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Manchester United vs Everton: Preview

Another international break has ended finally giving United the opportunity to avenge the 1-0 defeat against Chelsea. Willing victims, Everton, line up at Old Trafford in the day’s late kick-off, with Sir Alex Ferguson’s touchline ban not set to begin until after the match; he will surely demand a victory before he takes his seat in the stands.

In the terraces, for sure, will sit Gary Neville, who is suspended. Our defensive injury crisis worsened as John O’Shea picked up an ankle injury against France and remains doubtful for today’s game. Jonny Evans is touch and go with a calf strain and along with long-term absentee Rio Ferdinand, our defence will be stretched to its limits.

The good news is Nemanja Vidic — who has been out of action for three weeks with a calf problem — should return to marshal the defence after playing 70 minutes for Serbia against South Korea on Wednesday. Lining up beside him will no doubt be a jubilant Patrice Evra; Wes Brown, fresh from a woeful display against Brazil, and likely Rafael at right-back.

One thing you can probably guarantee is Nani won’t be getting on the pitch this weekend, despite his heroics for Portugal over the last week. His recent attack on Sir Alex will have not gone unnoticed by the manager. Paul Scholes, a lover of the much-maligned international break looks a certain starter; well rested and having missed out against Chelsea, he will surely be raring to go. For the other midfield slot, it is probably between Fletcher and Carrick, although since Carrick is carrying a slight thigh strain expect the Scot to start beside Scholesy.

Ryan Giggs, stuck on 99 Premier League goals, is expected to feature at some point as well in a bid to grab that all-important 100th goal. Gabriel Obertan will be pushing for a start, given his recent performances for both the first team and reserves, while Valencia will provide the attacking thrust down the right. Let’s hope he can deliver a few telling balls and carry on his recent run of good form.

Stand-in England captain, Wayne Rooney will no doubt lead the line against his former team. Dimitar Berbatov will look to carry forward his form with Bulgaria, as he bagged brace in the 4-1 thrashing of Malta to become Bulgaria’s all-time leading scorer with 48 goals in 74 appearances. He replaces Hristo Bonev, who held the record for 30 years.

The Toffees bring a number of ex-United stars back to Old Trafford. Louis Saha will be out to prove a point, if he manages to stay fit between now and kick-off. Tim Howard and, of course, the other Neville brother will be back, though the latter is out through injury.

Fergie clearly has a great amount of respect for Everton boss David Moyes, commenting on the injury crisis at Goodison and comparing it to our own. “Everton have had a tremendous run of injuries and David Moyes is facing much the same situation as myself at the moment. You can understand how difficult it is to win games when you don’t have your best team out. Once they get their full squad back they will soon come up the table again.”

Russian winger Diniyar Bilyaletdinov will definitely be out for Everton as he serves the second of his three-match suspension while Tim Cahill is doubtful with a groin injury. Among other absentees for the Merseysiders are Mikel Arteta, Phil Jagielka, Leon Osman and Victor Anichebe. Despite this Everton find themselves in exactly the same situation as last season, 12th on 15 points after 11 matches.

They are also bring a potential United star of the future, Jack Rodwell, recently linked with us for a staggering £20m fee, who will have the chance to show his potential employers what he is capable of. With a cool head and likened to Rio Ferdinand in style, it is easy to see why SAF is interested given the injury problems Rio has.

This season has been a tale of inconsistency for Everton but a run of 7 games without a win was ended with the 3-2 victory over West Ham two weeks ago. An injury ravaged Everton should provide a relatively simple test for us, especially after the injustice at Stamford Bridge. However, recent home results against Birmingham, Manchester City, Sunderland and Bolton do not exactly inspire confidence.

We can’t afford to drop any more points despite proclamations that the five point lead Chelsea hold isn’t ‘insurmountable’. Unbeaten at Old Trafford since 1992 against Everton, United have only lost once in the last 28 meetings between the sides.

Prediction: 3-1 United

Probable Line Up: Van der Sar; Evra, Vidic, Brown, Rafael; Obertan, Scholes, Fletcher, Valencia; Rooney, Berbatov



  1. Redrich

    24 November 2009 at 02:37

    Sigh!! 🙁 🙁 🙁

  2. Redrich

    24 November 2009 at 02:40

    I heard from a very good source that Berbatov was in Madrid over the weekend!! 🙄 🙄

  3. Redrich

    24 November 2009 at 04:13

    @CraigMc: You need to be on the FIFA executive committee, mate!!

  4. Red Ranter

    24 November 2009 at 04:31

    New post up. More like a mini-post on Evans, and suggested reading.

  5. Elliott

    24 November 2009 at 04:54

    Looks like I may need to add an addendum to my stats piece on Fletch Armstrong and count his clutch goal tally!

  6. Redrich

    24 November 2009 at 05:04

    @Elliott: If you ever run out of fingers, let me know I’ll volunteer mine!

  7. Johnsom33

    24 November 2009 at 08:17

    @Jay wire: Hold up, you keep banging on about the CL game at Stamford bridge and how lopsided the posession was. The game I was watching, Chelsea dominated. Drogba had a number of good chances he normally buries. Not to mention the TWO stonewall penalties, the other 2 were also penalties but they were debatable.

    So I don’t care if the posession was 99-1 barca were lucky as hell to tie that game. To say Chelsea “parked the bus” in that game is ludicrous. Me thinks your being slightly biased on your viewpoint of that game.

  8. Grognard

    24 November 2009 at 08:38

    @Jay wire: Sorry mate but considering how detailed and concise I am with my posts, my pet peeve is being asked for proof. I think I have more than shown my knowledge of the game on here for the past two and one half years. So call it arrogance or being conceded or whatever, but that kind of request gets me all worked up and defensive. It makes me feel that you do not believe what I am saying or you don’t trust my memories to be correct. I think I have earned a bit of respect and the benefit of the doubt on matters. 🙂

  9. Grognard

    24 November 2009 at 08:45

    @CraigMc: I have said all those things, I agree. But I still think he is world class and a united legend. No player gets a free pass form me. If they are playing like shit, they will hear it. Rooney for me has not been right since the last game of the regular season last year, the 0-0 draw with Arsenal. He seems slower, his first touch and passing have gotten worse and his finishing at times has been awful. But he is not to blame for not being in the box enough. That marker is on Fergie and his tactics.

    Am I concerned about him? Yes I am. As great as he has been, I am afraid that he is beginning to break down before his time. Why? Because of his lifestyle habits and because Fergie has worked him to death and Rooney has overworked himself to death unnecessarily. None of this takes away what he has done for us or how great a player he is. This could be a phase he is going through and he will return to the old Roonaroo and prove you and a handful of others wrong. Until then, I suggest we all shut our traps and wait and see how things transpire. It’s still very early in the season and there is a lot of football for Rooney to prove either of us right or wrong.

  10. Grognard

    24 November 2009 at 08:48

    @Red Ranter: I saw the smiley’s RR but I still reacted defensively because to be honest, I was not proud of my last few comments. I may not be a proponent and supporter of gay rights, but I am not a gay basher and I came across that way. So I am sorry to everyone for my remarks……….except Iniesta because that little crudball makes my stomach turn with that shemale face of his. 😈 😀

  11. Grognard

    24 November 2009 at 08:49

    @Redrich: 😆 😆 😆 😆 Too funny.

  12. CraigMc

    24 November 2009 at 12:50

    @Redrich: As long as you sign up too Rich I am up for it. We couldn’t do a worse job than the numptees who are drowning in HIGH SALARIES – now could we Rich mi man!

  13. CraigMc

    24 November 2009 at 13:30

    @Grognard: I sincerely hope he does prove me wrong, because that will be very good for my BELOVED Man United, and really the team is more than the one man. Even the great Ronaldo at his best for us, needed the rest of the team to make the man. So come on Rooney prove me wrong mate, and DO IT FOR MAN UNITED, nothing else! I remember when Becks became the BIG THING FOR ENGLAND, and SAF thought his Ambassador thing for them became more important to him than his play and Ambassador-ship for Man United. SAF reeled him in, and not in a nice way I think. It seems to be starting with Rooney’s England ambitions becoming so important to him, and SAF has already started on seeking to bring him down to earth again, mentioning about how the FA have him in front of the all the time, and SAF wants it stopped. Also England playing him for the full game too much, because they need him for TV and other media airing the games. So I have high hopes SAF will sort him, and if this helps United – all well and good. I am a United fan, more than any player fan per se!

  14. Jay wire

    24 November 2009 at 14:39

    @Johnsom33: Yeah.So please tell me how a team with 29% can dominate a game? Barca dominated but Chelsea, as they always do,made better use of the possession. The whole debate was centred on Xavi and Iniesta disappearing in the big games. Chelsea did park the bus and broke on the counter

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