Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 10th 2015 Contents A61
Friday, April 10, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
MANCHESTER---Manchester United s resurgence in
the second half of the season looks like coming too
late to challenge for the English Premier League title.
There could be a consolation prize for United,
though: Regaining its status as the top team in Man-
United and City are separated by one point and one
place going into the 169th Manchester derby at Old
Trafford on Sunday---but the teams are heading in
Five straight wins---including impressive ones against
Tottenham and Liverpool---have lifted United to third
place and above City, which has dropped to fourth in
a stuttering defence of its title. On New Year s Day,
City was level on points with first-place Chelsea but
has won only six of 16 games in all competitions since
While Louis van Gaal is starting to make his mark
at United, doubts are being cast over whether his City
counterpart, Manuel Pellegrini, will even be in his job
for next season.
It represents a huge turnaround from last season,
when United was in turmoil under David Moyes and
Pellegrini was guiding City to the Premier League-
League Cup double in his first year in charge.
"We want to give United fans something to smile
about when they go to work on Monday morning,"
United captain Wayne Rooney said. "We want them
to be the ones to be able to give out the banter to
Manchester City fans at work."
It s been a while since that has happened.
The smiles have been in the blue half of the city
in recent times, with City having won the last four
league meetings between the fierce local rivals. Last
season was particularly galling for United, which lost
4-1 at Etihad Stadium and 3-0 at Old Trafford.
City s verve and swagger has disappeared in 2015
and the team has lost its last three away games to fall
away from title contention.
"It s a good moment to go into a derby," City captain
Vincent Kompany said. "It s the perfect place for us
to go and try to rectify what we ve had."
Before the Manchester derby, there is another huge
local rivalry when Queens Park Rangers hosts Chelsea,
which leads second-place Arsenal by seven points and
also has a game in hand.
Here are some more things to know about the latest
round of fixtures in the Premier League:
Diego Costa will be missing for Chelsea against
QPR---but in Loic Remy, the leaders have an able
The France striker had a slow start to his first season
at Chelsea but has scored winning goals in the last
two games, keeping the team in control of the title
race and ensuring there is life after Costa in its attack.
Costa, the league s join top scorer, is expected to
be out for at least two weeks after a recurrence of his
hamstring problems. Chelsea captain John Terry is
likely to receive a hostile reception when he returns
to Loftus Road for the first time since he was given
a four-match ban and a heavy fine for racially abusing
a QPR player during a league match in 2011.
Terry has played at Loftus Road twice since the
incident, but not since being handed the punishment.
West Bromwich Albion s players will don a replica
of the all-white kit the team wore in the 1968 FA Cup
final in Saturday s game against Leicester, in honour
of its former striker who died in 2002 of a brain con-
"Astle Day" will be held in remembrance of Jeff
Astle, who scored 174 goals in 361 games for the club---
including the winner against Everton in the FA Cup
final in 1968.
Astle s family will mark the day by launching a
foundation to promote help for sufferers and research
of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a condition
usually linked to boxing that sees the brain degenerate
progressively because of repeated head trauma.
A neurologist who carried out a new examination
of Astle s brain said last year that his condition was
caused by heading footballs. Astle s family has cam-
paigned for the English Football Association to carry
out research into the risks of headers.
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, right, celebrates after scoring during the
English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Aston
Villa at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Saturday. AP PHOTO
United in ascendancy
heading into derby
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