The Premier League title race is going down to the wire and that is a situation not too many people would have envisaged earlier in the season, when newly-rich Manchester City were absolutely running away with the title.
However, since their two back-to-back defeats at the turn of the year (against Blackburn and Newcastle), City's title rivals Manchester United have stormed into genuine contention and the pressure has told on the blue half of Manchester.
After the most recent round of results, which saw Sunderland hold City to a 3-3 draw and United beat Blackburn 2-0, the Red Devils have opened up a five-point lead at the top of the table and with only seven games to go, the onus is now on Roberto Mancini and his men to prove they are a championship winning side.
Meanwhile, United star striker Wayne Rooney has revealed the club is full of confidence and more than ready to face their rivals in a derby that could decide where the league title goes this year. Rooney, who will in all probability, line up against City at the Etihad on 30 April, added it would be perfect for the club if they could clinch the league by beating City at their ground.
"We're certainly good enough to beat them there. We showed that when we beat them 3-2 in the FA Cup in January. They have a great home record in the league but we managed to get the result there in the Cup. That shows we can go there and win. We just have to be ourselves and play our normal football," the English international was quoted as saying in a Sun report.
City, who have won only once in their last four league games, have a more immediately urgent task on their hands, though. They will travel to north London to play Arsenal on 8 April, aware that anything other than a win will probably end the title race before United come visiting.
The title will not be the only thing on United players' minds as the game with City approaches. Winger Ashley Young believes the memory of the 1-6 humiliation his team suffered in the reverse fixture earlier this year will add extra spice to this game. Additionally, he too believes the pressure is beginning to tell on City.
"A lot of people wrote us off earlier in the season with City being seven points clear. But we've just been going about our job quietly and now we've managed to claw it back. The pressure has always been on City - there aren't any nerves coming from our side. We don't play with fear and we haven't got any nervousness going into games. We've got the momentum going into the final stretch of the season," Young was quoted as saying in another Sun report.