It has been six long months but finally Manchester United are back where they belong – and don’t expect them to fall from their perch at the top of the Premier League in the final ten games.
United’s victory over West Bromich on Sunday saw them leapfrog noisy neighbours Manchester City, who found Swansea City’s Liberty Stadium far from the stroll in the park many might have expected.
With the title run-in now a two-horse race between the Mancunian powerhouses, the battle still looks set to go down to the wire – but the Red Devils hold three vital advantages.
The first and most obvious being a one-point lead, the second being a much easier set of fixtures to come and the third being Sir Alex Ferguson – his know-how on when it comes to this stage the most crucial of components.
United deserve to be top despite having an inferior squad.
City have barely put a foot wrong all season, but every time they do from now until the end of the campaign, they will be punished – with the ultimate heartache seeing their bitter rivals lift their 20th league title.
Christian Maggio has said Napoli must concentrate for 90 minutes if they are to beat Chelsea on Wednesday – but they might not even need to put eleven players on the pitch.
Chelsea’s aura of seasons past has faded, Stamford Bridge is far from the fortress it once was, a trip there holds no fear for any Premier League side and they are in the early days of a caretaker manager in Roberto Di Matteo.
Napoli battered Cagliari 6-3 on Friday night and their attacking play will petrify Chelsea’s returning captain John Terry.
On Wednesday night they will go into their second-leg last-16 tie two goals up – and with the three tenors Ezequiel Lavezzi, Marek Hamsik and Edinson Cavani in the side, they may only have to turn on the style for a sustained period.
Di Matteo’s presence may have galvanised the Blues a little but they are still an injured beast, limping towards the end of the season – and Napoli won’t have to be anywhere near their best to go through against them.
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