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Premier League

  • May 13, 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • Etihad Stadium, Manchester
  • Referee: M. Dean
  • • Attendance: 47435
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Manchester City - QPR Preview: Mancini's men hold Premier League title destiny in their own hands

Manchester City - QPR Preview: Mancini's men hold Premier League title destiny in their own hands

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Equalling or bettering Manchester United's result would seal glory at the Etihad Stadium, but former boss Mark Hughes aims to spoil the party in order to avoid relegation

  PROBABLE LINEUPS


MANCHESTER CITY


Hart
Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy
Yaya Toure, Barry
Nasri, Silva
Aguero, Tevez
QPR

Kenny
Onuoha, Ferdinand, Hill, Taiwo
Mackie, Barton, Derry, Taarabt
Zamora, Cisse

With no injury or suspension news to worry about, Roberto Mancini has a full squad at his disposal for the game that could secure his side Premier League glory.

With that in mind, Manchester City are expected to be unchanged, fielding for the third match in a row the XI which overcame Manchester United and Newcastle to put them one game away from triumph.
FOUR-SOME CITY?
7.0 Manchester City are 7.0 with 188bet to beat QPR 4-0 on Sunday.


For QPR, both Shaun Derry (dead leg) and Akos Buzsaky (hamstring) face late fitness tests, though Mark Hughes may be willing to risk the former in particular to maintain his midfield's toughness for potentially their most difficult game of the season.

Samba Diakite will definitely miss out with a virus, however, while Alejandro Faurlin remains on the sidelines due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury. Djibril Cisse, who scored the crucial late winner against Stoke City last time out, may be drafted into the starting line-up.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Manchester City need to either better Manchester United's result against Sunderland or equal it and avoid a nine-goal swing in order to confirm themselves as Premier League champions.
  • Roberto Mancini's side have won 17 of their home league matches so far, their only blip a 3-3 draw with Sunderland on March 31.
  • City striker Sergio Aguero has registered as many Premier League goals (22) this season as QPR's four highest league scorers combined.
  • The hosts been victorious in each of their last five games, blasting 15 goals in the process and conceding only one.
  • QPR have alternately won and lost their last 10 matches, their most recent outing a 1-0 triumph over Stoke City.
  • Three points would guarantee safety for the Rs. A draw would do the same - barring a shocking goal-difference swing - but if Mark Hughes' men lose and Bolton beat Stoke, the visitors would return to the Championship.
  • Since joining the club from Lazio in January, Djibril Cisse (pictured right) has either scored or been sent off in each of his seven games, with five goals and two red cards.
  • Rs boss Hughes managed City for 18 months between 2008 and 2009 before being replaced with current coach Mancini.
  • Man City are relatively slow starters, scoring only 8 per cent of their Premier League goals in the opening 20 minutes of matches, compared to QPR's more evenly-spread 25%.
  • Yaya Toure scored the winner in a 3-2 triumph for City the last time that these two teams met, at Loftus Road on November 5.

Players to watch

Y. Touré

Position: Midfielder

Games: 7

  • 1
  • 3
  • 0
Every player likely to line up for Manchester City is capable of doing serious damage to QPR and they could easily get off to a flying start to ease the nerves - but if they don't, and the visitors put up a fight, then Yaya Toure is the man to whom Roberto Mancini will turn to crack the nut.

The Ivorian made the difference when these two faced off in November and he made the breakthrough against Newcastle last time out, too. Toure's imposing power at the base of midfield also plays a big role in his threat from the front - if Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez cannot slip past the Rs defence, then he can have at them like a battering ram instead. Perhaps the most crucial ingredient to City's midfield over the season, it would be no surprise to see the ex-Barcelona man make the difference again to win his side the title.

D. Cissé

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Goal, red card, goal, goal, red card, goal, goal - Cisse's first seven games in a QPR shirt have certainly been eventful, and he seems bound to make some sort of impact in his eighth, but Mark Hughes will be desperate for it to be one of his good ones.

City's home record is imposing to say the least and QPR are unlikely to see a great deal of the ball. If they are going to give themselves a chance of scoring, it will need to be a momentary opening quickly seized upon, and the French striker, with his burst of pace and keen finishing, is their best-equipped man to strike lightning on the menacing home back line.

Editor's Prediction

Neutrals will be keen for the title race to stay live for as long as possible and QPR will give it their best shot in case Bolton get a result at Stoke, but it is extremely difficult to foresee anything other than a resounding home win. Man City have returned to form at exactly the right time and their record at the Etihad Stadium is simply immense. This game should be all about the first goal - if the visitors can sneak it, the nerves might inveigle themselves into the home players - but if Mancini's men strike first, expect the floodgates to open as they romp to a first top-flight triumph since 1968.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Manchester City

Queens Park Rangers

Wins
3
1
1
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Manchester City FC MNC
Manchester City FC Manchester City
Draw
Queens Park Rangers FC QPR
Queens Park Rangers FC Queens Park Rangers
61%
15%
24%

Top 3 Predictions

Manchester City FC MNC
3 - 0
Queens Park Rangers FC QPR
Manchester City FC MNC
0 - 1
Queens Park Rangers FC QPR
Manchester City FC MNC
2 - 0
Queens Park Rangers FC QPR

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