PREVIEW: City v Man Utd


It all comes down to this. Us or Newcastle. City v Manchester United. And only a win will do.

We’ve been here before, sort of. That was approximately the scenario in 2009, when relegation was a shoot-out between us or the Geordies, with England’s most decorated club our final day visitors. Or consider the parallels to 2009/10, when a second successive Premier League season that was supposed to be about advancement away from the relegation battle ended in a desperate bid to stay up. Actually, let’s forget that one. It didn’t end well.

This is unlikely to end well, we have to allow. You know the permutations, but a quick refresher. If City fail to win, we’re down. No other result can save us. Victory, and there’s a chance – but only if Newcastle fail to beat West Ham at St James’ Park. It isn’t promising, and there’s a reason City are rated at 1/6 to be relegated. It’s the most plausible outcome to what Sky are voyeuristically hyping as “Survival Sunday”.

So, to happier omens. May 24th has been a day of survival before, when City’s final day 1-0 defeat at home to Man Utd in 2009 mattered little as Newcastle accommodatingly took the final relegation place from us. But May 24th is more famous for events in 2008, perhaps still the greatest day in the club’s history. It’s the day to which we must turn for inspiration.

The match. Steve Bruce is likely to play the same XI that slid to defeat at Tottenham last week. Team selection issues will at least have not been overly excercising the City manager during this fraught week, with no obvious changes suggesting themselves. That’s not really the case for Man Utd, however. Secure in fourth, and requiring am improbable goal difference swing to catch Arsenal in third, they have little to play for, and we scour Twitter excitedly latching onto every probably spurious suggestion that tomorrow’s visitors may rest a few, try some kids, and so on. Certainly, after a disappointing though still improved season, they’ll want to go out on a high; but will they really be absolutely bursting to do so in the way City surely are?

We hope, we hope. Because past history offers little succour. City haven’t beaten Manchester United since 1974, with nine successive defeats having been experienced since. Even a 2-0 lead last season couldn’t be turned into a win. It’s daunting, but we’re at least been given a glimmer of hope elsewhere: City are 11/4 to win, a price that’s about half what it’d be any other time. Man Utd are still strong 5/4 favourites, while a draw is 23/10. But that price of 1/6 on relegation is inescapably bleak.

Come on City. At least go down fighting.

7 replies
  1. John from Brid
    John from Brid says:

    City have to come out all guns blazing that much is obvious, hope all crowd gets behind the team for full ninety minutes, hate to see so called fans walking out early if we are losing as it may be some time before we watch a premiership game again. COMEONUULL!!!

  2. Paul
    Paul says:

    Pretty much sums it up!

    As John from Brid says hope all stay tip the end but many rarely do, love it when we score late and people have gone.

    Same people who leave early tend to be the booers, which is the only noise they make.

    We will win tomorrow but so will Newcastle, what are the odds on that double?

  3. Bunkers Bill
    Bunkers Bill says:

    Message to all the turds crowding round at the bottom of the stands gawping at Rooney and co. tomorrow during the warm up: fuck off you spineless know-nowt scum.

    At least we will be rid of these plankton in the Championship.

  4. JohnK
    JohnK says:

    The sad fact is that we are down, and it’s not because of tomorrow’s game. Over confidence at the beginning of the season, desperation at the end. Flatter to deceive with results against Palace, Liverpool etc. not able to be motivated to beat Burnley. 6 points given away with just those 2 fixtures. Hopefully we will regroup, rebuild, be stronger and more unified going forward.

  5. gjhdurham
    gjhdurham says:

    Looks like SB may go again with the Spurs team. If 3 at the back then a big loss is likely, I fear…unless we get lucky and play out of our skins. Still… an extra big guy for set pieces will be needed v Fellaini and Smalling. A change to a back 4 at half time might offset Man U’s half time talk, eh Steve…don’t you think? Assuming we’re still in the game…
    Everything crossed…COYH!

  6. Rottenborough
    Rottenborough says:

    What an asset Paul McShane is..

    If we had another ten like him we would have been safe long ago.

    Can Bruce get his signings right next season?

    I’m not betting on it.

    I previously thought Hernandez was disappointing. I now agree with others – he’s crap. Spending £10m on him fills me with dread for the future.

    On a more general note, we need someone who can put fire in the belly of our players, cos it’s obvious Bruce can’t.

  7. Steve
    Steve says:

    It doesn’t matter what players you have or what manager you get.

    If a club has a shitty owner, it will fail. Look at Blackburn, Cardiff City, Fulham, QPR.

    Moral of the story: Think twice before selling your football club to some Asian/Mideast tycoon who thinks he’s all that.

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