Judgement Day in the Barclays Premier League

Tomorrow is it. Chelsea are away to Liverpool and Manchester United are away to Sunderland. By 6 PM GMT we should have a Premier League champion crowned. It’s a two horse race for the title as Arsenal mathematically took themselves out with a poor last 3 weeks. The standings are as follows:

1.) Chelsea – 80 points, +51 goal diff. Remaining Games: @ Liverpool, vs. Wigan.

2.) Manchester United – 79 points, +43 goal diff. Remaining Games: @ Sunderland, vs. Stoke.

All that matters is Sunday’s games. Chelsea can clinch their first title since 2005-06 with a win at Liverpool and a loss by Manchester United. Any other result and the title will be decided on the final day. Realistically though, Wigan and Stoke hardly pose a threat at Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford respectively.

If you’re a Manchester United fan like me, you’re rooting for a draw or win by Liverpool, one of your greatest rivals. Liverpool are just about out of the running for the last UEFA Champions League spot. The Reds are currently in 7th and Tottenham occupy 4th place. They’ve had a miserable season by their standards and were just knocked out of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday by Atletico Madrid. A draw or a win by Liverpool at Anfield bodes well for Manchester United provided they beat Sunderland. In the last 3 seasons they’ve held serve at home against Chelsea with 2 victories and 1 draw. Home field advantage is great and Liverpool have got to avoid defeat. Chelsea winning all but assures them a title unless they collapse against Wigan at home, which is doubtful. PLEASE GET A WIN/DRAW, LIVERPOOL!!!!

Now to Manchester United…..the defending champs for the last 3 years and looking for an unprecedented 4th. Wayne Rooney is out for the season with a groin injury, so the scoring will have to come from the midfield, defenders, and the other forwards not named Dimitar Berbatov. It’s been known for months now that Berbatov isn’t a good striker and will go down as a failed signing. Sunderland have given United a solid game nearly every time since their return to the Premier League in 2007-08, including a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford earlier this season. Steve Bruce’s side had the game won before Anton Ferdinand, brother of Man Utd defender Rio Ferdinand, scored an own goal in stoppage time (hmmmmm…..) to snatch a draw from the jaws of victory.

The game at Anfield will end just in time for the Sunderland/Man Utd clash, so they will know the scenario by kickoff. What is known is only a win can give them a shot at sole possession of 1st place. A draw or a loss and that title can just about be kissed goodbye. If they do win and do get to 1st place, then the quest for a 4th consecutive title is certainly complete. Stoke City is a home banker and just got thwacked by Chelsea by 7 goals last week.

There’s your scene for Sunday. I predict a Chelsea win and a Manchester United draw, which implies I believe Carlo Ancelotti will be successful in his first year with the West London club, and this is not our year.

Tomorrow I firmly hope to be proven wrong.

C’MON YOU RED DEVILS!!!!!!

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