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James Milner admits he will be supporting Manchester United in derby

Milner admits he will be supporting Manchester United in derby
© Reuters
Manchester City will reclaim top spot by winning derby game at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

James Milner admits he will become a Manchester United supporter for the first time as Liverpool hope for an advantage in the Premier League title race.

Milner counts United’s three great rivals – Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester City – on a 17-year playing CV that has seen him rack up more than 600 senior games.

But the 33-year-old midfielder will put history to one side in the Manchester derby on Wednesday when  City meet United at Old Trafford.

The derby is City’s game in hand on Liverpool and victory will restore their one-point lead at the top with three matches of the season remaining.

“First time in my life,” Milner said about his support for United this week.

“But I won’t be watching. It’s a bit of a waste of energy, willing the ball in the other goal.

“I can’t do anything about it. I’ll maybe put my phone away for a few hours and check it after.

“I’ve no idea what I’ll do, maybe go out for some food.”

Liverpool maintained their challenge for a first domestic title since 1990 with a 2-0 victory at Cardiff on Sunday.

Milner converted a late penalty to score his seventh goal of the season and secure a precious three points.

Liverpool have relegated Huddersfield and Wolves to play at home and Newcastle away.

Cardiff City v Liverpool – Premier League – Cardiff City Stadium
Milner scores Liverpool’s second goal in their 2-0 win at Cardiff from the penalty spot (David Davies/PA)

City’s remaining fixtures are at United, Burnley and Brighton and at home to Leicester.

On City’s run-in, Milner said: “There’s three games left after that (United).

“People think United is a challenge, but it’s not the only one.

“It’s an old cliche, but the Premier League is tough – whoever you play, teams battling at the bottom.

“Go back to QPR (when Milner won the title at Man City on the final day) and it’s not easy when you’re playing to win a league title.

Liverpool’s win at Cardiff was their 27th from 35 games and set a new Premier League points record for the club.

The Reds now have 88 points, two more than Rafael Benitez’s side managed 10 years ago in finishing runners-up to Manchester United.

“We just need to win the rest of our games,” Milner said.

“If we do that and it’s not good enough then you have to hold your hands up and say ‘well done City’.

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur – Premier League – Etihad Stadium
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola celebrates after the weekend win over Tottenham  (Martin Rickett/PA)

“They are a top team, they have done it before and are grinding it out.

“It’s frustrating to think we’ve had one defeat all year and it might not be enough.

“But all we can do is win the rest of our games and put them under pressure.”


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38322495237298
2Liverpool38307189226797
3Chelsea38219863392472
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs382321367392871
5Arsenal382171073512270
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd381991065541166
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38169134746157
8Everton38159145446854
9Leicester CityLeicester38157165148352
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham38157165255-352
11Watford38148165259-750
12Crystal Palace38147175153-249
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174248-645
14Bournemouth38136195670-1445
15Burnley38117204568-2340
16Southampton38912174565-2039
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3899203560-2536
RCardiff CityCardiff38104243469-3534
RFulham3875263481-4726
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3837282276-5416

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