Friday, 17 October 2008

Manchester United v West Brom - Preview

After a seemingly interminable international break, we're back in business against West Brom at Old Trafford tomorrow evening. Whilst West Brom are an admirable side etc etc, this should be a nice easy game to get us going again.

Comedy quote for the game comes from West Brom manager Tony Mowbray: "They won't necessarily be all about stopping us. They will want it to be a football match."

Because Sir Alex seriously considered an eleven-men-behind-the-ball hope-to-score-on-the-break strategy at home to a promoted club. Yes, mate. Still, if they want to come and play an open game of football, if will make life easier on United and Setanta Sports will thank them for making the game a better spectacle.

Team News

Despite all the positive noises coming out of Old Trafford, the matchday squad doesn't reflect the "end of the injury crisis". No sign still of Carrick, Hargreaves, Foster or Kusczcak, which is disappointing. Equally, Tevez, Park Ji-Sung and Anderson had long commutes to their respective international games, and would not be expected to start.

Informal briefings suggest that Giggs is guaranteed a place, and with the absentees mentioned above Fletcher seems certain to continue in central midfield. Rooney, Ronaldo and Berbatov will look to build on the encouraging Blackburn display. In defence, I suspect Wes Brown will be rested in favour of Neville, who had no involvement with England.

Probable team: EVDS; Evra, Vidic, Rio, Neville; Nani, Fletcher, Giggs, Ronaldo; Rooney, Berbatov.

Goals for the game

Goal 1 -
with a lot of players just back from international duty, we must be looking to wrap the game up within 60 minutes, which would give Fergie free reign to use the subs bench to rest tired legs.

Goal 2 - the coaching staff have only had a couple of days to prepare the squad, so a performance level on a par with our win against Bolton (as opposed to Blackburn) would be fine.

Goal 3 - a dominant defensive display should be achievable. We are putting together a run of clean sheets, but the last couple have had as much to do with bad finishing by our opponents as flawless defensive play.

Prediction - 3-0 United (Ronaldo, Berbatov, Giggs)

What are your predictions for the score and team? What will you be looking for?


Matt said...

I agree, a 3 goal win seems likely. I do hope either Carrick or Hargreaves would start this match though. or at least as a substitute. Rooney should be on your predicted score sheet! =)

Anonymous said...

It should be interesting to see how SAF will play Rooney/Berba/Tevez after the recent rumors and such.

But I agree that we need to end the game early, get all 3 strikers in and get some rest and confidence for a nice winning stretch.

Andrew, Esq. said...

i don't see how Rooney - on current form - fails to score at least one. I love watching him when he plays this well.

Gapi said...

Rooney to score one. I'd also like Tevez to play well and possibly score too.

Nukeleus said...

Hey Penguin,

First time I've visited your blog- good work, a fantastically informative game preview with a great balance of opinion and fact that we've come to expect. Keep it up.

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