At the moment there is only one side in Manchester who look like the best team in the country.
United’s 2-0 win at Stoke on Sunday moved them three points closer to reclaiming the Premier League, but later that afternoon City dispatched Chelsea – the Reds’ deserved FA Cup conquerors – at Wembley, with that performance coming six days after the ‘noisy neighbours’ outplayed the champions elect at Old Trafford.
It might all be too little too late, but that won’t stop Roberto Mancini’s men striding on purposefully until to the end of the season, continuing against Wigan Athletic tonight.
It may be because the pressure is off and the main prize has gone that City have suddenly regained the form and fluency which landed them the league last year, but with Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez buzzing in front of the destructive Yaya Toure, the Citizens have been sending a timely reminder that they will be there or there abouts this time next year.
It’s seven wins from eight in all competitions since the shocking show at Southampton, and at home City have posted eight wins from nine going back to the critical United loss in the middle of November.
All of which makes pretty bleak reading for the taxi full of Wigan fans making the arduous 20 mile trip to the Etihad this evening.
bwin’s 3Way football betting market offers just as little optimism for the Latics by posting them at 11/1 to pick up an unlikely win, with City huge 11/50 favourites and the draw 5/1.
Wigan themselves are on the back of their usual spring miracle run having won four of their last five games, but two of those were cup ties and Roberto Martinez’s team are still three points adrift of climbing out of the bottom three – albeit with two games in hand.
In my eyes they can scratch one of those two catch-up matches as they’ll get nothing tonight. This may be an FA Cup final dress rehearsal in name, but in nature one of the league’s weakest sides are travelling to one of its strongest.
The only potential ray of light for Wigan is if Mancini decides to rest plenty on the back of a 90 minute slog on the sapping Wembley turf, but even still, the likes of Javi Garcia, Edin Dzeko and the lesser spotted Scott Sinclair will have enough to get past a weak Wigan.
Not that I would advocate it, but if you fancy Wigan winning or drawing then my advice would be to get on it now before the line-ups are announced and the odds are trimmed, but for those of sane mind, read on.
Personally I’m going for City to roll them from start to finish, and the 3/4 that they score in both halves is a license to print money.
But for all of their foibles Wigan do not lack in self-belief and adventure, so I wouldn’t put it past them to make a minor inroad and that makes me think of an outside bet.
Not that it will change the eventual outcome, but a Wigan goal opens up the multiple correct score market of 2-1, 3-1 or 4-1 City at a staggering 27/10 and out of that lot the scorecast of Edin Dzeko first scorer in a 3-1 has to be tempting for a small wager at 80/1.
New customers registering with bwin are entitled to a free £20 bet, and with nothing to lose, banging that on Edin Dzeko to open toe scoring in a 3-1 City win could pocket you a mammoth £1620.
For more handy hints and tips, follow me on Twitter @bainesyDiego10