Word is out on the title race
- 29 March 2012 09:18
- Posted by Peter Ferguson
Every word, every nuance and suggestion will be analysed forensically from now on. As the race for the Premier League title thunders down the home straight, you can count on it.
As each day brings fresh opinion and each weekend another twist in the tale, the battle to see who rules Manchester - and therefore the best league in the world, obviously - grips Planet Football.
That includes Middle Earth, sorry, New Zealand. The Kiwis are as intrigued as to who will be lording it in May as everybody else, and they're already previewing the weekend games.
Maybe it's to do with the international dateline. Anyway, tvnz.co.nz declares: "Manchester City can steal a march on Premier League title rivals Manchester United and hope mind games do the rest.
"Roberto Mancini's City took top spot temporarily last Saturday after a 1-1 draw at Stoke City only for United to go three points clear with a 1-0 home win over Fulham, where they were lucky to get away with a late penalty shout.
"This time City are at home to mid-table Sunderland on Saturday while United visit relegation-threatened neighbours Blackburn (on Monday), the only team except for City to win at Old Trafford in the league this term.
"December's 3-2 defeat rocked United's shaky defence and though the backline has recovered its poise recently, City will look to pile on the pressure by beating Sunderland and hope Rovers get a repeat win."
Did you note that "lucky to get away with a late penalty shout"? They saw that even from that distance in Auckland. Seriously, it's an opinion Gary Neville shared on Sky TV, as it happens.
Over at the Telegraph, Tim Long analyses incorrect “big decisions” made at Old Trafford this season and reckons that, out of 14 wrong decisions, seven have been in their opponents' favour.
"The Argentina striker, who has played as a substitute in the last two Barclays Premier League games after a six-month absence, scored one and made another in a 6-1 rout of Morecambe.
"His performance will increase speculation he could start Saturday's first-team clash against Sunderland at the Etihad Stadium."