8: 21 PM BST
Mark OgdenOld Writer, ESPN FC
The 178th Manchester derby between United and City, on Wednesday at Old Trafford, will be crucial in determining the outcome of the year’s Premier League title race, but the consequence of this game will mean as far in Liverpool as it will in Manchester.
Using United languishing in first position, it is all about whether City could claim the win that will set them on track for the title or in the event the house side can get the draw or victory that will tilt the balance in Liverpool’s favor.
However, with United able to determine the destiny of the two biggest competitors, this derby is different to any other.
So why does this match issue a lot?
This match was originally expected to be performed in February, but City’s participation from the Carabao Cup final made it to be rescheduled for this crucial stage of the league season. With the title race so tight involving City and Liverpool, the results of the derby could determine who wins the title, even using the two having three games to play after Wednesday night.
The extra dimension is that United know a win or draw will place conventional rivals Liverpool in place to win their first league title for 29 years. They are going to have the name inside their grasp if City triumph although nobody in Old Trafford would like to see Liverpool as champions. This game really is the nightmare situation for United, who also must win to boost their odds of finishing in the top four and qualifying for the Champions League.
What is the big deal about United winning to help Liverpool win this title?
Historically, United and Liverpool are, by some distance, the largest and most successful clubs in England. United have won 20 titles, Liverpool have won 18. Their competition is more than a century old and has ever been marred by aggression and bitterness on and off the pitch. Liverpool dominated throughout the 1970s and 1980s before Sir Alex Ferguson’s United became the superpower during the 1990s and 2000s, together with United winning 13 names between 1993 and 2013 to eclipse Liverpool’s previous list of 18 titles.
They are a couple of the biggest clubs around the world, each having a massive international fanbase and their competition is as deep-rooted as they come.
Why not United fans view City as larger rivals than Liverpool?
The rivalry between United and City has intensified since Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan started to plough his enormous fortune into City at 2008 — alerting Sir Alex Ferguson to explain them as”noisy neighbours” in 2009 — but United have traditionally regarded their own rivalries with Liverpool, Arsenal and Leeds United as larger and more important.
Besides a brief bout of success from the 1960therefore, City rarely challenged until the arrival of Sheikh Mansour, therefore United fans have hardly seen them as accurate competitions. That has changed but Liverpool will be the only team that will come close to matching the all-time trophy haul of United and history matters the success of their neighbours .
Are United capable of beating City?
On current form, United are huge outsiders even in the home. City have won their last 10 Premier League games and on their last two league visits to Old Trafford, while United move into the match having lost six of their last eight games in all competitions. Pep Guardiola’s City would be the definition of persistent consistency and United, who lost 4-0 at Everton on Sunday, are the opposite. But United \only last month stunned Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes using a Champions League victory and fought back from 2-0 down in half-time to triumph 3-2 at City last year\.
United have the players to beat City, but recent demonstrations suggest that they won’t.
Has this scenario ever occurred before?
In 1995, Liverpool found themselves in a similar scenario that United face against City. Liverpool knew a win against Blackburn Rovers, managed by Anfield legend Kenny Dalglish, on the season’s day will help United win the name and then deny Dalglish a victory with his new club\. United failed to make the most, together with Ferguson’s men to draw 1-1 in West Ham although liverpool ended up scoring a last minute goal to win 2-1.
(**)Had United won their match, Liverpool’s win would have been crucial in giving them the title.
United were hammered 4-0 at Everton on Sunday. How can they react?
First of all, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has his own problems to deal with. United need a win to keep alive any hopes of qualifying for the Champions League with a finish, so flip to children and the Norwegian cannot afford to make changes. As opposed to making changes, he is likely to rely upon his players attempting to reestablish personal pride by creating a performance against City.
There is also the problem of imitating United’s name and also the integrity of the Premier League by pushing City all the way for those points, regardless of what it might mean for Liverpool.
Is your name around for Liverpool if City win?
No, however, Jurgen Klopp’s team understand that this game is their very best hope of City dropping points. United have lost just once at home in the league this year past August — this is a difficult fixture for City. In case City come through this one using a win, Liverpool will desire them to fall points against Burnley (a), Leicester (h) or Brighton (a) to have any hope of ending 29-year title drought.
The race will still be on if City triumph, however, Guardiola’s guys will be in the final straight with all the finishing line in sight.
Who will be the key men for both groups?
David de Gea and Paul Pogba have both been well below their best in recent months, but if they rediscover their form from City, United can win the game. Yet if they perform as badly as they’ve been performing, City will flee to success.
For City, the form of both Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero and Bernardo Silva has been crucial during their 10-game winning streak in the league and also United need to stop all three to take anything from the match.
What’s going to occur?
Despite United’s woeful performance at Everton, the battle against City really is too close to call as Solskjaer’s guys will soon be expected to demonstrate their true colors in this game. Since the pressure is to bounce back Wednesday in various ways,” United’s hammering at the weekend was a terrible result for City.
City possess the increased depth and caliber but United are a wounded creature in their turf, so expect fireworks, and a night of unbearable tension in Liverpool.