City of Manchester Stadium
The fixture computer must have an evil sense of humour to have drawn up this fixture for City's final game of a truly awful season.
Supporter apathy is high, reflected in the slow take up of tickets, and very few blues expect a result against the common enemy.
On the positive side the nightmare scenario of a City relegation as the rags are crowned champions has been avoided. Neither eventuality can happen on the day as City's Premiership safety is assured and the rags find themselves two points shy of being able to claim the crown tomorrow.
History will however be immediately re-written should the rags get a victory tomorrow and Chelsea fail to win on Sunday. The title will in their warped minds have been 'won at the council house' and no end will ever be heard of it. I imagine Boyleh already has his ditties written and song sheets to hand; and they call us obsessed?
Despite our abysmal home record in 2007 our home record in this fixture is good in recent years. Of the last four we have won three, 3-1,4-1 and 3-1, with the only loss being two seasons ago, 2-0.
If your looking for blind optimism your not going to find it here but the one stat for all blues to bear in mind is that victory for City means Chelsea win the title if they win their remaining three games.
Now we just need to find some goals and re-discover the Typical City effect.
City skipper Richard Dunne sates what is obvious to all blues:
"For us, we`ve not performed well enough at home this season, so it`s our last chance to put on a performance for our fans.
"When it comes to derbies they are always close games. It`s the local pride that we`re going for and we want to send our fans home happy."
Manchester City Team News:
Barton and Dabo are missing for some strange reason. Johnson may start in the centre of midfield. Pearce will use his tactical nous and see which two names come out of the hat before selecting his forwards. That is if he goes with two up front at home in a derby?
Player to watch: Samaras
If Typical City is to work then it stands to reason that fans scapegoat, Georgious Samaras, will come to the fore and bag a hat-trick.
I'll take my medication soon.
Trafford Buccaneers Team News:
Evra and Camel gob are available to bolster what was an awful defence in Milan. Saha may start up front.
Player to watch: None
Just hurl abuse at them.
Match Facts & Stats
City hold sway in recent home fixtures but come into this game with a truly abysmal 2007 home record. They have failed to score at home since New Years Day and another blank will ensure they become record holders for least goals scored at home in the top flight.
Rags will sense an opportunity to obtain their first 'easy six points' since City's return to the top flight but come into this game on the back of a truly awful performance in Milan. Last time we played them after a European hangover was when Jose's Porto had knocked them out. We went on to win 4-1.
Rob Styles - Ref to the Rags. Enough said.
Heart pleads for a draw. Head says we'll lose 3-0.
In the Spirit of the Derby: