x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

In Manchester derby, United are in the driver's seat this time around

Trailing league leader Manchester United by 15 points, Manchester City is now just trying to stay ahead of Tottenham and Chelsea for secind place.

Manchester United have won 25 of their last 30 matches in the English Premier League. Andrew Yates / AFP
Manchester United have won 25 of their last 30 matches in the English Premier League. Andrew Yates / AFP

A year ago, Manchester City edged past Manchester United to go to the top of the Premier League and maintained their thrilling end-of-season surge to a first English title in nearly half a century.

A repeat result on Monday, however, will do little more than delay City's surrender of the trophy to its fierce rival.

With United 15 points clear after a record-breaking run of victories, City have given up hope of defending a championship won in such dramatic circumstances last season and have been more concerned with keeping hold of second place from Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.

"Last year had so much more to it," said City captain Vincent Kompany, who headed in the winning goal 12 months ago. "It is a completely different situation, today and last year.

"It is about coming out on top in that game. I am looking forward to it and I think everyone else at Manchester City is, too."

In other news, City midfielder Yaya Toure has signed a new four-year contact to keep him at the club until 2017. Toure, who turns 30 in May, pledged his future to the Premier League side with the new long-term deal which was confirmed yesterday afternoon.

"This is where I want to be," Toure told the club's official website. "When I first arrived at City, every time I went to sleep I would dream about us winning something. Now it is about us being the best team in whatever competition we take part in."

There was growing talk of United winning the treble barely a month ago, but Alex Ferguson's side recently lost two big games –to Real Madrid in the Champions League and Chelsea in an FA Cup quarter-final replay – to leave the Premier as their only chance of silverware this season.

It would require the biggest meltdown in Premier League history if United were to blow the title at this stage, and a win – a 26th in 31 games this campaign – would leave the team needing just four points from their remaining seven matches.

"We appreciate where we are in the league and we want to finish it," said United goalkeeper David De Gea, who has kept six straight clean sheets in the league.

Third-place Tottenham Hotspur, five points behind City, host sixth-placed Everton.

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