Manchester City's manager Mancini and his Manchester United counterpart Ferguson gesture during their English Premier League soccer match in Manchester
Manchester City's manager Roberto Mancini (R) and his Manchester United counterpart Alex Ferguson (L) gesture during their English Premier League soccer match in Manchester, northern England, April 17, 2010. REUTERS

Manchester City will win the Premier League according to Alan Hansen, and to make matters worse for Sir Alex Ferguson, the Match of the Day pundit has also backed the Blues to beat Manchester United in the FA Cup on Sunday.

While loath to write off Manchester United, Hansen believes the setbacks Sir Alex Ferguson's side continue to face in regards to their crippling injury list, is hampering their chances of successfully defending their Premier League crown, and playing into Manchester City's hands.

Hansen believes Manchester City can now boast a better side than Manchester United, following two years of lavish investment, and although Sir Alex Ferguson's knowhow inevitably makes the Red Devils worthy opponents, the Match of the Day mainstay believes Roberto Mancini's side are now the team to beat.

"My feeling, even before United's defeat, was that City would win the Premier League. They have better players and more strength in depth than Sir Alex Ferguson's side, although they have yet to be tested over the course of a full season." Hansen told the BBC.

"I have never, ever written off Manchester United. It is a dangerous game and they are only three points behind City.

"But there may come a time when they will be too far back because of the setbacks they are having (losing Nemanja Vidic was a savage one), and the way they are playing."

Looking ahead to this weekend's crunch Manchester derby, Hansen continued: "The FA Cup will have risen up Manchester United's list of priorities after their exit from the Champions League and they have great history and tradition in the tournament.

"Manchester City, though, also have great recent memories as the holders after beating Stoke City at Wembley in May. Manchester City will now have the Premier League firmly as their number one target, but progress in the FA Cup is never to be dismissed lightly and the winners of this game will take away one of football's most precious commodities: confidence.

"So, in addition to tipping them for the title, I also think Manchester City will win on Sunday as they have strengths in key areas that will serve them well, not just this weekend but in the weeks ahead."

Manchester United face Manchester City on Sunday on the back of two straight league defeats. Ferguson's side are three points behind their Manchester counterparts and are currently negotiating a lengthy injury list.