Fri 6 Mar by Mark Gleeson
The outcome of the English Premier League might now be a formality for Liverpool, but for Manchester City there are many opportunities ahead for a measure of consolation as they lose their league crown.They took one already last weekend with a third successive victory in the League Cup final, continuing a recent run of dominance in knockout competitions by beating Aston Villa at Wembley last Sunday.This Sunday they are at Old Trafford where success over Manchester United would be another plaster to stick on the wound.City are also chasing success in the FA Cup after beating Sheffield Wednesday in the fifth round on Wednesday. And most important of all, they are long overdue a breakthrough in the Champions League, in which they will host Real Madrid in the second leg of the last-16 tie on Tuesday 17 March. The come-from-behind 2-1 win in Madrid last month puts them well on course.Manchester United have moved up to fifth in the table in recent weeks with eight points out of a possible 12 from their last four league games, also taking advantage of plenty of stumbling from the teams around them.But they will still be haunted by the mauling that City handed them in January in the League Cup semi-final and go into Sunday’s game as underdogs, given how City have dominated at Old Trafford in recent times.The race for Champions League places continues this weekend with Chelsea in fourth spot and being chased by Manchester United, Wolves, Tottenham, Sheffield United and Arsenal.Chelsea host Everton on Sunday hoping to continue with the same level of form that saw them eliminate Liverpool in the FA Cup on Tuesday.Arsenal, Sheffield United and Wolves all have home games that look solid opportunities for success, but Spurs go to Burnley where the disastrous returns of the last week may continue.Wolves beat them in the league last Sunday and then Norwich eliminated them on post-match penalties in the FA Cup on Wednesday. Jose Mourinho’s lustre looks to be fading fast.
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