THE Premier League title will be decided in the north-east – and I am afraid it will not be pretty for yours truly.
While everyone has turned their attention to Eastlands next Monday night as the Citizens of Manchester take on the scarlet hued Devils of the Salford neighbourhood, I have a sneaking feeling the final destination of the crown will actually be determined on the banks of the Tyne and the Wear.
Certainly should United of Salford win at what is sadly tagged ‘the Etihad’, then City fans will have to admit defeat in the title race – but seen as most had already done two weeks ago, so what!
But the more likely outcome on Monday (I hope!) is that the result will be a draw or a City win and on goes the race for another week.
This is why I argue the outcome will be decided in the north east.
And, despite wanting to be able to celebrate the first title success for City since 1968, I concur with Bobby Manc’s argument that the ball will remain in United’s court – even though Sir Alex Ferguson sees it differently – whatever Monday’s outcome.
While United are at home to Swansea – who have nothing to play for – on May 6, City travel to Newcastle United on the same day to take on a Magpies outfit in great form and needing points to ensure a place in the Champions League.
If City can take what they need from St James’ Park then we move on to May 13 and United will probably travel to Sunderland – another club who have nothing to play for – needing a win at the Stadium of Light, while Mancini’s boys are at home to QPR, who might still needs points for survival.
So City could well lose the title on the Tyne or United win it on the Wear.
However, that will not spoil the tension and excitement of next Monday night.
The previous two meetings this season have certainly not lacked for goals or drama.
The FA Cup game went United’s way courtesy of a referee missing a blatant handball, while the League game at Old Trafford was a close run thing – and then the match official blew the whistle for the kick-off.
Monday is going to be one of those games you have to watch through your fingers!