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Man Utd vs Derby County: Preview

Manchester United Crest  Derby County Club Crest

It’s been quite a week for me, so it should come as some sort of relief to be back finally. Much thanks to Ahmed for chipping in as usual and preventing the site from rotting away. Of course, a more than cursory nod is in order for the readers who kept dropping by while participating in the banter in the comments thread. Needless to say, you people form the other half of this site — the better half, that is.

Anyway, onto the game and we face Derby County today — a club that could easily be termed as among the worst ones to have ever played in the Premiership. Bookmakers, fans and pundits alike predict a goal fest. The manager also expects more goals from the side – expecting the players to show a much more ruthless streak in front of goal.

While it is fair of us to be expecting to brush Derby aside, one can’t help but think about the ‘new manager syndrome’. Although, Paul Jewell hasn’t had a particularly great time against us, till now that it is. That Derby have been appalling can be talked of at length, but we all remember Sunderland of two seasons ago — the team that went down with ridiculously low points — which held us to a 0-0 draw; a game where even a certain Ruud van Nistelrooy couldn’t score a penalty.

So there was the caution bit from me. A politically incorrect statement would be that we would absolutely murder Derby. But let’s save our breath on the trash talk.

Given the game is at home against a weak opposition, it would be tempting for the gaffer to play some of the more promising young players. But after the Bolton game (and Arsenal’s dropped points) he would play his best side. Which would mean, another day for Rooney to get more minutes under his belt. Also, with the Roma game around the corner, he would play the experimental side for that game rather than this.

So Tevez and Rooney, it should be, upfront today with Ronaldo, and possibly, Nani on the wings. Anderson could continue his impressive partnership with Hargreaves at the centre of the park. The back four will be the reliable quartet of Evra, Rio, Vidic and Brown.

Speaking of the back four there is some news doing the rounds. Brown’s agents have snubbed the latest contract offer made by United and the club have made one last final one. This would appear rather strange if you ask me because Wesley has been such a great servant for the club for so long and had not so long ago reiterated his commitment to the clause, saying how much he loved it here. Even the gaffer appeared to give strong hints that he may leave. I hope this deadlock is not out of Brown’s new found belief in his worth in light of Neville’s new setback.

We’ll have to wait and watch how this whole contract thing pans out. Expect the rags working overtime, linking us with a ton of right backs.

Back to the game, well, there isn’t much else to talk about, is there? I hope they do perfectly well in warming up for the ‘dippers game next week. So here’s to a handsome thumping handed out to the Rams. Come on you reds!

Prediction: 4-0 to United.

And finally, one our last reminders on our long running contest to win a cool Savile Rogue scarf: the competition ends on the 10th of December the details of which can be read here. So hurry!