LONDON, United Kingdom, Apr 22 – James Milner has said he will become a Manchester United fan for the first time in the hope they can aid Liverpool’s bid to win the Premier League title.
The versatile veteran has played for three of United’s fiercest rivals — Leeds, Manchester City and Liverpool — in the course of a 17-year career and more than 600 senior matches.
But the 33-year-old former England international would be delighted if United did Liverpool a favour in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford.
Wednesday’s match is City’s game in hand over leaders Liverpool and victory would see the reigning champions go one point clear at the summit with three matches remaining.
“First time in my life,” Milner said when asked 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.”
Liverpool have not won the domestic title in the Premier League era and were last crowned champions of England when they lifted the old First Division trophy back in 1990.
But they maintained their effort to end that barren run with a 2-0 win away to Cardiff on Sunday secured by Milner’s late penalty — his seventh goal this season.
– ‘Not easy’ –
Liverpool complete their league campaign with home games against Huddersfield, who have already been relegated, and Wolves either side of a trip to a Newcastle team managed by former Reds boss Rafael Benitez.
City, meanwhile have away game against United, Burnley and Brighton as well as a match at home to Leicester.
“There’s three games left after that (United),” said Milner of City’s finish to the league season.
“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 already have 88 points yet their final tally might still not be enough to bring the Premier League trophy to Anfield.
“We just need to win the rest of our games,” said Milner. “If we do that and it’s not good enough then you have to hold your hands up and say ‘well done City’.
“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.”