ManUtd.com has assembled a crack team of experts to discuss the state of play in the title race before each of the remaining nine league fixtures. First up, as the Reds prepare to take on Fulham, is The Sun football writer Neil Custis...
I know there are nine games to play but I don’t see United or City losing many of them before they meet each other in late April. It’s the Manchester derby that will decide the destination of the trophy. Whoever wins at the Etihad Stadium will go on to win the league.
I think it’s been an absolutely brilliant season. The Premier League is so exciting and, although it’s come down to a two-horse race – the teams in third and fourth are 15 points behind the leaders – it’s actually been very competitive. Manchester City have definitely got better, Tottenham Hotspur have played some of the best football in the league at times and then you’ve even got promoted teams like Swansea and Norwich earning plenty of plaudits.
Saying that, there’s no doubt in my mind United will win on Monday night against Fulham. None whatsoever. And I think they’ll win in some style. This could be another chance to erode City’s goal difference, which is incredible when you think City were 13 goals better off than United at the start of March. After last weekend’s fixtures, it was down to just three.
It’s at this stage of the season when Sir Alex’s teams shine, when the pressure’s on and only victories will do. And with the finish line in sight you sense the players have got the bit between their teeth now, but City’s victory over Chelsea proved beyond doubt that they’re not finished yet, even if they failed to win at Stoke on Saturday.
Fulham fans surely won’t feel confident coming to Old Trafford. After all, they’ve seen their team lose their last two games, one of which was a 3-0 home defeat against Swansea. From Fulham’s point of view, it will be a case of damage limitation on Monday night, particularly as Antonio Valencia is back and Wayne Rooney keeps finding the net. Wayne had a strange season in 2010/11 but he’s put that behind him now and, as one of the team’s most experienced players, he seems to be relishing the extra responsibility.