15th April 2011
The Red and Blue side of Manchester will flock to Wembley to see United and City in the FA Cup semi-final clash and everything suggests we will see an entertaining game. City are desperate to win a trophy this season, whereas United are eager to continue the great run of results and ensure the first final of the season.
Despite the heavy spending during the last two years, Manchester City are still struggling to match the best sides in England, let alone Europe, with their performances this season average at best. Having dropped out of Europa League and the Carling Cup, the Citizens are looking to try and win the FA Cup as well as ensure Champions League qualification through league finish, which looks highly unlikely unless they show a big improvement. The 3:0 defeat at Anfield last weekend proved that City are not even close to the desired form, giving Roberto Mancini major headaches before the clash with high-flying United. It appears that the Italian will adopt a very cautious approach so as to stop United’s lethal counterattacks, but since City are hardly the best defensive side in England, this approach is unlikely to produce good results. The absence of Carlos Tevez creates additional problems for the Citizens, with the return of Micah Richards the only good news at the moment.
While Manchester City continue to struggle despite investing piles of cash in the playing squad, United are the perfect proof that it really pays off to have a squad of players fully dedicated to team’s cause even if some of them are worth much less than their City counterparts. A real football master that he is, Sir Alex Ferguson timed team’s form to perfection and it is his expert guidance that is the main reason behind United’s uptrend in fortunes this season. The Red Devils have virtually secured the league title and they are expected to reach the Champions League final, with the FA Cup trophy only an icing on the cake. The return leg against Chelsea proved that United are on top of their game at the moment, and when that is the case not even much stronger teams than City are able to stop them. United will be without Wayne Rooney and Jonny Evans through suspension, and Darren Fletcher through injury, but that shouldn’t be too big a problem for the Reds.
Considering the way the two teams have been playing lately, away win looks like one of the best football predictions this weekend. United are on top of their game at the moment, unlike their opponents and I believe they will ensure the place in the final in regular time.
Verdict: Away win Manchester United (2)
Best Odds: 11/10
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