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Showing posts from 2019

Manchester United vs Everton Preview

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Manchester United return to Premier League action on Sunday as they host Everton in a race to claim top four after Chelsea and Leicester dropping points. The last time Man United faced Everton, it ended in tears for United and their fans as we were thrashed 4-0 at the Goodison Park but United are unbeaten in six home games against Everton winning five of them. Here's all you need to know:
Teams: Manchester United vs Everton Date: Sunday 15th December
Venue: Old Trafford
Time: 14:00 GMT
Managers: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Duncan Ferguson
Referee Micheal Oliver

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be careful to not have a repeat of last season. But nevertheless, the players need to give it their best, most especially after having 3 convincing wins on the bounce against Spurs, City and Alkmaar. Attacking play will have to be clinical with Everton likely to sit back and counter with their pacy wingers and strikers. Everton sacked Marco Silva and has since been replaced by Duncan Ferguson. He will be s…

Manchester United vs AZ Alkmaar Analysis and Player Ratings

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As we enter the festive season and busy December period, the schedule for Manchester United in the coming weeks is pretty intense. In fact, the Red Devils will be playing no less than five further matches before the start of New Year. Bearing this in mind, squad rotation is critical in order to keep the players fresh and ready to tackle the heavy fixture schedule. Solskjaer has realised he needs to rotate his squad as he made 9 changes to the team who beat fierce local rivals Manchester City 2-1 on  Saturday in their critical Premier League derby. Only Harry Maguire and Anthony Martial were picked to play in the must-not-lose game against AZ Alkmaar at Old Trafford. The winners of this match would determine who would finish first place in the Europa League Group L Pool although United only needed to draw to top the group. The winner of the pool would definitely have an advantage in the draw for the next phase of the competition. 

Solskjaer team reflected a balance of both youth and ex…

Manchester United vs AZ Alkmaar Preview

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On the back of two magnificent performances last week against Jose's Spurs and Pep's City, United aim to maintain this win streak in their final Europa League group stage game against AZ Alkmaar. If Manchester United win or draw, they will qualify top of the group over the Dutch side but a defeat could see them face any of the Champions League dropouts such as Inter, Ajax or Benfica.

Team News:
Jesse Lingard will miss the game after picking up a knock in the Manchester Derby but should be fit to face Everton on the weekend. Paul Pogba is back in training alongside Rojo, Dalot, Bailly and Fosu-Mensah but none of them are in contention to start. Nemanja Matic is in the training squad along with youngsters, Laid, Williams, Garner, Gomes, Chong and of course, Mason Greenwood and all could feature but it is likely that, while some changes will be made, United will field a strong squad.

Interesting Facts:

Mason Greenwood has two goals and one assist in the Europa League which makes up…

Premier League Grades: Matchday 16

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After shocks and surprises midweek, Duncan Ferguson took charge of his first Everton match against Chelsea, Ljungberg aimed for his first win of his Arsenal management in a London Derby, relegation battles and the Manchester Derby could determine City's title defence. Here are the results:

Everton vs Chelsea 3-1
Bournemouth vs Liverpool 0-3
Tottenham vs Burnley 3-0
Watford vs Crystal Palace 0-0
Manchester City vs Manchester United 1-2
Aston Villa vs Leicester City 1-4
Newcastle vs Southampton 2-1
Norwich vs Sheffield United 1-2
Brighton vs Wolves 2-2
West Ham vs Arsenal 1-3

Here are the grades:

EVERTON 9/10
Magnificent performance from Everton. After being hammered by Liverpool they have come back swinging and performed excellently against the Blues. Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin played very well together and seem to have been influenced by their interim manager. Old Trafford next and they could pose an upset if they play as well as they did against Chelsea.

CHELSEA 3/10
Yes, Kepa made a mis…

Manchester City vs Manchester United Match Analysis and Player Ratings

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This has been quite a week for Manchester United as fans and players alike have experienced the full gambit of emotions starting with despair at a lack luster draw 2-2 at Old Trafford against newly promoted Aston Villa last Sunday. To the jubilant heights of beating the current Premier League Champions at the Etihad on Saturday 07 December. Having painted Manchester Red and grabbing the bragging rights over the old enemy in the 179th meeting between the biggest clubs dividing the city of Manchester. In between the two fixtures one needs to also commend the Red Devils and their manager for beating a high flying Spurs team midweek with a home victory 2-1. Spurs had begun to turn their season and fortune around with impressive wins under new manager Mourinho.The Humble One was surely looking to remind the Old Trafford faithful of his ability to inspire an in form Spurs team to yet another victory at his former club. Having being perilously close to the wrong end of the table, Solskjaer a…

Manchester City vs Manchester United Preview and Combined XI

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It's all eyes on the Etihad this weekend as the 179th Manchester Derby kicks off at 17:30 on Saturday. Both teams are desperate for three points for different reasons, with City attempting to keep alive their slim hopes of hanging on to Liverpool's coat-tails while United will be trying to leap-frog Wolves before they play Brighton on Sunday. City will be without their talismanic striker Sergio Aguero, although Gabriel Jesus showed against Burnley on Tuesday that he's a more than capable replacement, while United's main absentee once again is Paul Pogba who is rumoured to be out until the Everton game on the 15th.

The win against Spurs in midweek appears to have taken the pressure off Solskjær, whose position had become the subject of much speculation in the wake of Pochettino's return to labour market availability. Ed Woodward supposedly canvassed the opinion of the players recently, with the unanimous verdict being that the squad are happy with the manager and t…

Premier League Grades: Matchdays 14 and 15

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As there have been two sets of games this week I have put the grades for both matchdays in the same article with each team getting two ratings with an overall total. This set of results included crucial wins at both the top and bottom of the table with Ljunberg's Arsenal faltering, managerless Everton sinking into the relegation zone, Leicester continuing their hot run of form and much more. Here are the results from these matchdays:

Matchday 14:
Newcastle vs Manchester City 2-2
Liverpool vs Brighton 2-1
Burnley vs Crystal Palace 0-2
Chelsea vs West Ham 0-1
Tottenham vs Bournemouth 3-2
Southampton vs Watford 2-1
Norwich vs Arsenal 2-2
Wolves vs Sheffield United 1-1
Leicester City vs Everton 2-1
Manchester United vs Aston Villa 2-2

Matchday 15:
Crystal Palace vs Bournemouth 1-0
Burnley vs Manchester City 1-4
Chelsea vs Aston Villa 2-1
Leicester City vs Watford 2-0
Southampton vs Norwich 2-1
Wolves vs West Ham 2-0
Manchester United vs Tottenham 2-1
Liverpool vs Everton 5-2
Sheffield United vs Newcastle…

Manchester United vs. Spurs Match Analysis and Player Ratings

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Marcus Rashford has really been stepping up to the task every time Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has needed him to this season, and he has done it once again on Wednesday under the Old Trafford lights — leading Manchester United to a 2-1 victory over Jose Mourinho's Tottenham Hotspur.

The tensions building up to this game have been rising for weeks, ever since United's former boss replaced Mauricio Pochettino in the Spurs hot seat at the end of last month. All football fans circled Dec. 4 as the date to watch out for, as "The Special One" was going to make his first managerial appearance at the Theater of Dreams following his sacking almost a year ago.

The team talk really wrote itself for Solskjaer ahead of this one. A squad of players who were mostly deemed not good enough by the former gaffer had to be up for this one, ready to prove a point. And they were.

United came storming out of the gates following another rough patch in terms of results this season. Consecutive dra…

Manchester United vs Spurs Preview and combined XI

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On Wednesday 4th of December Manchester United face a huge test as Spurs come to visit Old Trafford. The game isn't only significant because of the two teams but also because of the two managers. Mourinho comes back to face United for the first time since he was sacked and Solskjaer will face the man he replaced in the Old Trafford dugout.

The season has been a disappointing one for both clubs this season, as both have made pretty poor starts to the season. Coming into this game, Spurs sit in 5th and United in 9th, both would have expected to be doing much better by the stage of the season. In their last 5 games in all competitions United have won 2, draw 2 and lost 1 while Spurs have won 4 of their lost 5 and all 3 games since Mourinho took charge. This form suggests that this will be a difficult test of Solskjaer and his men to overcome, however with how inconstant United have been throughout the season, anything is possible.

In terms of players, both sets of Spurs and United p…

Manchester Unted vs Aston Villa Analysis and Player Ratings

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The match between Manchester United and Aston Villa ended in a frustrating 2-2 draw for the Red Devils.  The display from the team was extremely lacklustre and  uninspired and looking at the next two opponents, Spurs on Wednesday evening at Old Trafford and arch-rivals Man City at the Etihad, one has to wonder whether Solskjaer could possibly be the next manager to be sacked. The fact that Manchester United are currently lying in ninth place and 22 points adrift of nemesis Liverpool, is something Manchester United fans are struggling to come to terms with as the team has failed to deliver any regular positive performances this season.
The game itself was a must win for the Red Devils as they lie 6 points off relegation and the overall display from the team was disappointing and in fact to be honest the fact that United were level at half time they could consider themselves to be fortunate. The visitors having scored an early first half goal in the 11th minute by Jack Grealish punishing…

Manchester United vs Aston Villa Preview

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Manchester United face Aston Villa for the first time since they relegated the midlands side in 2016 from a Marcus Rashford strike in his early days at United. Since then Villa took a while to resurge but look a totally different side to the one that sank so low in the 2015/16 season and will hope to exorcise some demons at Old Trafford, here's all you need to know:

Teams: Manchester United vs Aston Villa
Date: 01/12/2019
KO: 16:30pm GMT
Location: Old Trafford
Managers: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Dean Smith
Referee: Craig Pawson

Team News:
Scott McTominay could return after injuring himself against Brighton before the international break and with Nemanja Matic back in training and Luke Shaw and Axel Tuanzebe returning against Astana, the squad has more experience back again. Paul Pogba is back in training but unlikely to play a role but may feature against Spurs and/or Manchester City but is not ready to play against Villa. As for Villa, Bjorn Engels is back and ready to start but with Mi…

Astana vs Manchester United Match Analysis and Player Ratings

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When you're 20 points off the pace in the Premier League and have already secured qualification to the knockout stages of the Europa League, it makes perfect sense to leave your best players at home wrapped in cotton wool and send a squad of kids 3,000 miles to see out a dead rubber against the worst team in the group, right? In theory it's the most appropriate course of action, in fact Sir Alex Ferguson did the same thing on numerous occasions over the years, however, he always kept one or two of the big guns on the bench as insurance. United's bench against Astana had a combined 0 (zero) first team appearances, which is only marginally less than the number of razors they collectively possess (although I suspect they own gallons of designer aftershave).

Playing the kids in a match like this can be invaluable, as games in which the manager can properly experiment and give much needed experience to promising youngsters are few and far between. The only downside is that if …

Astana vs. Manchester United Preview

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The busiest month in English football is nearly upon us, and Manchester United are looking to be proactive in preparation for the nine games that they will have to play in December with a very youthful squad set to take on Astana on Thursday night.

After arguably one of the worst showings of the season on Sunday, United put in perhaps the best 10 minutes of the campaign in the spirited come back at Sheffield United. The Reds were down 0-2 and almost out before United's academy products in Brandon Williams, Mason Greenwood, and Marcus Rashford scored three goals in quick succession to drag Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side out of the dumps.

The game eventually ended in a disappointing 3-3, but most of the players that took part in that game have earned their rest ahead of the hectic month that's ahead, starting with Aston Villa on Sunday. The manager has left almost all of his big names in Manchester while bringing 14 teenagers out to Kazakhstan with him for United's penulti…

Premier League Grades: Matchday 13

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Some great games of football last weekend; Jose's first game for Spurs, Sheffield United's 13 year reunion with the Red Devils, Liverpool's bogey team and Emery's last chance? Here are the results:

West Ham vs Tottenham 2-3
Crystal Palace vs Liverpool 1-2
Arsenal vs Southampton 2-2
Everton vs Norwich 0-2
Watford vs Burnley 0-3
Bournemouth vs Wolves 1-2
Brighton vs Leicester 0-2
Manchester City vs Chelsea 2-1
Sheffield United vs Manchester United 3-3
Aston Villa vs Newcastle 2-0

Here are the grades:
WEST HAM 6.5/10
Reliant on Rice and Noble to get things going but failed to make any chances they had count. Defensively all over the place and their goalkeeper is awful. Might have wanted to keep Joe Hart and Adrian now. Did alright to get back into the game with Antonio leading the charge but to no avail.

TOTTENHAM 8/10
They got back to firing on all cylinders which is the most important thing. A few things to iron out but overall a decent debut performance.

CRYSTAL PALACE 7/10
Unluck…