Manchester City’s men’s and women’s teams are set for a huge weekend that could, if all goes to plan, see them both crowned champions of their respective leagues.
But the deciding factor in both matches will be one particular team from West London – Chelsea.
The men welcome the Londoners to Manchester, knowing victory will secure a third Premier League title in four seasons, but they face a resurgent side that have only lost twice since Thomas Tuchel took charge at Stamford Bridge.
In fairness, the men have a much easier task. If they lose today, they not only have three matches to clinch the league, but any slip form United, especially in the form of a defeat, will instantly hand the title to City.
United have five games remaining, three of which will take place before City travel to Newcastle next Friday. The reds face a trip to Villa Park on Sunday, before welcoming Leicester and Liverpool on Tuesday and Thursday next week, so even if City fail today, they may still be champions when they visit St James’s Park.
However, we would all like to see the boys in blue win the title on their home patch and that means beating Chelsea today. Our recent record against the Londoners is good and it would be a huge psychological boost to City ahead of their Champions League Final clash at the end of May.
But the girls task of winning the WSL is slightly more complicated. Sitting two points behind leaders Chelsea, City must win at West Ham tomorrow and hope Reading can beat the leaders in their final match of the season.
City will also need to score a few at the Hammers, as the goal difference is currently +54 to Chelsea and +51 to City, so the blue need to have their shooting boots on. City will be without Chloe Kelly which is a major blow, but they have the strength in depth to gain the win tomorrow.
But what of Chelsea? A draw will be good enough to secure the WSL, however if City bang in a hatful, the title will be heading north. Chelsea though will want to win the WSL outright this season. Although they are reigning champions, they were awarded last season’s title on average points when the league was suspended due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Emma Hayes side have lost just once this season – a 2-1 home defeat to Brighton Women. That was their first defeat since a 3-2 loss at home to Birmingham in January 2019 and have looked formidable all season.
But all the City girls can do is win at West Ham and score as many as possible. They have put up a fantastic fight to force themselves into the title reckoning and, as they say, it isn’t over until the fat lady sings. There’s vocal chords being warmed, but which side will be hearing them?
So, the message is, strap yourselves in. Manchester City are set to once again take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotion. Good luck to both our teams this weekend.
Go out and do us all proud.