Tuesday, 30 September 2008

United v Aalborg preview

I could go into detail about Aalborg here, but I'm not going to. If you'll excuse for sounding cocky and/or tempting fate, it really shouldn't matter. Whilst undoubtedly a worthy side, they are standard-issue Champions League minnows and we should wipe the floor with them.

Team news

So, who's going to do the wiping? Fergie has made it clear that he is going to play his strongest team to avoid the same sort of freak result that we suffered against Copenhagen, and this makes a lot of sense. 10 points is seen as the safety threshold for qualification, and you usually look to pick up at least 7 of those at home. Well, we're one home game down with only one point to show for it, and anything could happen in the cross-border games with Celtic, so we need to make sure of six points against the whipping boys - no excuses.

ut what is our strongest team? At the moment, that's anyone's guess. What we do know is that Neville and Hargreaves both join Carrick on the sidelines, with a thigh strain and (the increasingly concerning) tendinitis respectively. Brown will thankfully return at right back, and Fletcher should continue in central midfield alongside Anderson or Scholes. It's a toss-up between Nani, Park and Tevez to play on the opposite wing to Ronaldo, with Rooney returning behind Berbatov. Van der Sar is fit to continue in goal, especially with the injuries to Kuszczak and Foster.

Goals for the game

(As I mentioned before, for each game, I will set out a list of goals for the game. These will be things that are of particular importance for this game (on top of winning, of course!). They will give you a guide to what to look for when watching the game. I will also pick up on them in my match report to give us a framework for assessing each performance.)

Goal 1 -
I know this is a repeat from Saturday, but the integration of Berbatov is an important ongoing project.

Goal 2 - with Blackburn waiting at the weekend, we should be looking to wrap up victory quickly to conserve energy and to allow some younger players to get a taste of European football.

Goal 3 - with the goals hardly flowing in, a confidence booster scoreline would be really useful - Aalborg are the sort of team that we could put six past if we get going, and we would all feel a whole lot better for it.

Prediction - 3-0 United.

What are your predictions, and what are you looking for from our performance?

Coming up on the blog in the next few days: this week's United reader, the Aalborg match report, and a series of articles looking in detail at our central midfielders.


a.i.g said...

very nice blog!

I really like the way you structure your articles.

Penguinissimo said...

aig - thanks for reading, and for the compliment. Please keep visiting and keep commenting!

AndyCR7 said...

Hey nice blog bro...
I like your writing style... :)

Looking at the way we are struggling in front of the goal, my prediction is 2-0 to United...

thethreeRs said...

Also like the lay-out of your blog.
As another target, I would add some decent crosses into the box, especially when we have threatening players in threatening positions. Felt sorry for Berba on Saturday, who got in good positions but was not found - worse - not even looked for. I've never seen so many short corners in my life, save for the running down of the clock in tight matches. What an utter waste. The fact that they were persevered with is exceptionally worrying. Why did Fergie and Mike P not do something about it?

jay@hk said...

It's nice start of your blog.
You got real insight. Keep going !

a.i.g said...


and I also agree with you regarding andy.

he needs time and goal will be a real boost.

Penguinissimo said...

AndyCR7 - maybe that's more realistic, but I was trying to be optimistic for once in my life!

thethreers - true, that was a disappointing aspect. We've got the players to be a threat from corners, but it probably had something to do with the fact that none of our regular corner takers (Giggs, Nani, Hargo) were on the pitch - definitely something for the training ground.

aig - we're all hoping that once Andy gets one, the floodgates will open...but it's been long enough coming now...

Liam said...

I have this suspicion that fergie won't play the strongest team tonite even though he said so. He will put out a strong team but I think O'Shea will start. He was at the press conference with Fergie and usually the player who does the press conference plays. I wouldnt be opposed to him and Rafael at full backs even though I know he won't play both. Evra could do with a rest and I think that is most likely were O'Shea comes in. Our defense shouldn't be under too much pressure anyway. I'd also like to see Roovez start up front as they play some mesmerizing football with Ronaldo in the team. Nani should also start with Scholes and Anderson/fletch in CM

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