Where now for Manchester City?
The English Premier League has recently shown that money, although known for being unable to buy you love, is also no guarantee of success on the field either. The inability of Fernando Torres to score for Chelsea so far has seen Liverpool fans laughing all the way to the bank and Manchester United fans are probably doing the same at City. The spending at City has been phenomenal since being taken over by wealthy investors but there has been no positive return as of yet. An embarrassing 3-0 defeat at the hand of Liverpoool at Anfield has raised serious questions over the team’s ability to qualify for the Champions League for next season and has damaged morale going into the biggest game of the season.
A Manchester Derby in London
The FA Cup semi-final sees both Manchester teams travelling to London to play at Wembley Stadium and it is looking good for City. The club have had an excruciating wait for silverware, exacerbated by the continual triumphs of their city rivals and the City cause has not been helped by the fact that captain and talisman Carlos Tevez went off injured in the game versus Liverpool.
Without the Argentinean striker, most City fans now fear the worst although United will be without striker Wayne Rooney. It is a huge shame for the viewing public that the game will be denied the talents of two of the best strikers in the business for this big clash.
Is Mancini on the way out?
If City fail to win the match, serious questions will be asked about the future of boss Roberto Mancini. The Italian came to England with a fine pedigree but despite spending an obscene amount of money at Eastlands, he has failed to create a team that look likely to win honours or seriously challenge the top teams.
In fact, given the players at his disposal, the line-up and formation shown by City in games away to Arsenal and Chelsea have been a disgrace. That sort of mentality is considered okay in Italy but looking to play for a draw at best is not the way to try and win the league in England. The tactic is even more galling considering the strikers and attacking options that City have within their ranks.
If City can pull off a shock at Wembley, they will cheer their fans and many punters too. However, the bookmakers will not be too upset at City winning because of the amount of money that has been placed by United fans who think another treble is within the clubs’ grasp. The Champions League may still be tipped to go to Spain but with United in the driving seat in the league, a win in the FA Cup semi-final will definitely keep their dreams of winning the lot alive.
If United can sneak past Chelsea in the quarter final of the Champions League, their likely opponents in the semi-final will be Schalke, who would not be the to0ughest opponents to face in a Champions League semi-final.
Like the rest of the sporting world, the bookmakers will be watching the London based Manchester derby with intent.