Live Soccer TV

Live Soccer TV App for iOS
Live Soccer TV App for Android

Advantage Manchester United? Will the gap widen still further this weekend?

December 15, 2012 By Paul Vance
Sir Alex Ferguson will be keen to remind his troops of Manchester United that no prizes are handed out for winning championships in December.

Robin van Persie has played a crucial role for Manchester United in the English Premier League so far.Last Sunday’s outcome at The City of Manchester Stadium while significant, can hardly be considered critical.  It is much too early in the season for that. It does however add intrigue to a championship race which looks increasingly like it will be fought out between the Manchester clubs.

Many observers though would consider City, and not United, as the stronger of the clubs, so it will be a surprise to some to see the Reds 6 points in front with mid-season approaching. 

Recent events however are enough to have Manchester United fans crowing, and with inevitable newfound optimism in tow, the expectancy-level of faithful Reds is heading skywards at a fierce rate of knots.

 

Is the force really now with The Red Devils?

Man for man, the Blues look to have the stronger squad, while United despite defensive frailty, would appear to have greater togetherness.  United are scoring goals for fun, but there are huge question marks over their ability to take control from first whistle, or close a game out efficiently or effectively from a winning position.  Their flamboyant style is in contrast to a more conservative style from their neighbours, who look infinitely more solid in defence, although last Sunday’s performance was not a case in point.

Manchester City displayed great character to come back last season after it looked like they’d thrown the title away.  They didn’t wear the “favourites” tag terribly well, and really only bounced back when the pressure and expectancy diminished, and after looking like they had blown things, completely.  After recovery, again after being installed as favourites, they almost blew it again on the final day!

United has Ferguson.  City has Mancini. 

The Italian currently is under much pressure.  The disastrous Champions’ League campaign saw to that, never mind what happened last weekend.  The wily, old, Scot feels no pressure in comparison. Unlike Mancini, he is the most influential component at his club, and you’d expect him to win the battle of minds. Ferguson has always bounced back after his sides relinquished titles in the past; to Blackburn, Arsenal and Chelsea, and who would bet against him bettering the man who landed City’s first title in 44 years last season?

One other key factor in United’s favour is the impact and greater goal threat that comes with having Robin van Persie on board.  Had City signed the Dutchman in the summer, it would have been a case of everyone switching the lights off and going home; this season’s championship by now may well have turned into a procession, with the Blues leading the way.

Mancini’s close-season shopping has not produced spectacular results, City does not seem to have any new dimension compared to last season, and frankly opponents have figured them out this time around.  They hadn’t lost in the Premier League until last Sunday, but they had drawn too many games.

In their favour they have incredible spending power and can attract players that Manchester United simply can’t seriously compete for.  Of course it’s not guaranteed a new signing will gel with team-mates, and it could even upset the team dynamic, but the funds available to the City manager is a significant factor in who might win the race.  Expect January to be an interesting month.

The European factor.

Perhaps though, the reigning champions’ greatest advantage in the duel for Premier League supremacy is their lack of involvement in European football.  They certainly won’t have wished to exit Champions’ League after a paltry campaign, but it does give them a marked advantage over their rivals, who of course remain active on the Euro-stage.     

Depending on how long the Red Devils remain engaged by European commitments, their chances of wresting the Premier League title back from City will undoubtedly diminish as Champions’ League interest extends.   

This Weekend.

This weekend’s fixtures throw up a couple of tricky assignments for the Manchester clubs, although United should prevail over Sunderland. 

Manchester City’s trip to the North-east to face a broken Newcastle United outfit, looks less straightforward.  Yaya Toure inspired them to what was a crucial but ultimately comfortable win at St James’ Park back in April, but the Geordies, lately heading towards the relegation places, will make things difficult in Saturday’s early kick-off.  It could be a tale of strike-partners.  Ba and Cisse have found life more difficult second time around in Premier League, but will be hoping City’s visit proves a catalyst to re-ignite a partnership which has clearly been less effective this season than last.

Light Blue fans on the other hand, simply must be wondering why Mancini seems not to prefer starting games with Aguero and Tevez as the double spearhead. 

Balotelli from last week’s display will have counted himself out of the equation, so is this when the Argentinian and Brazilian resume their partnership from the off?  City undoubtedly looked far better in defeat to United, after Tevez was introduced.

Although December is traditionally a poor month for the Magpies, and City have prevailed in each of the last five meetings between the clubs, deadlock at the end of 90 minutes would not be a surprise.

Sunderland last won at Old Trafford in May ’68, a bitter blow, as victory would have handed United a second successive title, which they ultimately lost to  . . . . . Manchester City.  In 25 league and cup visits since, the Wearsiders have lost 16 and drawn 9.  Games have been very tight between the pair in this fixture over the past 10 years, with late, late, goals depriving Sunderland of victory on two occasions throughout the decade. 

It’s hard to see anything other than a home win on Saturday though, which potentially could send United 8 points clear.

Considering European connotations, United may well need to hold such a healthy point advantage after the busy Christmas period, if they are to regain their Premier League crown from a bitter but fresher rival.

 

 

 


Newsletter Signup »

Email: Why Signup?

Upcoming Top Matches »

DenmarkJun 26
10:00am
France
AustraliaJun 26
10:00am
Peru
NigeriaJun 26
2:00pm
Argentina
IcelandJun 26
2:00pm
Croatia
MexicoJun 27
10:00am
Sweden
Korea RepublicJun 27
10:00am
Germany
SerbiaJun 27
2:00pm
Brazil
SwitzerlandJun 27
2:00pm
Costa Rica
JapanJun 28
10:00am
Poland
SenegalJun 28
10:00am
Colombia
Live Soccer TV App
Follow the game on the go
Download the Live Soccer TV App for
iPhone and Android
Live Soccer TV App for iOSLive Soccer TV App for Android

FIFA World Cup TV Schedules and Official Live Streaming Listings

Live Soccer TV does not host or provide any FIFA World Cup live streaming or videos on this website. We provide World Cup TV schedules of the official rights holders only, and link to the legal live streams where available. This website is not related, owned or affiliated with FIFA or any of the teams participating in World Cup. The World Cup TV schedule is geotargeted to your location. If you wish to see which TV channels broadcast and/or stream the World Cup in your country, please visit the World Cup page for full details.
Group A
Jun 14 11:00amMoscow
Russia 5 - 0 Saudi Arabia
Jun 15 8:00amYekaterinburg
Egypt 0 - 1 Uruguay
Jun 19 2:00pmSaint Petersburg
Russia 3 - 1 Egypt
Jun 20 11:00amRostov-on-Don
Uruguay 1 - 0 Saudi Arabia
Jun 25 10:00amVolgograd
Saudi Arabia vs Egypt
Jun 25 10:00amSamara
Uruguay vs Russia
Group B
Jun 15 11:00amSaint Petersburg
Morocco 0 - 1 Iran
Jun 15 2:00pmSochi
Portugal 3 - 3 Spain
Jun 20 8:00amMoscow
Portugal 1 - 0 Morocco
Jun 20 2:00pmKazan
Iran 0 - 1 Spain
Jun 25 2:00pmSaransk
Iran vs Portugal
Jun 25 2:00pmKaliningrad
Spain vs Morocco
Group C
Jun 16 6:00amKazan
France 2 - 1 Australia
Jun 16 12:00pmSaransk
Peru 0 - 1 Denmark
Jun 21 8:00amSamara
Denmark 1 - 1 Australia
Jun 21 11:00amYekaterinburg
France 1 - 0 Peru
Jun 26 10:00amSochi
Australia vs Peru
Jun 26 10:00amMoscow
Denmark vs France
Group D
Jun 16 9:00amMoscow
Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland
Jun 16 3:00pmKaliningrad
Croatia 2 - 0 Nigeria
Jun 21 2:00pmNizhny Novgorod
Argentina 0 - 3 Croatia
Jun 22 11:00amVolgograd
Nigeria 2 - 0 Iceland
Jun 26 2:00pmRostov-on-Don
Iceland vs Croatia
Jun 26 2:00pmSaint Petersburg
Nigeria vs Argentina
Group E
Jun 17 8:00amSamara
Costa Rica 0 - 1 Serbia
Jun 17 2:00pmRostov-on-Don
Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland
Jun 22 8:00amSaint Petersburg
Brazil 2 - 0 Costa Rica
Jun 22 2:00pmKaliningrad
Serbia 1 - 2 Switzerland
Jun 27 2:00pmMoscow
Serbia vs Brazil
Jun 27 2:00pmNizhny Novgorod
Switzerland vs Costa Rica
Group F
Jun 17 11:00amMoscow
Germany 0 - 1 Mexico
Jun 18 8:00amNizhny Novgorod
Sweden 1 - 0 Korea Republic
Jun 23 11:00amRostov-on-Don
Korea Republic 1 - 2 Mexico
Jun 23 2:00pmSochi
Germany 2 - 1 Sweden
Jun 27 10:00amKazan
Korea Republic vs Germany
Jun 27 10:00amYekaterinburg
Mexico vs Sweden
Group G
Jun 18 11:00amSochi
Belgium 3 - 0 Panama
Jun 18 2:00pmVolgograd
Tunisia 1 - 2 England
Jun 23 8:00amMoscow
Belgium 5 - 2 Tunisia
Jun 24 8:00amNizhny Novgorod
England 6 - 1 Panama
Jun 28 2:00pmKaliningrad
England vs Belgium
Jun 28 2:00pmSaransk
Panama vs Tunisia
Group H
Jun 19 8:00amSaransk
Colombia 1 - 2 Japan
Jun 19 11:00amMoscow
Poland 1 - 2 Senegal
Jun 24 11:00amYekaterinburg
Japan 2 - 2 Senegal
Jun 24 2:00pmKazan
Poland 0 - 3 Colombia
Jun 28 10:00amVolgograd
Japan vs Poland
Jun 28 10:00amSamara
Senegal vs Colombia
Knockout Stage

Round of 16
Jun 30 10:00amKazan
[1C] vs [2D]
Jun 30 2:00pmSochi
[1A] vs [2B]
Jul 1 10:00amMoscow
[1B] vs [2A]
Jul 1 2:00pmNizhny Novgorod
[1D] vs [2C]
Round of 16
Jul 2 10:00amSamara
[1E] vs [2F]
Jul 2 2:00pmRostov-on-Don
[1G] vs [2H]
Jul 3 10:00amSaint Petersburg
[1F] vs [2E]
Jul 3 2:00pmMoscow
[1H] vs [2G]
Quarter Final
Jul 6 10:00amNizhny Novgorod
[W49] vs [W50]
Jul 6 2:00pmKazan
[W53] vs [W54]
Jul 7 10:00amSamara
[W55] vs [W56]
Jul 7 2:00pmSochi
[W51] vs [W52]
Semi-final
Jul 10 2:00pmSaint Petersburg
[W57] vs [W58]
Jul 11 2:00pmMoscow
[W59] vs [W60]
Third place match
Jul 14 10:00amSaint Petersburg
[L61] vs [L62]
Final
Jul 15 11:00amMoscow
Final: FIFA World Cup 2018