Manchester’s two Premiership clubs could start ensuring that the three major football prizes are housed in the city by the end of May.
If Manchester United avoid defeat at Blackburn tomorrow and Manchester City beat Stoke at Wembley in the FA Cup final, and United beat Barcelona on May 28 all three trophies could return to the city.
It would be the second time that Manchester has held all three prizes, with the last time of course being in 1999 when United won the treble.
The two crunch football matches will complete a huge weekend of sport in Greater Manchester, as the ‘Great Day of Sport’ takes place across the metropolitan area.
City would love to end their 35-year trophy barren run, while also making their first FA Cup final appearance since 1981, when they were beaten 3-2 by Tottenham Hotspur in a replay.
Their last spate of trophies came in the late 1960s and early 1970s when they won the League Cup three times between 1968 and 1976, adding an FA Cup and European Cup Winners Cup in between.
Manchester City’s Manager Roberto Mancini vowed to tear down the banner at Old Trafford’s Stretford End, mocking City’s inability to win a trophy.
They will receive an added boost as Carlos Tevez returns from injury, but Stoke, clearly the underdogs considering the team’s respective league positions, will feel confident given their demolition of Bolton in the semi-finals.
Meanwhile Sir Alex Ferguson will look to exploit United’s siege mentality as he faces yet another improper misconduct charge by the FA for comments about referee Howard Webb before the clash with Chelsea.
Sir Alex will attempt to equal the late Bob Paisley’s record of three European Cups for a manager of an English team later this month in his own Wembley final, but tomorrow he could knock Liverpool off their domestic perch, eclipsing their record 18 league titles with 19 of their own.
Should United register at least a point against Blackburn or Chelsea drop points against Newcastle on Sunday, they would be confirmed Premier League Champions for the 12th time under Sir Alex.
They have been roundly criticised for lacking the flair of champions, with a dismal away record, but they have dropped just two points at home all season.
If they were to win their last two games they would finish with 82 points, the lowest points haul for the Premier League winners since United won the title in 2001 with 80 points.