English Premiership

Giggs expects City showdown

2012-03-27 14:34
Ryan Giggs (File)

Rome - The Premier League title race in England will come down to the Manchester derby at Eastlands on April 30, according to United midfielder Ryan Giggs.

Speaking to Tuesday's edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Welsh wizard made his prediction of an all-or-nothing decider.

United lead City by three points with eight games remaining following their 1-0 win at Fulham on Monday night.

But crucially, City have a better goal-difference and will be the hosts when the sides next meet.

"We have the experience but City have the hunger, if we both keeping going like this, everything will be decided in the derby," said Giggs.

Both sides would still have two games left after the derby, including tricky away ties in the northeast.

As for his own career, Giggs is hoping to keep going for a while longer and rack up 1 000 appearances for United.

Last month he notched up his 900th game for the Red Devils against Norwich, in which he also scored an injury time winner.

Looking back over his career, mostly as a left winger, the 38-year-old singled out Lee Dixon, formerly of Arsenal, and Inter Milan's Javier Zanetti as the toughest opponents he came up against.

"I faced Zanetti for the first time in the Champions League quarter-finals in 1999, he was the right back and I was on the left," said Giggs.

"He impressed with his qualities, his speed, power, intelligence and expertise.

"I played against him twice more and he was my most difficult opponent, a complete player."

But the Italian player who impressed him the most was Juventus's Alessandro Del Piero.

When Manchester United qualified for the Champions League for the first time since English clubs had been allowed back in Europe, Juve were the dominant force on the continent.

"The Juventus of the 1990s were fantastic," said Giggs.

"Del Piero (is the best Italian player), we're the same age and I've followed his whole career."

Looking ahead to the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine, Giggs risked upsetting some of his team-mates, saying he doesn't rate England's chances.

Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Young and Wayne Rooney are all likely to be a part of the England squad while Phil Jones, Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley, Michael Carrick and Chris Smalling are also in with a shout.

"Spain and Germany (are the favourites) followed by France, Italy and Holland," said Giggs.

"I can't see (England winning), they still don't have a coach and Rooney is suspended for the first two games."

Recently there has been much talk of record-breaking Lionel Messi being the best player of all time but Giggs says there's still something crucial missing from the Argentine genius' trophy cabinet.

"Without a doubt he's the best today, he scores a lot, almost every week, and always plays to a high level.

"But (Diego) Maradona and Pele won the World Cup with Argentina and Brazil.

"When Messi wins a World Cup with his country he'll step onto the podium."

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