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Friday, 31 March 2017

Manchester United vs West Brom match preview

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As we return from an eventful international break, Manchester United return to Premier League action on Saturday at 3pm to face West Brom at Old Trafford. Hoping to make it 19 games unbeaten and take a step closer to the top 4, Mourinho's men need to start April off with a win and three points. With another busy month of fixtures coming up, it is crucial that we start as we mean to go on. 

Our opponents this weekend are West Brom, who currently sit three places behind us in 8th and are on course for their highest finish in over 30 years. West Brom went into the international break in great spirit after beating Arsenal 3-1 at The Hawthorns. This impressive result is sure to give them a confidence boost coming into this game.

This weekend we might see some different faces play for United. Since Mourinho's arrival it's been clear that he likes to stick with the same players and rotate the squad between them, but with our current injury crisis, it's only a matter of time before he turns to some youngsters. 

Ibrahimovic and Ander Herrera serve domestic bans for United, whist Paul Pogba is still unavailable due to a hamstring injury. This international break was not great for us as Phil Jones and Chris Smalling sustained "long-term injuries", forcing them to return home early from the England squad. Another potential casualty of the international break is Marouane Fellaini who picked up a knock on international duty with Belgium. The midfielder would've been guaranteed to play against West Brom after his good performance against Middlesbrough, where he also managed to get a goal. 

With three of our best central midfielders potentially unavailable, it will be interesting to see who Mourinho turns to. He could resort to Fosu Mensah and allow him to prove his quality. Another issue is the defence. With Mourinho recently having converted to three CBs with wing backs, will he have enough defenders to fill the positions? Alex Tuanzebe is another keen and top quality product of our youth academy who is more than capable of stepping up to the plate. Also, Luke Shaw may return to the starting 11 after spending most of the season on the sidelines. 

In our last three fixtures against The Baggies at Old Trafford, we have lost two and only won one, proving that they are a tough team to break and how easy it is to get hit on the counter attack. Also, another thing we must be cautious of is set pieces. West Brom have scored more goals with defenders than any other team this season, showing just how good they are in the air. With Jones and Smalling out for this crucial fixture, we can only hope that Fellaini will be declared match fit and will be able to combat the height of West Brom. 

Overall, it's fair to say that this game will be a big challenge. West Brom may not have the individual quality of Chelsea or Man City but they are tactically exceptional and are a very well-drilled side. Let's hope Jose and the boys will be able to do enough to snatch the win!

BREAKING NEWS: Manchester United's injury woes worsen as Juan Mata has surgery for a groin injury 

Saturday, 25 March 2017

England vs Lithuania match preview

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England welcome Lithuania to Wembley on Sunday for their 5th game of World Cup Qualifiers. Currently, England top the group, undefeated in the previous 4 outings, accumulating 10 points. The last two times these two met were in the Euro Qualifiers where England won 4-0 at home and 3-0 away. 

Lithuania are currently in third place and trail second by just three points. In their last game, they lost 4-0 away to Slovakia meaning they will be determined more than ever to pick up a positive result here. 

After England's outstanding performance on Wednesday night against Germany where they played a formation with 3 at the back, they are likely to play this formation once again. Although the loss against Germany was upsetting to see, especially after such good play, the performance should give us confidence because after all, we outplayed the current World Cup Champions. 

It is more than likely that Southgate will make a series of changes from Wednesday's game. With Gary Cahill suspended and Chris Smalling injured (yes, another casualty to this international break), Joe Hart is expected to captain England at Wembley. Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling will also be hoping to feature after not making an appearance against Germany. And hopefully we will get a chance to see the beautiful link up between Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard (who has been in exceptional form) again. 

We know for a fact that Lithuania will be resilient in keeping England out, but the question is, how long will they manage to do so? Gary Cahill said after the disappointing result against Germany, that England must be more clinical in front of goal. I'm sure we will manage to create chances against Lithuania, lets just hope we can convert them.

I'll be at the game so the match analysis may be uploaded a little late! Come on ENGLAND!

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Germany vs England

After a brilliant first half and a dominant England performance, Germany managed to snatch the undeserved win through a brilliant strike from their captain of the night, Lukas Podolski.

We were dominant from the beginning, with England constantly on the front foot and causing Germany issues. Southgate implemented a new system with 3 at the back and wing backs. We were unsure of how the team would rise to the challenge. With several Premier League teams switching to the preferred 3 at the back this season, including Spurs and Chelsea, and most recently, Manchester United, the players settled into this new formation brilliantly.

Most of England's chances came in the first half, the first of which fell to Adam Lallana who capitalised on a Germany mistake at the back and drove at the keeper, showing great pace and power. He smashed a low shot towards goal but it bounced back off the far post. The Liverpool player was close to making it 4 goals in 4 games for his country. The other big chance came to Dele Alli who had a 1 on 1 with Ter Stegen but blasted it straight at the Barcelona keeper. A big chance wasted.

The second half was not as good for England as they failed to create as many chances, but the few chances they did create were saved by the keeper or blocked by the German defence. The deadlock was broken by the team that were struggling throughout the game. Lukas Podolski smashed home a stunner from outside the box to mark his 130th and final German appearance with a bang. The night was all about the German international, the ending could not have dreamt of a better way to end his international career.

In the remaining 20 minutes, Southgate decided to make mass changes but it was impossible for the England team to find the goal to bring them level. Once Germany got the goal, they knew exactly how to "shut up shop" and dominate possession, not allowing England to get a touch of the ball, let alone get into the Germany half.

Overall, it is fair to say that the players went out to Germany and done the manager proud on his first official game in charge. Maybe we can be critical of their finishing but their dominant performance against the current World Cup Champions showed brilliant strength and resilience. If we can perform like that in a major competition, I think it's fair to say that there are only bright times ahead for England.

But before we start thinking about the 2018 World Cup, lets turn our attention to Sunday's fixture against Lithuania at Wembley Stadium. Hopefully England can replicate today's performance (but not the scoreline) in Sunday's World Cup Qualifier.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Germany vs England match preview

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Our first fixture of 2017 is probably going to be our hardest of the year as England face Germany in a friendly before Sunday's World Cup Qualifier. Wednesday will mark the official start of the Southgate era, with the manager taking charge for the first time since being given the job on a full time basis. 

With this as the squad which Gareth Southgate chose to represent England in the upcoming international fixtures, there are some new and old faces returning to the national team. 

One of the stand out names is Jermain Defoe, who is set to make his first international appearance in over three years on Wednesday. The 34-year-old has not played for his country since losing 2-0 to Chile in November 2013, but his brilliant form for Sunderland this season has earned him a recall.

In addition, an unexpected name on the list is Luke Shaw. After being left out of the Manchester United first team for most of this season, Southgate has shown his confidence in the youngster and hopes that this call up will give him the morale boost to get his career at United back on track. 

Since the squad was announced, Phil Jones was released from the England squad after suffering an injury in training on Tuesday. In addition, Raheem Sterling has missed training, recovering from Man City's 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Sunday, although he doesn't look to have an injury. Michael Antonio also withdrew from the squad on the weekend due to a hamstring injury. 

Around the same time last year, England managed to beat the Germans in Germany after being 2-0 down with 30 minutes to go. Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy pulled England level and Eric Dier managed to dramatically win it at the death, heading in his first England goal. 

Hopefully the Southgate era can start on a high by beating the 2014 World Cup Champions! COME ON ENGLAND!

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Middlesbrough vs Manchester United

We've finally done it! We are out of 6th place! I still can't believe it! Our weakened team managed to pull together and give it their all against a Middlesbrough team that played well. 

From the beginning we could tell that this game was not going to be easy. Middlesbrough played well throughout the game and had total control of possession. Our only option was counter attack. Luckily we had the right man on the pitch to play this style of football, Marcus Rashford was running rings around the Boro defence with his lightning pace and instinctive movement. With several chances coming his way, somehow Rashford was unable to convert them into goals. A player who was so clinical for us last season was unable to find the finish today. 

The scoring was opened in the 30th minute when Maouane Fellaini headed in a beautiful cross from Ashley Young. Although we didn't have much of the possession in the first half, we were still doing well to get in behind the Boro defence and creating chances. A little more clinical finishing and we could've gone in at half time with a 3-0 lead, but the one goal was all we had in the first half. 

Our second goal was one to remember. On the counter attack, Jesse Lingard ran forward, pinning the Middlesbrough defence back and thumped an unstoppable effort into the top right hand corner of the goal from outside the box. An absolute screamer by Lingard doubled our lead and put us in a strong position for the remaining 30 minutes. 

With Middlesbrough on the front foot for the remainder of the game, Manchester United were left playing 6 at the back trying to sit back and soak up the pressure and see out the remainder of the game. With crosses being whipped in one after the other, it was only a matter of time until we made a mistake at the back. A mis-hit from Smalling allowed Gestede to poke the ball past De Gea from in the 6 yard box. 

Finally, Valencia wrapped up the game with United's third goal after chasing down a back pass to Valdes, who slipped, leaving Valencia to walk the ball into the goal. After a good performance by Valdes today against his old club, this was not what he deserved. 

The stand out player today was Jesse Lingard who managed to find pockets of space everywhere on the pitch. He was also the player to ignite every Manchester United counter attack and his well deserved goal was representative of his performance today! His magical performance today should justify to all of his critics why he is in the England squad for the upcoming internationals. 

Today's win is a historic moment for Manchester United as they become the first team to record 600 Premier League wins, 83 more victories than the league's next most-successful side. 

After a series of tightly packed fixtures, we go into the International break with a chance to refresh ourselves and come back ready for April, which is set to be another tough month with fixtures very close to each other. Lets end the season on a high!

Friday, 17 March 2017

Middlesbrough vs Manchester United match preview

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Following Manchester United's 1-0 win on Thursday against FC Rostov at Old Trafford, Middlesbrough are the next team on United's condensed fixture list. 

An unconvincing performance saw us get through to the Europa League quarter finals by the skin of our teeth. After Monday's draw, it has been confirmed that we will face the Belgian champions Anderlecht in the knockout stage, with the first leg in Belgium. 

Although winning the Europa League would be enough to see us play Champions League football next season, we saw from Liverpool's mistakes last season that it is easier said than done. We cannot afford to let our league results slip. Jose Mourinho has already said that he expects us to lose on Sunday, but hopefully the players can pull through and prove the manager wrong. 

As if the game wasn't tough enough with only a few days to prepare, things are made ten times worse by our limitations in terms of our squad. Ibrahimovic and Ander Herrera are both serving domestic bans for the game and Pogba is going to miss the game due to a hamstring injury sustained in the midweek Europa League fixture. This means that our three arguably most influential players this season are all unavailable. In addition, Anthony Martial, Daley Blind and Wayne Rooney are still doubts for the game due to injuries.

For Middlesbrough the game hasn't come at the best time either, Their manager Aitor Karanka departed the club earlier in the week, leaving interim head coach Steve Agnew in charge. Middlesbrough are currently on a run of 10 Premier League games without a win, a run which has seen then drop into the relegation zone. 

Although this is United's third game of the week, anything apart from a win will be unacceptable. The race for the top 4 is close enough as it is, so with Manchester City and Liverpool facing each other this weekend, we could climb the table - yes, we might finally get out of sixth place! 

With this being our last game of the month due to the upcoming international break, hopefully we can end March with a win and go into the break on a positive note.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Manchester United vs FC Rostov

Manchester United qualify for the quarter finals of the Europa League after beating Rostov 2-1 on aggregate.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic hit the post twice in the first half as Manchester United found it tough to break down the Rostov defence. Not many chances were created during the game, with United having the majority of the possession, but failing to threaten the Russians' well-structured defence. Juan Mata managed to put us ahead in the 70th minute, finishing at the far post from a Zlatan flick. 

Rostov did however provide a threat to United's Europa League ambitions with a few great chances and attempts on goal. Sergio Romero put in a world class performance to save our Champions League hopes for next season. His most vital save came in the 95th minute, pulling off a brilliant stop to deny Noboa's free kick which could've sent the game in to extra time. 

Two major downsides for United were Daley Blind and Paul Pogba having to be withdrawn early due to injuries. Pogba's night ended early due to a suspected hamstring injury, worsening our selection problems going into the business end of the season. 

The main talking points in tomorrow's news outlets will be regarding Jose Mourinho's post match interview. The passionate speech by the boss highlighted that things are going against us at the moment - the likelihood is that he is talking about refereeing decisions, fixture congestion and injuries. The main quote which everyone is going to be talking about is: "Fatigue has a price, the probability is we lose on Sunday". This sounds like a very defeatist attitude from the man that is meant to be leading our club back to the glory days. However, it is hard to ignore the truth in his points - Manchester United have had it the hardest this season in terms of Premier League teams. 

Although we didn't play well today and are showing signs of fatigue (shown by Rojo eating a banana on the field), the main thing is that we have taken one step closer to our main aim of winning the Europa League.

Hopefully, (although Jose doesn't think we will) we can take today's result as a positive and go into Sunday's game against Middlesbrough with the aim of winning 3 points and getting out of 6th place and closing the gap on the top 4. 

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Manchester United vs FC Rostov match preview

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Following on from the 1-1 result in Russia for the first leg, Manchester United face Rostov at home in the second leg of the Europa League last 16. After getting knocked out of the FA Cup on Monday by Chelsea, United will be looking to win the Europa League, which is the only competition remaining that we really have a chance of winning. This isn't just another trophy, but winning this competition would give us automatic qualification into the Champions League next season. With the battle for the top 4 looking extremely tight and competitive, Mourinho will be sure to put all of his strength and power into winning this competition.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is set to return in this game whilst carrying out his three game domestic suspension. This will be a big confidence booster as he has been our key source of goals this season. Marcus Rashford started against Chelsea and did prove to be a handful for their defence, but of course nobody can be as much of a nuisance to defenders than Ibra. 

Unfortunately, Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial are still unavailable due to injury. Despite training on Wednesday, Anthony Martial clearly still isn't fit enough to play against Rostov according to Mourinho. Rooney's injury looks like it could be quite serious with Mourinho saying "it was some kick in the knee area so he can't even come out to the pitch. He stays inside with the medical department". 

A 0-0 draw would be enough to send us through tomorrow but of course we must go out there trying to win it. The pitch in Russia proved almost impossible to play on, but with no excuse at Old Trafford, anything apart from a win will be unacceptable.

With a spot in the quarter finals of the Europa League up for grabs, both teams will try their best to take that step closer to the final. 

Monday, 13 March 2017

Chelsea vs Manchester United

After an early controversial red card given by the referee left Manchester United to play 60 minutes with 10 men, Chelsea come out on top at the end of a game where they were completely dominant. 

The game started with Manchester United on top and looking positive in a game where they were expected to park the bus. We were keeping possession of the ball in the final third of the pitch, however not having any real attempts on goal. At this point, Chelsea did look dangerous but we looked as if we had a good chance of winning the game.

The controversial moment came in the 35th minute when Ander Herrera was shown a second yellow for a trip on Eden Hazard. This was not worthy of a second yellow. The referee was clearly agitated from the earlier foul from Chris Smalling and lost his cool and took out his anger on Herrera. There is no doubt that it was a foul, but an over-exaggeration by the referee left Manchester United with 10 men for the majority of the game.

From that moment on, Chelsea were in total control of the game. Trying their best to defend, Manchester United found it hard to go forward and challenge Chelsea's defence. The inevitable breakthrough came from an unlikely source for Chelsea, with N'Golo Kante firing Chelsea into the lead with a brilliantly hit shot from outside of the box. His two goals this season have both come against United. 

Chelsea dominated thereafter (and should have scored several more) but spurned any chances to add to their lead. Our only chance of the game fell to Marcus Rashford who pounced on an error of judgement from David Luiz and ran through on goal, skillfully taking it past Gary Cahill, but was denied superbly by Courtois. 

A key player to point out would be David De Gea. His world class saves in the first class kept us in the game for as long as possible. Also, in terms of showing the most passion, Marcos Rojo showed today that he has the desire and passion we want in a Manchester United player. Keeping Diego Costa quiet for most of the night, Rojo put all of his heart into every battle and never gave up. 

Overall, us fans cannot be angry with the players or manager after that performance. Before the red card, we were completely in the game. Once again, another good football match has been ruined by pathetic officiating which killed the game. Our players need to keep their chin up as they done us fans proud today!

On Thursday we go again, this time in the Europa League against FC Rostov. Last week's 1-1 draw in Russia left us in a strong position for Thursday's game with the away goal advantage. Although we won't have many days to recover, hopefully we can brush ourselves off and prepare for this game. Lets not forget that we are still challenging for the Europa League, which could win us automatic qualification into the Champions League next season. We are UNITED! Lets not let this one unlucky result get us down. 

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Chelsea vs Manchester United match preview

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With little time to recover after Manchester United's tie against FC Rostov (which ended 1-1) in the Europa League, we face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday in the quarter finals of the FA Cup. After already winning the first two cups up for grabs this season, the Community Shield and EFL Cup, United will be determined more than ever to add to that collection. As the current holders of all 3 domestic trophies, we will be hoping to retain the FA Cup after last year's dramatic winner in the final minutes at Wembley. 

The main worry for us United fans is that Zlatan Ibrahimovic (who has carried United this far through the season) will be beginning his three match domestic ban, starting with Monday's crucial match. His assist gave us the all important away goal in Russia but his elbow on Mings in the game against Bournemouth leaves him unavailable for arguably our toughest game of the season. 

Chelsea, who have had a full week of rest, have a fully fit squad. With Chelsea's next game being Stoke in the Premier League 5 days later, Conte can afford to field his first choice line up. 

Ibrahimovic is suspended for Manchester United and Luke Shaw, who didn't travel to Russia to face Rostov, is expected to start. Eric Bailly, who is currently serving a European suspension could be the man chosen to control Costa.

The most recent news to be reported is that Wayne Rooney (out due to a collision with Phil Jones), Marcus Rashford (illness) and Anthony Martial (injury) will all be unavailable to face Chelsea. This means that we have no striker in the squad travelling to London. As if the game wasn't going to be hard enough as it was!

We are then left with three options. Maybe Ashley Young could be given the go ahead up top again, which would be very unusual. Another option is Fellaini playing as a striker - maybe we can imagine him to be Ibra. Or Mkhitaryan could play up front like he did on Thursday alongside Ibra. 

Mourinho's men will be hoping to show just how far they've come as a team since the agonsising 4-0 defeat at the Bridge earlier in the season where Mourinho faced his old club as United boss for the first time. Since that game, we have lost just two matches in 30 games in all competitions (although accumulating a lot of draws along the way). Although our results haven't been too bad, our performances have been below the standard required of a top 4 team in the Premier League. With Chelsea consistently playing at their best all season, United will have to play at their absolute best to stand any chance of getting a result on Monday. 

Although this is guaranteed to be a tough game, we must not forget that we are Manchester United! We are used to winning cups, competitions and trophies and we CAN beat Chelsea. Lets just hope for a brilliant performance that will be enough to take us to Wembley!

Thursday, 9 March 2017

FC Rostov vs Manchester United

After a poor match to watch, Manchester United leave Russia with a draw and an away goal, and hope that they can win the tie back at Old Trafford.

Starting the game with a 3-5-2 formation, Manchester United started the game reasonably well on a tricky pitch. Manchester United broke the deadlock 35 minutes in when Phil Jones played a beautiful ball over the top to Fellaini, who (like he does best) took the ball down with his chest and played it through to Zlatan Ibrahimovic. A beautiful bit of quick footwork in a tight area ended with a pass to Mkhitaryan who could slot home to give United the lead. 

The second half was again made difficult for both teams with the utterly shambolic state of the pitch. In the 53rd minute, Rostov equalised with Bukharov controlling Kalachev's lofted ball into the area and volleyed past Romero, who didn't stand a chance. Fingers can arguably be pointed at Phil Jones who should have probably tracked his runner, but the control and finish from the striker was perfect.

This equaliser gave both teams the incentive to push forward in search for a goal. On top of the poor pitch, there was no flow or rhythm in the game due to fouls given by the referee constantly. We found it hard to create any real chances and seemed content with keeping the score level, with the aim of stealing the tie at Old Trafford. 

After the first half, we probably should have tried harder in the search for a second because it was there for the taking. But we were unable to create chances and 1-1 was a fair result. Without a doubt, we under-performed today and in the second leg, we must play better at Old Trafford to reach the quarter finals. 

Overall, this was not a bad result. We managed to grab a crucial away goal and we will certainly have an advantage in the second leg in front of our home fans, and on a playable pitch. Before we look to that game, we need to turn our attention to Monday's fixture which sees us face Chelsea in the quarter finals of the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge. After the embarrassing 4-0 defeat there earlier in the season, Mourinho and his men will be determined more than ever to beat Jose's old club and secure a place in the semi finals at Wembley Stadium. However, we are going to need to turn our performances around from the last few games as we will be facing a strong Chelsea team in amazing form. Hopefully we can play at our best and take a step closer to winning our second piece of silverware so far this season!

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

FC Rostov vs Manchester United Match Preview

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Manchester United face FC Rostov in the last 16 of the Europa League with the first leg taking place on Thursday in Russia.

This will by no means be an easy game, the talk in the last 24 hours has been surrounding the poor state of the pitch. The boss expressed his concern by saying "I know that we have to, but it is hard for me to believe we are going to play on that field - if you can call it a field.". However, UEFA is insistent that the game will be played. 

In terms of form, both teams look to be getting good results with Manchester United losing just once in their last 27 matches in all competitions, and Rostov once in their last 12. In the round of 32, Rostov won 5-1 on aggregate against Sparta Prague, whilst Manchester United saw off Saint Etienne 4-0 on aggregate. 

Jose Mourinho confirmed in his interview that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be starting the game (presumably because of his three game domestic ban), but the rest of the team is yet to be chosen depending on the state of the pitch. 

After a poor overall performance and result on the weekend against Bournemouth, we will be looking to bounce back with a victory in Russia to give us an advantage back at Old Trafford. This fixture will be extremely demanding on our players, flying halfway across the country, and then the big FA Cup tie against Chelsea on Monday, followed by a trip to Old Trafford to face Rostov again.

From our constant failure to capitalise on our top 4 rivals dropping points, it seems that the best option for us to play in the Champions League next season would be from winning the Europa League as 4th place doesn't seem to be getting any closer.

Lets hope we can take one step closer to reaching the quarter finals by putting in a good performance and hopefully leaving Russia with the advantage over FC Rostov. #GGMU

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Manchester United vs Bournemouth

Ignoring the three potential red cards, stamp on the head and a missed penalty, this was a game of missed chances.
Within the first 25 minutes the score should have been at least 3-0 to Manchester United. After the Cup Final where Manchester United took every single one of their chances which won them the cup, today proved to be the opposite. Marcos Rojo opened the scoring in the 23rd minute to score his first Premier League goal after directing Valencia's shot into the back of the net. A reckless challenge by Phil Jones on Pugh saw Joshua King pull Bournemouth level in the 40th minute. 
The main talking point of the game came at the end of the first half when Tyrone Mings stamped on Zlatan Ibrahimovic's head and the Swede responded shortly afterwards by elbowing the defender in the head during a corner. Neither player was punished, but instead Andrew Surman was given a second yellow for a push on Ibrahimovic after the corner incident. Bournemouth went in for half time with only 10 men on the pitch.
An inevitable defensive set up by Bournemouth in the second half meant it was going to be tough to break through the 10 men behind the ball. However, our chance to win the game came through the chance of a penalty and yes, once again, we failed to take the chance as Artur Boruc denied Ibrahimovic who had a disastrous performance today. 

In the end, United could not find a winner and were held to their 7th draw at home in the Premier League this season. However, it is fair to say that Luke Shaw had a brilliant game on his return to the starting line up and hopefully this will be a turning point in his season. 

Today's performance against 10 men Bournemouth showed exactly why we do not have what it takes to challenge for the title. To make matters worse, when a win could have potentially seen us climb into the top 4 of the Premier League, we failed to capitalise on the inevitability of at least one of our rivals in the top 6 dropping points as Liverpool host Arsenal later today. 

After our win in the EFL Cup Final last week when we finally showed that we could win a game by taking our chances, even though we only created a few, today it looks like we are going back to our old ways of missed opportunities. There is not much more to say, our poor finishing cost us today and the result feels like a loss. 

Our next game sees us travel to Russia to face FC Rostov in the Europa League last 16, just before we take a trip to London next weekend to face Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter finals. There is no doubt that if we play like we did today, we will be knocked out of these two competitions within a week. We need to dust ourselves off and try again on Thursday but make sure we are not wasteful with our chances. 

Friday, 3 March 2017

Manchester United vs Bournemouth Preview

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Hoping to further our longest unbeaten record on Saturday, Manchester United host Bournemouth at midday. We are currently unbeaten in the last 16 games in the Premier League and making it 17 will not be easy. 

Last weekend's 3-2 victory at Wembley against Southampton in the EFL Cup final showed that sometimes it is important to have the luck on your side, but at some point that luck will run out. Hopefully the morale boost from winning the first piece of silverware on offer this season will encourage us to play at our best and climb up the Premier League table to secure Champions League football next season. 

After Liverpool's loss to Leicester City on Monday night and the crucial Saturday evening fixture where Liverpool host Arsenal in the battle for top 4, we must capitalise on our rivals dropping points. 

Bournemouth come into the game taking only two points from their seven games in the Premier League in 2017, putting them closer to the relegation zone. This means that they are going to be fighting for their Premier League survival and it will be a tough game for Mourinho's men. 

Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Henrikh Mkhitaryan is still unavailable after suffering a hamstring injury against St Etienne in the Europa League. Also, Phil Jones is back available for selection and Mourinho has confirmed that Wayne Rooney and Luke Shaw will be in the squad for the game. 

With a tough, intense set of fixtures coming up this month, Manchester United will be hoping to kick start March with a good performance and a win against Bournemouth.