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Man Utd v Bolton: Preview

A quiet few days later, United return to a Premier League game that’s at home. The start has been gruelling for us with the injuries and the fixture list, among a few reasons, but if Fergie’s prophecy — that we’ll be fine by October — is to ring true, today would be a game we should be looking to stamp our authority.

Bolton haven’t been particularly stellar, and at home one should expect us to knock them over easily. The question, though, is how.

But before delving into team news there have been quite a few interesting quotes from Fergie ahead of today’s game that could be worth glossing over, albeit briefly.

First one is on the role he’s earmarked for Giggs this season:

“I see his role as a central player, where we played him the other night. The days of trampling up and down that touchline for Ryan, at 34 years of age, are gone. He can maybe do it occasionally, but I think that is beyond him now.”

This has been assumed to be a role of either a central, withdrawn striker or in central midfield. I honestly don’t see him in the central striking role this season, considering the headache Fergie already faces with the array of strikers at his disposal already — more on that in a bit — and even playing him in central midfield appears a stretch. It is still left wing where he stands a chance, and even that I see him occupy that role in case the wingers are struck by injury. He could play in those central positions only in Carling Cup games. Fergie will surely have ideas different from me, but in my opinion, I can’t see any other role for Giggsy.

He made another admission of the challenge he faces trying to manage the talent at his disposal up top. But he also says that players accept the fact that rotating his front line is a must. Considering how badly the likes of Tevez and Rooney want to play every game, it would be a bitter pill to swallow for either of them to be left on the bench. The only constants, for now at least, appear to be Berbatov and Ronaldo. The press all over have been speculating that Tevez might partner Berba with Rooney relegated to the bench — a thought hardly imaginable a few seasons ago.

He also let rip at that thug, and part time footballer, Kevin Davies, questioning the spirit at which he plays the game. Considering the agony young Possebon went through in midweek, Fergie’s message was loud and clear, and conscious of its timing.

In team news, Owen Hargreaves is eager to play, so I can only assume he’ll be starting. In the absence of Carrick he should start in central midfield. I’d prefer to play Anderson alongside him, but have a feeling that Fergie would continue to play his favoured son, the Ginger Prince. As much as I like Scholesy, I think Anderson and Hargreaves play better together, whereas Scholes and Hargreaves will be a very defensive setup. Ronaldo should start and possibly Nani. Berbatov and Tevez will be my picks up front, not because I don’t rate Rooney, but because I think Tevez’s form must be rewarded. Berba should start because we need him to get games and get a feel for our system at home. Simple as.

In defence, we’ll have Brown (I hope), Vidic, Rio and Evra. However, I am not really sure if young Ben Amos will be thrown into the deep end. He had a decent outing against Boro in midweek, and if EVDS and Kuszczak aren’t sufficiently recovered from their respective knocks it will be Amos’ full Premier League debut. According to reports though, EVDS looks fit to start. Even if he’s half fit I think Fergie will play him over an 18 year old ‘keeper.

So there goes the preview, feel free to discuss lineups and your thoughts on today’s game in the comments.

Prediction: 2-0 to United. Berbatov to open his United account.