Hit by, what we have now come to learn as, a ‘freak injury’ to Wayne Rooney, we take on a very good Blackburn side who are riding a wave of success. Sparky’s team have done a very good job nicking points off three of the big four and would hope to continue their habit of giant killing this season. And they have done it by playing some good football too. Their reputation as a ‘dirty team’ has been unfair on them as Hughes has plenty of creativity in his side — thanks to some judicious forays into the transfer market this summer.
Roque Santa Cruz from Bayern has been a good buy, while Christopher Samba has been rock solid in defence.
So it is little wonder when SAF says that Blackburn are the side that could actually break the hold of Big Four on the Premier League.
â€œBlackburnâ€™s form makes it a really tough game for us on Sunday,â€ said Sir Alex. â€œThey have been absolutely tremendous this season. â€œI think they can challenge the top four,â€ he added. â€œWhat they are showing at the moment is that nobody turns them over. Theyâ€™ve drawn with Liverpool and Arsenal at home, and going away they are a handful, too.â€
True. And that’s why we must be wary today when we take them on. They wouldn’t roll over like Wigan or Aston Villa and they will match us at every step. Our confidence might have certainly taken a beating with Rooney’s injury which, for the uninitiated, was caused when his leg got caught on a piece of training equipment. [Link] What really is annoying is that he was in terrific form so far. Anyway, we hope he does get back to his groove soon, once he returns.
Meanwhile, Scholes seems to have had a successful operation on his knee. The boss says that he’s got ‘the knee of a 20 year old’ now — which is good to know. Remember when Scholes returned from blurred vision and the manager said he was like a new signing? Every one scoffed at him only to be proved terribly wrong. We hope he’s a new signing when he returns in January too. That would be a crucial time, as the second half of the season is the business end, and Anderson/Carrick could certainly do with a breather.
But let’s get back to talking about today. It’s just a day since SAF claimed that he planned to use Saha in a super-sub role and, now, he may have to change his plans slightly. If Saha does start, I wouldn’t worry about our team too much. If he manages to play through unscathed, we should be comfortable in our free flowing style. Saha would complement Tevez perfectly. He is an intelligent player, great in the air and can hold up the ball very well.
It’s the central midfield that would be very interesting. Would he go with Carrick and Hargreaves? Or would it be Anderson and Hargreaves? Giggs (due to his experience) and Ronaldo would take their customary positions on the wings. Evra, Rio, Vidic and Brown would form our back four. A proper 4-4-2, without doubt, should be the order of the day.
It is also the last game before the international break comes in. For a change, I am thankful for the break, what with Rooney’s injury. It couldn’t be more timely, especially if we survive today’s match.
On second thoughts, I wonder if it is a clever ploy by the boss to declare Rooney out for four weeks, instead of two to avoid McLaren calling him up for international duty.
Oh well, I’ll let the conspiracy theories rest for now.
Enjoy the game today. Come on you Reds!!!
Prediction: 2-1 to United.
And before I end this, just a reminder to those who haven’t been in the loop, or haven’t been looking through our comment threads (which you must if you haven’t). We have signed Ghanaian-born German John Cofie from Burnley. He’s, of course, not to be mistaken with the giant from The Green Mile as some people had been suggesting. And don’t get ideas, he’s just 14 years of age. So there will be plenty of time before he actually makes it.
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