Showing posts from January, 2020

Manchester United vs Wolverhampton Wanderers Preview

The fixtures just keep coming for Manchester United following a busy December and January period as they space Wolves at Old Trafford this weekend. The game sees a 5th Place Manchester United team take on a 7th placed Wolves’ team, however both Manchester United and Wolves are on the same amount of points, 34, and it is only goal difference that separates the two teams. This demonstrates the test this game will pose to United and how they have to be on top form to get a result.

Manchester United have been in indifferent form of late having won three of their last five games, but losing the other 2. United last game was a 1-0 victory over Manchester City; however, this was still a disappointing result as United still lost on the away goals rule and were knocked out of the League Cup. However, that victory and the reasons 6-0 win in the FA Cup against Tranmere was a good response to a poor display which resulted in defeat against Burnley and Liverpool in their last Premier League outin…

Manchester City vs Manchester United Match Analysis and Player Ratings

After all the build-up to this game and City already having a huge lead after cruising to a 1-3 win at Old Trafford, Manchester United knew it would take a monumental performance to equalise let alone win. Although United won on the night, City progressed on aggregate. Here's how it went down:

Team Selection:
Manchester City made five changes from the FA Cup tie with Rodri, Walker, De Bruyne, Sterling and Aguero coming in and played in a 3-2-4-1 formation with Cancelo, Walker and Otamendi acting as the defensive three. Manchester United adopted a similar albeit more defensive lineup with Luke Shaw pushed narrower at centre back alongside Lindelof and Maguire with Wan-Bissaka and Williams both coming in from the 6-0 win against Tranmere. Nemanja Matic was deemed fit after a late scare and alonside Fred and Lingard made the midfield three. Up front, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood looked to continue their scoring form after both netting against Tranmere.

Bravo, Cancelo, Otamendi,…

Manchester City vs Manchester United Preview

Manchester United make the short trip over to The Etihad for the second leg of the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup. After a disastrous first leg, that saw United lose 3-1 at home, 3-0 at half-time, Solskjaer and the team will look to make some serious amends or risk another embarrassing showing. United responded to the losses against Liverpool and Burnley by beating Tranmere Rovers in what was a good performance for a change. But we'll need a lot more than that to beat a side like Manchester City.
Team News: We need to go for broke against City tomorrow if we have to score 3 goals with no reply away to a side like City. Solskjaer has confirmed that Nemanja Matic won't participate but Aaron Wan-Bissaka and David De Gea will feature tomorrow. He also confirmed that Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay have had their casts off and will begin light training soon so that's something to look forward to. 
So with the current options, we can expect a back four of Wan-Bissaka, Harry Magui…

Tranmere Rovers v Manchester United Match Analysis and Player Ratings

Photo Credit:
Good times for a change. After a torrid week during which United suffered back to back 2 nil defeats to bitter rivals Liverpool and Burnley (this coupled with a distinctly underwhelming transfer window), we finally got something to cheer as League One strugglers Tranmere Rovers were put to the sword. Unsurprisingly there were six changes from the Burnley lineup, with De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Williams, Fred, Mata and James making way for Romero, Lindelof, Shaw, Dalot, Lingard and Greenwood.

The change in personnel came with a change in formation to 3-5-1-2, which the opposition either didn't expect or simply couldn't live with. Shaw and Dalot kept the full-backs penned into their own half while Maguire, as the spare centre-back, was able to maraud into Tranmere's half with impunity. Whether you believe it was a tactical masterclass or a happy accident is irrelevant, the fact remains that Solskjær got it spot on today.

It could have been different,…

Premier League Grades: Matchday 23 and 24

Well it has been an interesting few days in the Premier League, Liverpool remaining on course for their first Premier League title and a 16 point gap intact after wins against United and Wolves. No one wishing to intrude on Chelsea's Top Four challenge despite poor performances from the Blues and the relegation battle tightening up and certainly not over in a huge contrast to the top of the table.
Here are the results:

Matchday 23:
Watford vs Tottenham Hotspur 0-0
Brighton vs Aston Villa 1-1
Manchester City vs Crystal Palace 2-2
West Ham vs Everton 1-1
Arsenal vs Sheffield United 1-1
Norwich vs Bournemouth 1-0
Southampton vs Wolves 2-3
Newcastle vs Chelsea 1-0
Burnley vs Leicester City 2-1
Liverpool vs Manchester United 2-0

Matchday 24:
Bournemouth vs Brighton 3-1
Aston Villa vs Watford 2-1
Crystal Palace vs Southampton 0-2
Sheffield United vs Manchester City 0-1
Everton vs Newcastle 2-2
Chelsea vs Arsenal 2-2
Leicester City vs West Ham 4-1
Tottenham vs Norwich City 2-1
Manchester United vs Burnley 0…

Tranmere Rovers vs. Manchester United Preview

If ever there was a time when Manchester United needed to play lower league opposition, it would be right now. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men desperately need to get back into the win column following the first two game losing slump of the season, and it feels like Sunday's fourth round FA Cup fixture against Tranmere Rovers is coming at the perfect time.

But it also might not be. Should United suffer an upset defeat against the League One side, it would be yet another nail slammed into this season's coffin, and it would provoke even more turmoil surrounding Solskjaer's future at the helm. And let's be honest, a Tranmere giant killing does not seem all that far fetched when you really think about it.

United are visibly jaded due to the lack of squad depth and the injuries to Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba, and with no business being done as of yet this month, there is very little room for rotation. Chances are that the team that takes the field on Sun…

Manchester United vs Burnley Match Analysis and Player Ratings

Disastrous. Sickening. Shocking. Whatever description you give for this loss, one word springs to mind for me and that is inexcusable. Another toothless loss for Manchester United and their ninth Premier League loss of the season as Burnley established a well-earned 0-2 win at Old Trafford on Wednesday. Manchester United had the chance to half the deficit between Chelsea and move further away from the likes of Tottenham, Wolves and Sheffield United but once again, failed to make it count. Here's how it went down;

Manchester United made two changes to the side that lost at Anfield with Mata and Jones coming in for Luke Shaw and the ill Victor Lindelof. Burnley made one change to the side that finally won against Leicester City with Matthew Lowton in for Phil Bardsley.

De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Jones, Maguire (c), Williams, Matic, Fred, Mata, Pereira, James, Martial

Pope, Lowton, Mee (c), Gibson, Taylor, Hendrick, Westwood, Cork, McNeil, Wood, Rodriguez

Manchester United began the game we…

Manchester United vs Burnley Preview

So far the new decade has been a really tough start for Manchester United in all competitions the results are definitely not what United fans expect. The record in January is really poor with only two wins, one draw and three losses. Losing away to both Arsenal and Liverpool most recently, on Sunday at Anfield, shows the gulf between the teams that are traditional rivals. Not even going to mention the Manchester City masterclass that was delivered to Solskjaer team in the Carabao Cup Semi-Final.The biggest game of the season at Anfield Liverpool our arch-rivals  showed what it takes to be ruthless and take your chances to ensure the win at all costs. The loss of crucial players to the squad has impacted the team but questions have to be asked as to why no one seems to take accountability for the complete lack of a transfer strategy to replace players who have been sold and or loaned out. With the transfer window rapidly closing and the squad struggling with the demands of playing week…

Liverpool vs Manchester United Match Analysis and Player Ratings

Another defeat on the road for Manchester United and another win for Liverpool in this relentless, magnificent season for the Reds as a tight and dramatic 2-0 win for Jurgen Klopp's side saw them stretch their gap to 16 points ahead of Manchester City with a game in hand to West Ham. While on paper it looks like a bad result for Manchester United, there are a few positives to come from this game as United looked dangerous and looked like equalising all second half but the lack of quality in the final third has let them down again. Here's how it went down:

Team Selection:
Liverpool kept an unchanged lineup from the side that edged Tottenham with Fabinho and Matip back on the bench and would hope their front three could end the hoodoo against United scoring only twice against the Red Devils between the three of them since 2016.

Manchester United were without Marcus Rashford for this game and adopted a back five with Luke Shaw returning to the side as a left centre-back with Will…

Manchester United vs Liverpool Preview and Combined XI

The 19th January marks probably the biggest day on the footballing calendar for Manchester United as they travel to Anfield to play Liverpool. Liverpool will be heavy favourites as they sit high at the top of the Premier League while Manchester United sit in fifth position. United will be looking to cause an upset and give the league leaders their first loss of the campaign, while Liverpool will be looking to continue their perfect start in the league.
A victory will be a tough task for United and Solskjaer as not only are Liverpool unbeaten this season but, United are winless in their last four visits to Anfield drawing 2 and losing 2. However, there are a few positives for United when looking at the history of this fixture, as Liverpool have lost 28 Premier League matches versus Manchester United, eight more than against any other club. Additionally, Solskjaer's United are unbeaten against the top four sides in the league this season, beating Manchester City, Leicester and Chel…

Tactical Analysis for Liverpool vs Manchester United

Manchester United travel to Anfield on Sunday for our 23rd game of the Premier League season. A trip to Anfield is probably the toughest fixture in the world at the moment with Liverpool having taken 61 off a possible 63 points which is some sort of world record in the top 5 leagues of Europe. The only game that they dropped points in was their away trip to Old Trafford where Solskjaer and his men held them to a 1-1 draw.  Over the past decade, the tables have turned and Manchester United find themselves 27 points behind the league leaders who are on course to win their first Premier League. However, at this point, stopping them from winning the league is not in our hands and the only thing we can do is try to get those elusive 3 points on Sunday. So here's a tactical analysis of the game and the key battles that will define the game.
Tactical Analysis:
Liverpool always set-up in a 4-3-3 with the formidable trio of Mohammed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino spearheading their…

Manchester United vs Wolves Match Analysis and Player Ratings


An FA Cup 3rd round replay to determine progression into the next round of the prestigious tournament was probably not what either Manchester United and or Wolves were looking forward to last night as they lined up at Old Trafford. Particularly with both teams having a am-packed fixture list for January 2020. Solskjaer in particular had to select a team with one eye on the key fixture this Sunday at Anfield against arch rivals and run-away League Leaders Liverpool. Man Utd’s season has been extremely inconsistent to say the least and the FA Cup offers the Red Devils an opportunity to deliver a piece of silver wear at the end of a topsy turvy season. With transfer rumours circulating all around Old Trafford of possible signings and players leaving Old Trafford during the January transfer window period the Red Devils were under pressure to deliver a favourable result and progress to the next stage of the cup.
The major talking point was team selection for the Red Devils with Marcus Ras…

Manchester United vs. Wolves Preview

An FA Cup replay was certainly the last thing on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's wishlist as his Manchester United side took to the Molineux field for their third round tie against Wolves on Jan. 4. Unfortunately for the Reds, a heavily rotated side failed to find the winner in an evenly balanced 0-0 draw, and things will need to be settled at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.

In what already was a jam packed January schedule, the depleted United squad will have to take on yet another 90 minutes of football minimum in quick succession — something that's far from ideal for a group of players as prone to picking up injuries as the Reds. But, with that said, the FA Cup suddenly appears as one of the likeliest potential sources of silverware for Wednesday's hosts after they lost the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final to Manchester City 1-3 last week. Therefore, Solskjaer is not likely to tinker with the lineup too much, but will certainly have the huge league clash with Liverpool …

Premier League Grades: Matchday 22

Huge games in the relegation battle with the whole landscape changing once again at the bottom of the table and even bigger games at the top of the table with Arsenal and Tottenham dropping points, Chelsea and United fighting for fourth spot and Liverpool pulling away with a 14 point gap between them and second place Manchester City with a game in hand. Here are the results:

Sheffield United vs West Ham 1-0
Crystal Palace vs Arsenal 1-1
Chelsea vs Burnley 3-0
Newcastle vs Wolves 1-1
Leicester City vs Southampton 1-2
Manchester United vs Norwich 4-0
Everton vs Brighton 1-0
Tottenham vs Liverpool 0-1
Bournemouth vs Watford 0-3
Aston Villa vs Manchester City 1-6

And here are the grades:
Close win but another hard earned one. Still in contention for Top Six and could keep this up all season the way they are playing.

Unfortunate not to equalise but that's the current law unfortunately and VAR inconsistencies are not aiding this poor rule. Moyes has transformed …

Manchester United vs Norwich Match Analysis and Player Ratings

Match Analysis -  Manchester United have beaten Norwich 4-0 at Old Trafford with goals coming from Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood. After poor results against Arsenal, Wolves, and Manchester City, this feels like a breath of fresh air, although we need to remember that Norwich are currently last in the table with 3 wins all season. The game was fairly one-sided with it mostly being played in Norwich's half. We went into the half-time a goal up, thanks to Rashford who was making his 200th appearance today. Juan Mata found himself in acres of space on the right-wing and played a pinpoint cross to find the Englishman at the far post who slotted it past Krul. In the second half, United scored two goals in two minutes. The first one was Rashford who converted a penalty won by Brandon Williams and the second was a simple header by Martial with Mata bagging his second assist of the day. The final nail in the coffin for Daniel Farke's struggling side was the subs…