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West Ham vs Manchester United Preview

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Image courtesy of picksoccer.com


Manchester United travel to West Ham United to play at the London Stadium on Sunday the 22nd of September 2019.   Manchester United have scored more Premier League goals against West Ham than any other side has in the competition (94)  and have lost only twice in their last 21 Premier League meetings with them, winning 14 and drawing 5.  This may prove to be a  tricky away encounter for the Red Devils as manager Ole Gunner Solskjaer will have to look to the strength and depth of his squad to deliver a much needed victory and build on the momentum of the past week with 1-0  victories over Leicester City and FC Astana. Solskjaer has advised Pogba, Martial and Shaw will not be available for Sundays game against West Ham. In form playmaker James is another  who is doubtful for Sunday's match after picking up a knock against Leicester City. Solskjaer is "hoping" James can recover and a final decision will be made on Saturday.   

The team select…

Manchester United vs Astana Player Ratings

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After a momentum-building 1-0 win over Leicester City and the other members of the squad experimented with on Thursday, Manchester United found themselves 1-0 winners again after Mason Greenwood's first competitive senior goal won the game for United with brave Astana holding on for as long as possible. Here are the ratings for the United players:
Sergio Romero - 7/10 Solid performance for the Argentine as he gained yet another clean sheet to add to his already impressive stats. Rarely involved but when needed, he was composed and calculated. 
Diogo Dalot - 6.5/10 Caught out a few times in defence but he made up for it with lung-busting attacking runs and some decent balls into the box. You can assume some of the issues he had were just from rustiness and getting fitter after a long-term injury. He should play against Rochdale and improve his form then.
Axel Tuanzebe - 8/10 Composed, strong and brave defending from the youngster. Looks like the year at Villa has done him some good a…

Manchester United vs. Astana Match Analysis

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Chapter one of Manchester United putting trust in the youth has officially began on Thursday, as the Reds collected all three points in their Europa League opener in a 1-0 win over Astana at Old Trafford.

Five players, 21 or younger, who have come up through the ranks at United lined up in the tunnel to start the game against the largely unknown Kazakh opposition — and for the most part, they came up with the goods.

Axel Tuanzebe started at centre back, while the front four consisted of Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Angel Gomes, and Tahith Chong. There have been cries for all of the above (other than regular starter Rashford) to be given more game time amidst United's shaky start to the season, and they have been heard. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been promising that once the European and domestic cups come into play, so will the young guns, and he delivered.

With that young, exciting side, United went into the game with a lot of hype built up among the faithful on social media …

Manchester United v FC Astana Preview

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Photo Credit: Amazing.Bet
Manchester United get their Europa League campaign up and running this week with a home tie against the Kazakhstan Premier League champions. As this is the first time the two teams have ever met I’d usually give a brief overview of the away team’s history, but unfortunately they have none, having only been in existence since 2009. Essentially, FC Astana are a state sponsored vanity project set up to raise the international profile of Kazakhstan and its capital city, Nur Sultan. Being by far the wealthiest club in their league Astana have hoovered up the best domestic talent and also managed to attract a number of international journeymen, with the six-foot five striker Rangelo Janga being one to keep an eye on.

After a mixed start to the season, during which the summer recruits have bedded in nicely, United will be going into this game filled with confidence after overcoming a rejuvenated Leicester side in a hard-fought victory at the weekend. Another huge bo…

The effects of playing Europa League football on domestic performance

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Image Credit: standard.co.uk
The Europa League. The annual competition that highlights our underachievement from the previous season. Quite simply, if we are playing Europa League football, we did not meet our targets. However, now that we find ourselves in this situation, we need to utilise the opportunity to secure Champions League football as we did in 2016/17 under Jose Mourinho. With the Premier League top 4 race looking as competitive as ever this season, with the usual 6 battling it out for the Champions League spots and the likes of Leicester City adding another name in the mixer, it would be naive to undermine how important this competition could be for us this season. The problem however is always finding a balance between efforts in the Europa League and Premier League. Reaching the Europa League final adds an extra 15 matches into the diary and if mismanaged this can result in high levels of player fatigue and increase the likelihood of injuries resulting in reduced perfo…

Premier League Grades: Matchday 5

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We once again take a look at this week's Premier League action and rank the performances of each team.
Here are the results of the week: Liverpool vs Newcastle United 3-1 Manchester United vs Leicester City 1-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Chelsea 5-2 Tottenham Hotspur vs Crystal Palace 4-0 Brighton and Hove Albion vs Burnley 1-1 Sheffield United vs Southampton 0-1 Norwich vs Manchester City 3-2 Bournemouth vs Everton 3-1 Watford vs Arsenal 2-2 Aston Villa vs West Ham United 0-0
LIVERPOOL 8/10 Liverpool played very well to come back from 1-0 down and Mane was once again outstanding. I still think that Liverpool could struggle if Firmino gets injured for a long period of time as he proved the difference when he came on for the injured Origi. 
NEWCASTLE 6/10 Credit to Newcastle they did well to get ahead and created enough first half chances to get further ahead and what a strike from Willems to break the deadlock. Dubravka should have done better with Mane's second goal but was unable to do…

Manchester United vs Leicester City: Player Ratings

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Man Utd beat Leicester 1-0 in the Premier League fixture at Old Trafford thanks to a Marcus Rashford penalty early on. The Red Devils looked competent and composed throughout the game and while Leicester had the majority of the ball, they barely threatened. Here are the ratings for this game:
David de Gea: 7 Made some super saves like the De Gea he truly is. Glad to see him back.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: 7 Fresh from a back injury, he kept James Maddison and Ben Chilwell quiet.
Victor Lindelof: 7 Almost made an error with James Maddison but was solid at the defence together with Harry.
Harry Maguire: 8 Defended well and kept Jamie Vady quiet. Behemoth winning all but one of his aerial duels.
Ashley Young: 7 Played decent for a 34 year old. Kept the blue side on his flank quiet and played a few good long balls to Dan James. Decent at set-pieces too.
Scott McTominay: 7 It's a pleasure to have a player with such passion play for us. Covered up for Paul Pogba pretty well.
Nemanja Matic: 5 You ne…