Will it be a double Manchester celebration?
The fans of City and United in Manchester don’t often find a reason to both be happy at the same time so this Saturday could feature a strange situation in Manchester. Okay, many City fans will point out that the majority of United fans come from all over the world as opposed to the city the club plays its home games but that’s a churlish remark from a set of fans used to living in the shadow of their neighbours. City could finally break their silverware hoodoo in the FA Cup final on Saturday at Wembley but even if they do, they may still find themselves outdone by their rivals.
This is because United make the short trip to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday lunchtime knowing that a draw will give them the Premier League title. Any title win should be savoured but given the fact that this would be United’s 19th league win, it would be an extra special one.
Come back when you have won 18 titles!
This is because United and Liverpool both currently sit on 18 league wins each and winning this will take United past their rivals, heralding a unique switch in the standings of both clubs. Before Alex Ferguson took United on a trophy winning spree, Liverpool were clear leaders with regards to title triumphs with the Liverpool fans openly mocking United as recently as 1994 about their 18 title wins. Ever since then, Ferguson has led a relentless charge and now United stand on the brink of nudging past Liverpool in the list of league honours.
For many football watchers, this will be the big story of the weekend if United avoid defeat at Ewood Park.
The big day at Wembley
This is a shame because Manchester City and Stoke City are battling at Wembley for the FA Cup, a game that used to be the pinnacle of English football. Now, its all about the league campaign and qualifying for the riches of the Champions League but both of these teams will be desperate for a trophy. A lot of the focus is on Manchester City due to the amount of money they have spent and their time without a major trophy, even though City fans view themselves as being a big club.
Stoke City don’t always play with a football style that endears them to neutrals but the club shows a warmth and enthusiasm that wins many people over. Yes, the club from the Potteries does have a reliance on set-plays and a physical style of football but they can mix it up a bit and boss Tony Pullis is a shrewd character. The club deserves a great deal of credit for becoming a mainstay in the top flight in English football and continually avoiding the relegation dogfight. Stoke City will be in Europe next season, regardless of the outcome of the final but it would not be a massive shock if Stoke shock City and consign the blue half of Manchester to another year without a trophy.