EPL: Two-way title race but Blue or Red of Manchester?

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Updated: Thursday, December 13, 2012, 13:59 [IST]
 
Manchester giants in two-way title race

Manchester, Nov 30: It could all come down to a showdown similar to last season when Manchester City stole the title from their fierce rivals and neighbours Manchester United in virtually the last kick of the game.

Top of the table this time out, United and City are separated by only one point. It is obviously early to say the title will remain with Manchester but considering Chelsea's dismal form and Arsenal nowhere to be seen in top four, the Manchester rivals are favourites for now but will it Blue or Red?

Sir Alex Ferguson's side have not been at the their best, going down first in nine games and while striker Robin van Persie's impact since joining in the summer has been tremendous. The Dutchman has scored 12 times in all competitions, nine in the league and without his goals, United would have been 13th in the league.

But Fergie denied that his side is dependent on Van Persie as he still tries to find the best formula for United's attack. Wayne Rooney has been dropped deep but the Van Persie-Rooney duo is yet to fire on all cylinders. However, United do not have shortage of attackers or wingers. Danny Welbeck, Javier Hernandez, Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia, Nani and Shinji Kagawa have already been match-winners for the Red Devils.

Meanwhile, City are still unbeaten in the league after 14 games but have drawn many. The champions look unbeatable at home. That record will be tested when United visit the Etihad Stadium on Dec 9. Surely it won't be a repeat of the 6-1 humiliation of Manchester United last season but a significant game which could determine who will remain on top during Christmas.

Despite having a team filled with superstars, manager Roberto Mancini couldn't get his millionaires through to the knockout stages of Champions League. The Italian was criticised for reshuffling his side over and over again but somehow they managed to get a result in the league at least. Similar to their city rivals, the Citizens possess four senior strikers in Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli.

The Manchester giants have not been performing at their best while their current league dominance could be due to the fact that Chelsea have suddenly dropped points and Arsenal are at their worst start to a Premier League campaign. As usual there are surprises with West Brom Albion in fourth place.

Chelsea are seven points below after being winless in six games including two scoreless draws at home under new boss Rafa Benitez. The Blues hope they had the attacking firepower of the two Manchester giants. Benitez is left with one senior striker in Fernando Torres, whose Chelsea career is clearly opposite of his days with Liverpool.

Arsenal, on the other hand, are facing their worst Premier League start under manager Arsene Wenger. Currently, seventh with 21 points, the Gunners lack consistency both at home and away. With a busy December schedule ahead, Arsene Wenger's side need to find a way to get back to the top four. But clubs like Tottenham Hotspur and Everton come in their to fight for a Champions League spot next season.

A few weeks ago, it seemed to be a three-way race to the title with Chelsea leading, but its now down to rivals from one city. Will the title remain in Manchester, if so, will it be Blue or Red?

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