Manchester City are determined to usher in a new era for English football on Sunday by clinching their first title for 44 years as the curtain comes down on a thrilling Premier League campaign.
Four years after the serial under-achievers from the blue half of Manchester were bought by the Abu Dhabi United Group, the club’s fabulously wealthy owners are poised to see the biggest return yet on their substantial investment.
Victory over Queens Park Rangers at Eastlands today will — barring a miraculous scoreline for Manchester United at Sunderland — be enough to see Roberto Mancini’s side claim the league crown.
Yet City, whose owners have spent nearly £1 billion (Sh128bn) on the club according to some estimates, are determined to ensure that victory in this year’s league campaign is only a stepping stone to greater glory.
Yaya Toure, the Cote d’Ivoire international who has been one of the cornerstones of City’s success this season, is convinced that the club can achieve global dominance in the years ahead.
City are already reported to be planning summer transfer moves for Lille winger Eden Hazard, as well as Napoli’s highly rated Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani.
“That’s why I came here, to help the team, give my experience to the young guys and to help the club go forward and mke it bigger than any club in the world,” Toure said.
Bitter cross-town rivals United, meanwhile, are left clinging to the hope that City’s historical reputation as masters of shooting themselves in the foot will re-emerge against QPR.
While Rangers are fighting for Premier League survival, needing a win to be sure of avoiding relegation, City head into the game on the back of a remarkable home record that has seen them drop just two points at Eastlands all season.
QPR, by contrast, have one of the worst away records in the league, winning three, drawing twice and losing 13 on the road.
Yet the possibility of one last twist to a roller-coaster season in English football cannot be discounted.
Fixtures: Kick-off 5.00pm (Kenyan time) for all games:
Chelsea v Blackburn Rovers, Everton v Newcastle United, Manchester City v QPR, Norwich City v Aston Villa, Stoke City v Bolton Wanderers, Sunderland v Manchester United, Swansea City v Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham, West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal, Wigan Athletic v Wolverhampton Wanderers.