Showing posts from December, 2019

Arsenal vs Manchester United Preview and Combined XI

Manchester United will begin 2020 with a massive clash at the Emirates against a bitter rival in similar circumstances to the Red Devils in recent seasons. Here's all you need to know:

Teams: Arsenal vs Manchester United
Date: 01/01/2020
Time: 20:00 GMT 
Managers: Mikel Arteta and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Location: Emirates Stadium
Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Team News:
Arsenal are likely to be without Granit Xhaka who remains ill and Calum Chambers, Rob Holding, Kieran Tierney, Sead Kolasinac and Sokratis remain out. Dani Ceballos could return alongside Gabriel Martinelli and Hector Bellerin.
For Manchester United, Paul Pogba is likely to return after being rested against Burnley with Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw also likely to return to the starting lineup despite excellent performances from Williams and Young at Turf Moor. McTominay is set to be out for eight weeks and will be a massive loss and while Diogo Dalot, Axel Tuanzebe, Tim Fosu-Mensah, Marcos Rojo and Eric Bailly are back in tra…

Burnley vs Manchester United Analysis and Player Ratings

Manchester United were looking to end off the Festive period and 2019 in grand style with back to back wins in the Premier League. Manchester United are unbeaten in their last 10 Premier League games against Burnley (W6, D4), their only loss coming in their first meeting in August 2009.The Red Devils navigated through a tough test at Turf Moor to take all three points against Burnley and win a hard-fought encounter 2-0. This allowed Man Utd to close the gap on fourth placed Chelsea to just one point and put more pressure on the Londoners whose own campaign has seemed to falter in recent matches.  Solskjaer made four changes to the side that beat Newcastle on Boxing Day most notable absentee was the French talisman Paul Pogba who is being rested as he continues to get back to full match fitness. The most satisfying statistic was the first clean sheet kept in 14 games.

The Red Devils looked comfortable in the first half with Marcus Rashford’s shot hitting the outside of the post with a g…

Premier League Grades: Matchdays 18 and 19

Once again, due to midweek matches over the Christmas period, we will do a double grading article, here are the results:

Matchday 18:
Everton vs Arsenal 0-0
Newcastle vs Crystal Palace 1-0
Aston Villa vs Southampton 1-3
Norwich vs Wolves 1-2
Brighton vs Sheffield United 0-1
Bournemouth vs Burnley 0-1
Manchester City vs Leicester City 3-1
Watford vs Manchester United 2-0
Tottenham vs Chelsea 0-2

Matchday 19:
Tottenham vs Brighton 2-1
Bournemouth vs Arsenal 1-1
Sheffield United vs Watford 1-1
Chelsea vs Southampton 0-2
Aston Villa vs Norwich 1-0
Crystal Palace vs West Ham 2-1
Everton vs Burnley 1-0
Manchester United vs Newcastle 4-1
Leicester City vs Liverpool 0-4
Wolves vs Manchester City 3-2

Magnificent performance from Liverpool against second place Leicester. Showed their class and it is a 13 point gap with a game in hand for Klopp's side. Only a disasterclass in 2020 could sink their title bid now.

LEICESTER CITY 3/10 and 2/10 = 5/20
A brace of poor performances against City and Live…

Burnley vs. Manchester United Preview

The games are coming thick and fast for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his young Manchester United side as the festive period of fixtures ramps up. The Reds are half way into a stretch of four games in the space of ten days, and the always tricky Burnley side await next at Turf Moor on Saturday.

United have seemingly entered another slippery patch in the Premier League as of late following the two outstanding victories over Tottenham and Manchester City earlier this month. The Reds dropped five points in their last two fixtures with a loss to bottom of the league Watford and a stalemate draw against Everton.

It was massive for the Reds to respond on Boxing Day against Newcastle in front of home fans in the last game of the decade at Old Trafford. Solskjaer's men really can't afford to drop any more points in the chase for top four, and with some of the direct opposition having dropped some points this week again, United finally pounced on the opportunity to move back into contentio…

Manchester United vs Newcastle United Match Analysis and Player Ratings

Manchester United have beaten Newcastle United 4-1 at Old Trafford with goals coming from Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford. After an embarrassing performance against Watford a few days ago, United have bounced back with a strong commanding win on Boxing Day. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lined the team up in a 4-2-3-1 with the usual backline of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, and Luke Shaw playing in front of David De Gea. In midfield, Fred and McTominay played in a double pivot with Paul Pogba only fit enough to start on the bench. Marcus Rashford, Andreas Pereira, and Mason Greenwood started in attacking midfield and Anthony Martial spearheaded our frontline. 
It felt like it was going to be another one of those days after United went 1-0 down to Matty Longstaff who scored the winning goal against us in the reverse fixture as well. Despite dominating possession and mostly playing in Newcastle's half, we somehow found ourselves trailing after the first …

Manchester United vs Newcastle United Preview


Wishing all fans a very Happy and Merry Festive Season, may you and your families have a fantastic 2020. We are all hoping that Manchester United can recover from an extremely disappointing display against bottom of the league table Watford on Sunday and give us all a performance we can celebrate as we near the end of a disappointing 2019. The lacklustre performance against Watford is not even worth discussing, just one positive really was the long-awaited return of Paul Pogba from his 3 month recovery from injury. Boxing Day brings an old foe to Old Trafford and Newcastle United under Steve Bruce management have demonstrated that they will be formidable opposition and in no mood to be charitable when the teams meet on the 26th of December at Old Trafford. The Red Devils have an impressive home record in the Premier league against the Magpies at Old Trafford having won 43 matches, drawn 21 and lost 8 at the Theatre of Dreams. Solskjaer should not have to fire up his team to get the …

Watford v Manchester United Match Analysis and Player Ratings

Photo Credit: The Premier League
So, where do we start with this one?

To say this game was a kick in the teeth would be an understatement. After a decent run of results we had all hoped that the Everton performance was an aberration from which United would bounce back, stronger and more determined. All of that hope evaporated on a cold afternoon in Watford, officially the worst team in the Premier League, who before the match had just nine points from 17 games, a goal difference of -23 and a revolving door of barely adequate managers.

Given the lack of creativity on display the previous week it was brave of Solskjær to stick with the same starting eleven, particularly in light of of Mason Greenwood's recent performances. The teenage striker must be wondering what he has to do to get a start in the Premier League. Pogba was notably deemed fit enough for the bench having only played once since August because of an ankle injury (amongst other things). Unfortunately for the gaffer his…

Watford vs Manchester United Preview

Manchester United must take the momentum of their Carabao Cup Quarter-Final win into their next Premier League match at Vicarage Road against bottom side Watford. Here's all you need to know:

Teams: Watford vs Manchester United
Date: Sunday 22nd of December 2019
KO Time: 14:00 GMT
Location: Vicarage Road
Managers: Nigel Pearson and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Referee: Lee Mason

Watford are winless in five and have failed to score in the last three games and have only won once this season. While they performed better against Crystal Palace and Liverpool, they remain toothless and unable to take their chances.
Last Five: LLLDL
Manchester United are unbeaten in six games, scoring 14 goals while beating Manchester City, Tottenham and qualifying for both the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup and the Round of 32 of the Europa League.
Last Five: WWWDW

Team News:
Watford should have Adam Masina and Roberto Pereyra back for the clash. Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley, Daryl Janmaat and Sebastian Prodl rema…

Solskjær's Left-Back Headache

Phto Credit: The Telegraph
Manchester United currently have three left-backs in the first team squad, which on the surface appears to be more than enough. With a full squad overhaul in progress and a transfer window looming you would be forgiven for thinking that the gaffer's targets are more likely to ply their trade in other areas of the field, however, if you take a closer look at the current options it becomes clear that if a top class alternative is available he should definitely be considered.

Luke Shaw

On his day Luke Shaw is a fine left-back. He covers every blade of grass, runs his socks off, can tackle, cross the ball and pops up with the odd goal. The ideal first choice candidate, right? Well, he would be if it wasn't for his fitness issues. Since suffering a horrendous broken leg in a Champions League tie against PSV Eindhoven in 2015 Shaw has struggled with a series of injuries and what appears to be a genetic predisposition for weight gain. Each time he recovers f…

Premier League Grades: Matchday 17

Ten important Premier League matches for the race for top four and the fight for survival in the relegation mire. Here are the results:

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

Here are the grades:
It took a long time for Liverpool to get their goals but they managed to get the result against low blocks. Salah got his goals which he has struggled to consistently convert all season so far. A big win ahead of their Club World Cup matches.

Unlucky to be honest but they could not stop Liverpool's red tide. They created enough chances to win the game but failed to take their chances. United next and they'll fancy their chances against the Premier League's Robin Hood.

Poor. Was not clinical enough in front…

Manchester United vs Colchester United Analysis and Player Ratings

Manchester United progressed to the Semi Finals of the Carabao Cup last night 18th of December 2019 at Old Trafford with a comfortable 3-0 victory over their less fancied opponents Colchester United who are currently in League Two. Colchester had already proven to be giant killers and had defeated both Premiership teams Spurs and Crystal Palace in previous ties in the competition on penalties to advance to this Quarterfinal tie. Perhaps the side that Solskjaer decided to start against the minnows indicated the respect shown to Colchester as the Red Devils had 7 changes to the team from Sunday who played against Everton in a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford. With the fixture schedule being congested over the next few weeks a strong Manchester United team was picked that included the likes of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata to get the result required to ensure that the Red Devils progressed to the Semi Finals for the first time since 2017. Young guns …

Manchester United vs Colchester United Preview

On Wednesday 18th of December Manchester United play Colchester United in the quarter finals of the Carabao Cup, this is the first time the two teams have faced each other since 1983 and will be Colchester's first ever game at Old Trafford. Manchester United are heavy favourites for this game, as they take on a Colchester side who sit 9th in League Two. United come into the game in good form as they are undefeated in their last 5, winning 3 and drawing 2. Furthermore, there will be heavy rotation by United during this game which gives a chance for the youth to impress and prove if they have what it takes to be a future Manchester United player.

This will be by no means an easy game though as Colchester have knocked out both Spurs and Crystal Palace in previous round of the competition, so United will have to be wary of the underdogs. Additionally, Colchester have only conceded one goal in the last 4 Carabao Cup matches and have scored 6 in the process, so United will have to be s…

Manchester United vs Everton Match Analysis and Player Ratings

This game, and the past couple of weeks as a matter of fact, fittingly sum up the majority of the decade for Manchester United. The Reds have found themselves making one step forward only to make two steps back quite often in the post-Ferguson era, and the 1-1 stalemate against Everton on Sunday at Old Trafford was yet another instance of that standstill.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men came into this game against the struggling Toffees full of confidence, or at least you would think they did, having just put together an impressive streak of three wins in a row.

Taking down Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City in quick succession followed by a comfortable rout of AZ Alkmaar should have had the players raring to go on Sunday in search of another momentum building block in the Premier League, but what we saw out there was far from a team inspired by their recent rise.

United were back to their old, inconsistent ways against a team that is technically considered as weaker opposition, ce…