netted five goals and three assists for the Citizens this season and has held their central midfield together incredibly well throughout the year—averaging over 20 more passes per game than any other player in the Citizens' starting lineup.
He'll be looking to get the better of Rio Ferdinand and company at the back again and will no doubt prove a handful for the United midfielders to deal with. His presence in the middle and physical style of play suits him to beat the likes of Tom Cleverley off the ball, and he should therefore find plenty of good opportunities to work his magic here.
Toure only needs a slight bit of space to be very devastating, and if United can't shut him down early, then they will have a long afternoon ahead of them.
Key Storyline to Watch: Pride and Revenge
For United, this is perhaps the biggest remaining fixture in their season, given that they do not have any other commitments outside of the league and have all but wrapped up the Premier League title.
And for City, who have just the FA Cup left to play for, this game is their last chance to show the Premier League just how dominant they can be—thus making for a very intriguing matchup here as both teams seek to "finish" their season on a high.
The Red Devils reveled in the fact that they beat City 3-2 on their own turf last time and will be looking to do the same again in this one. But with 6-1 still ringing in their ears (and City fans, no doubt, quick to remind them of it), pride and revenge may well be the biggest storyline to follow.
Both teams have reason for revenge and both will be wanting to show that their color is the color of Manchester. Yet only one team will be able to do that after the 90 minutes here, with anything other than a City win all but guaranteeing United of a rivalry win.
Can the Citizens beat United on their own ground once more? Or will it be further success for the ever-impressive Red Devils in 2013?
Three Facts to Consider
- Neither Manchester United nor Manchester City have lost a game in the Premier League this year after taking the lead. United have had 25 wins and two draws since taking the lead whilst City have had 18 wins and two draws.
- The last five games between these two teams (including the Community Shield of 2011) have seen an average of 4.6 goals scored per game.
- Manchester United have now kept six clean sheets in a row in the Premier League this year, with 11 clean sheets in total for the season. Only Manchester City (14 clean sheets) has more than that.
As mentioned before, this is arguably the biggest game remaining for both sides over the course of the year given everything that's happened between the two clubs over the past two seasons.
United were gutted to lose the title to City the way they did last year; City were gutted to lose out in the race to sign Robin van Persie this year and thus end up second-placed in the title race once more.
However, the Citizens still have an FA Cup fixture to focus on whereas United have nothing other than a match against Arsenal. The Red Devils have no other big games remaining in 2013, so expect them to come out and treat this game like a league final.
United will know that this fixture cost them the title last year, and it gave City the momentum to go on and clinch the league. And whilst it's unlikely that will happen again here, it is definitely likely that the Red Devils will do everything they can to stop City gaining the upper hand here.
United have been very strong of late defensively and at home in this encounter, the Red Devils should be too good. Their attack is just that bit better and their confidence that little bit higher—and it should be enough to see them home.
Manchester United 2, Manchester City 0
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