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Man Utd vs Birmingham: Preview

The Interwebs have been acting up lately, to my chagrin. And that is the reason I couldn’t post yesterday. I really wanted to post something yesterday, you know, with it being the last day of 2007 and all; I had a Best of 2007 post lined up. Anyhow I will get around to doing that sometime later today or tomorrow.

At the moment, though, we have the small matter of a match today, where we invite Birmingham and hope to kick off 2008 on a bright note. Speaking of which, here’s wishing all readers a very happy new year. How did you spend last night?

Sir Alex would have realised that his best way to guarantee wins would be to field his best XI as much as possible. So that would mean playing Anderson and Hargreaves in the middle of the park, at the least. Giggs and Ronaldo will take up their customary positions on the wings, although I suspect Park might also be there in the mix. Meanwhile, Rooney should return after being absent from the West Ham defeat due to a virus. I wouldn’t expect too much alteration in the defensive line either. It also remains to be seen if EVDS would return to the bench at least.

With the transfer window opening, one would expect the tabloid chatter to be kicked into overdrive, so we have a few strong rumours relating to the club. First we have, for the millionth time, Ramon Calderon talking up Real’s interest in Ronaldo. “He wants to play in Spain”, he reckons. We all know that, don’t we? I think it’s got more to do with the winter break in La Liga that drains the Iberian peninsula of news pertaining to the happenings on the football pitch.

The other rumour is about Berbatov moving to United. Now he’s shown what an excellent player he can be, if he wants to. I have been critical of his attitude in the past, but I admit he is a terrific player. However, I am not entirely convinced if the club will be willing to spend 20 million pounds to prise him away. I also don’t know how he will be slotted into our XI while keeping everyone happy.

Back to the game, Don Howe, the Arsenal supporter that he is, is extremely happy to see that West Ham have now unearthed a ‘chink’ in United’s armour. Apparently we are shite in defending set pieces. So I would suppose that Saturday’s game represents the first time we’ve conceded set-pieces in our half, and hence the meanest defence in the league is now doomed. Pffft! Why are people allowed to write columns when it is clear that they are approaching senility?

Anyway, we should hope to do better with set pieces against Birmingham. And hope to avoid slipping up, as Avram Grant seems to think we will.

Prediction: 2-0 to United and a Happy New Year once again!