#OYINBOTORCHLIGHT – MANCHESTER DERBY STALE
When Manchester’s Premier League big guns were spending lavishly in the close
season, neither City nor United can have imagined that the final derby of the
campaign would be little more than a contest in the battle for a Champions League
With City, lying fourth, having slipped 12 points behind the leaders and United trying
to climb up from sixth, Sunday’s match is hardly the pivotal title decider they both
would have wanted.
City spent 152 million pounds in preparation for the campaign while United also
surpassed the 100-million mark, but neither team has generated the momentum
needed to launch a sustained title challenge.
United, often laboured and struggling to score goals all season, go into the game at
the Etihad Stadium trailing their rivals by four points but perhaps sniffing blood. City
have capitulated in recent weeks and, with leaders Leicester playing Crystal Palace
on Saturday, could find themselves 15 points off the top by kickoff.
In the relegation fight, Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez will experience his
first north-east derby when his team host Sunderland on Sunday.