Ed Chamberlin previews the penultimate round of Premier League games - and predicts a Man City win.
Last Updated: 03/05/12 2:28pm
So this incredible journey goes on.
The absorbing title race, which we thought was all over a few weeks ago when Manchester United were 1/40 with Sky Bet to win the league, swung back in City's favour on Monday night and they are now 4/9 favourites to become champions with United out to 7/4.
This is only the third time in Premier League history the top two have been level on points with two games remaining - in 2007-08 Man Utd and Chelsea both had 81 points after 36 games (Man Utd had a +16 better goal difference) and United went on to win the title by two points and in 1998-99 United and Arsenal both had 75 points after 36 games (both also had a +42 goal difference) and Man Utd went on to win the title by a point.
The top two teams have never finished level on points in a Premier League season - the title has been decided by one point on four occasions.
Monday's game never hit the heights we hoped it would but it was still a compelling match to watch from start to finish. It was an incredible experience to present a game that was watched all round the world and fascinating to sit alongside Gary Neville.
Gary explained brilliantly just how much the derby meant to the city of Manchester and how painful defeat would be for one side and how jubilant the winners would be. It's therefore been a long week for the red half of Manchester, the other side over the Blue Moon.
However, it isn't over yet and this is just the type of opportunity Manchester City sides from the past have thrown away. On Sunday we will find out what Roberto Mancini's men are made of as they have a tough assignment at Newcastle.
This is the first of two live matches on Super Sunday and if City win then surely a first title in 44 years will be theirs. City had the look of champions to me on Monday night, with 'winners' like Vincent Kompany, Joe Hart and Yaya Toure in the side they looked focused and left the field quickly knowing the job was not done.
Magpies flying high
Now Man City (4/7 to win with Sky Bet) go to Newcastle (9/2), where they have won the last four Premier League meetings. Going further back, City are unbeaten in 10 league meetings against the Magpies, winning seven of the last eight.
Newcastle's result at Chelsea on Wednesday night will not have aided their cause as the Magpies are back on a high after the drubbing at Wigan and still right in the mix for Champions League football.
City, though, have scored at least two goals in each of the last seven matches with Newcastle and haven't lost there since September 2005 when Michael Owen got the winner. I fancy City to keep that run going and effectively seal the title on Sunday. However, predicting anything in this compelling title race is a dangerous thing to do.
I'll be presenting that game from Old Trafford - live from 1pm on Sky Sports 1HD and in Sky 3D - after which we will focus on Manchester United's match against Swansea.
The champions will have to respond to whatever City have done that day and from the crushing defeat in Monday's Manchester derby. Roberto Mancini described this as an "easy" game for United and Sky Bet seem to agree, chalking them up at 1/5 to take the three points and Swansea at 12/1.
Not many sides have found it easy against Brendan Rogers' team this season and if City have won easily at Newcastle, they could face a deflated United side. However, if goal difference is going to be the deciding factor maybe the Red Devils will go for it from the off. Their approach will be fascinating.
My best bet for the weekend is a win double on QPR (evens) and Fulham (10/11). QPR have been woeful on the road but brilliant at home, winning their last four against against Liverpool, Arsenal, Swansea and Spurs, while Stoke have not won any of their last eight Premier League away games, losing five of the last seven.
Likewise Fulham are so strong at Craven Cottage, while Sunderland's season seems to be petering out. Fulham are unbeaten in the last five meetings without conceding and have now gone 488 minutes (eight hours and eight minutes) since they last conceded against Sunderland, when Kenwyne Jones scored the winner at home in January 2009.
It sums up the crazy racing calendar in this country that it still feels like winter, yet we are on the verge of the first two Classics of the season.
Newmarket has to be the bleakest sporting venue in the country and it will be miserable for punters if this awful weather lasts in to the weekend.
Let's hope the racing warms up and if we get a performance half as spectacular as Frankel last season we will be in for a treat. Ballydoyle looks to have a stranglehold on both Guineas, though I have heard little about Camelot over the winter since he looked like a potential superstar in the Racing Post Trophy.
In contrast, people have been raving about their filly Maybe in the 1,000. Five out of five last season, she could be very special indeed and I fully expect her to win on Sunday. Definitely Maybe.