We as football fans are in for a tantalising final sprint to the end of the 2018/19 season, which has the potential to see an astonishing FOUR matchups between fierce rivals Manchester United and City.
The schedule has had the league fixture at Old Trafford pencilled in for April for a good while now. The original date City will try and attempt the double over United, at Old Trafford, has been moved from April 16th to a week and a half later, on April 24th. Back in November, City enacted revenge on the Red Devils for upsetting their 2017/18 Derby Day/ Premier League-winning celebrations, with a comprehensive 3-1 win at the Etihad.
It’s now a new look, swashbuckling United with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the helm, after taking over from Jose Mourinho in December, though the 20-time English champions will be in a quandary as to know any victory on their part may hand ever fiercer rivals Liverpool an edge in the title race over the Cityzens.
With both City and United still competing in the FA Cup and Champions League competitions, however, we may be privileged to see a further three meetings between the two sides before the season’s conclusion.
Whilst Man Utd gained entry into the Quarter-Finals of the Champions League last week with a breathtaking victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the France capital, City themselves are in a prime position to qualify for the next round, after a 3-2 victory in Germany over Schalke in the first-leg. The Blues, backed by Sheikh Mansour’s billions, have long been considered favourites for the tournament this season and remain so as of writing.
The Quarter-Final draw for the Champions League is due to take place on Friday 15th March in Nyon, Switzerland. Ajax, Porto, and Tottenham Hotspur currently join United in the pot.
Either Barcelona or Lyon, Bayern Munich or Liverpool, Juventus or Atletico Madrid, and either City or Schalke will be part of that collective. There’ll of course be just a 12.5% chance Man Utd and City will be drawn against each other, with the chances increased as more teams are pulled out of the pot. If Liverpool bypass the Bavarians, they’ll be a 50% chance of English opposition facing each other.
The first leg of these ties will be played on 9th and 10th April, with the reverse fixture on 16th and 17th April. The draw is then scheduled to be held on Good Friday, 19th April. With competition for the title reduced down to four teams, the Semi-Finals will then take place on 30th April and 1st May, with the return leg a week later on the 7th and 8th.
The final will be held at the Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, on June 1st.
After the draw is made on Friday, this Saturday Manchester United take on Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux, with Manchester City travelling to Swansea City earlier on in the day for their respective FA Cup clashes.
Should both teams see off the Last-Eight competition, the Semi-Finals are due to be held across the weekend of Saturday 6th April, coincidentally when Wolves were supposed to welcome United in the Premier League. This has now been moved earlier to a Tuesday evening April 2nd kickoff.
Should the two Manchester sides not be drawn against each other, as they were in 2011 (in which City were the victors), there is a mouthwatering chance to meet in the Final of the FA Cup that will take place on Saturday 18th May at Wembley Stadium.
All in all, that means between the earliest date of April 6th and that Madrid final on June 1st, we could be witnessing a maximum of four Man Utd/ City meetings in the space of 57 days, or once every 14 days.