Showing posts from February, 2020

Everton vs Manchester United Preview

On Sunday, Manchester United travel to Goodison Park to face Everton. The game sees, a 5th placed United side take on a 11th placed Everton side, though the sides are only separated by 5 points.

Though the table says United are the favourites for the game, recent history is in favour of Everton. They have won four of their last seven Premier League home games against Manchester United, including a 4-0 victory last season, one of United's worse performances in recent history. Additionally, it has been 13 months since the Red Devils claimed back-to-back away victories in the top flight, meaning this will be a test for the Red Devils.

In terms of team news, Sergio Romero started in the Europa League win on Thursday night but David De Gea is expected to be recalled between the sticks on Sunday. Victor Lindelof is likely to be recalled alongside Harry Maguire after being rested on Thursday. Luke Shaw has found some form of late so he may keep his place ahead of Brandon Williams at lef…

Centre Back Options for the Remaining Games

Manchester United stormed into the round of 16 with a 5-0 win over Club Brugge last night. Bruno Fernandes, Scott McTominay, Fred and Odion Ighalo got on the scoresheet with assists coming from substitutes Tahith Chong and Jesse Lingard for the latter two goals. United have now been drawn with Linzer Athletik-Sport-Klub (LASK) for the round of 16 ties to be held on the 12th and 19th of March. 
This article will take a look at which defensive pairings United should be using for the upcoming games as some really difficult and tricky games are in our path and squad rotation will become vital. With the return of Eric Bailly, we are better off than before but with good performances from the Ivorian, selection becomes tougher. We have games against Everton, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspurs coming up in the league along with FA Cup games and Europa League round of 16 games which makes this a decisive month.
In my opinion, I feel that things seem to finally look brighter now as a recent s…

Manchester United vs Club Brugge Match Analysis and Player Ratings

Truly pleased to write this article as Manchester United have now won five of the last seven and recorded a massive 5-0 win over Club Brugge tonight to see them comfortably progress to the Round of 16 with a 6-1 aggregate. Solskjaer's men did the job and will now have a big task in looking for a win at Goodison Park against a revamped Everton side.

Team Selection:
Manchester United made a host of changes from the mixed bag of a squad in Belgium with Solskjaer reverting to a back four and looking for the kill. Brandon Williams, Victor Lindelof and Diogo Dalot all out with Shaw pushed wider, Eric Bailly making his second start of the season and Aaron Wan-Bissaka on the right. Scott McTominay made his first start of 2020 and Odion Ighalo came in for his first start for Manchester United. As for Club Brugge, Emmanuel Dennis was injured and unable to feature with the pacy Daniel Okereke starting up front and Eder Alvarez out for Federico Ricca.

Romero, Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire (c), …

Manchester United vs Club Brugge Preview

Another exciting evening is in store for Man Utd as they welcome Club Brugge to Old Trafford on Thursday for the second leg of a Europa League last-32 tie that is finely poised. The reverse fixture in Belgium ended in a 1-1 draw after Anthony Martial cancelled out Emmanuel Bonaventure's opener. Martial's goal saved his team's blushes and ensured that United's unbeaten run remained intact. This is a competition ManchesterUnited won two seasons ago under Jose Mourinho and the Red Devils have a proud unbeaten record to uphold, having not lost their last 12 home Europa League games since losing to Athletic Bilbao in March 2012. The clubs met in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League play-offs, United cantering through 7-1 on aggregate, with Wayne Rooney scoring a hat-trick as they won the second leg 4-0 in Bruges.

The current form of the Red Devils has been satisfactory as they head into the tie on the back of a six-game unbeaten run in all competitions and after impressive ba…

Premier League Grades: Matchday 27

The race for top four has tightened up even more and so has the relegation battle. With a five point gap between fourth and eighth and a four point gap between ninteenth and fifteenth, the eleven games left will be tense and full of drama with every team concerned knowing dropped points could send them spiralling down the table. Here's the weekend's results:

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

Here are the ratings:
Massive win for Chelsea after some poor performances of late. Giroud made a difference up front and a back five made the whole team more composed and solid. May be worth using this against the big teams until they can properly invest in the summer.

They may have been without Son but they ought to have defe…

Manchester United vs Watford Match Analysis and Player Ratings

Massive win for Manchester United as they push past Spurs and Sheffield United to fifth place and only three points from Chelsea in fourth. A 3-0 win at Old Trafford against relegation strugglers, Watford put Manchester United into a glorious position for Champions League football but know that they must continue their good run and will have to be at their best in what will be a tough run of matches in which away trips to Everton and Spurs as well as home matches to Manchester City and Sheffield United will determine their season. Here is how it happened:

Team News:
Manchester United made six changes to the stuttering performance against Club Brugge with De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Fred, Fernandes, James and Greenwood coming in and Romero, Williams and Mata on the bench, Dalot not in the 18 and Lingard and Pereira not even with the travelling squad! Shows how much Solskjaer thought of their performances. As for Watford, with fifteen days since their draw with Brighton, made only one change w…

Manchester United vs Watford Preview

Manchester United welcome their next opponents, relegation threatened Watford at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon. After winning a confidence-boosting game at Stamford bridge against old foes Chelsea 2-0. Solskjaer and his team should look to deliver another much-needed win in order to try and make up ground on both Chelsea and Spurs who play against each other the day before. A win against Watford would allow the Red Devils to pile pressure on their top four competitors. Manchester United have an impressive record against Watford and have won 5 of their last matches against Watford at home. However, it must be remembered that Watford managed to win the reverse fixture earlier this season and shocked the Red Devils with a clinical 2-0 result.  Watford were held to a 1-1 draw on the road in their previous league encounter against Brighton and are fighting for survival in the Premier League. It was their fifth game without a win and they are currently placed 19th in the table, with a tot…

Premier League Grades: Matchday 26

After delays due to the winter break and Storn Ciara, the Matchday 26 games have finally been completed and have made the race for Europe and relegation battle extremely tight and set up big stand-offs for the last 12 games of the season. No one is truly safe...except Liverpool who remain on course for a record title win. Here are the results:

Everton vs Crystal Palace 3-1 Brighton vs Watford 1-1 Sheffield United vs Bournemouth 2-1 Wolves vs Leicester City 0-0 Southampton vs Burnley 1-2 Norwich vs Liverpool 0-1 Aston Villa vs Tottenham 2-3 Arsenal vs Newcastle 4-0 Chelsea vs Manchester United 0-2 Manchester City vs West Ham 2-0
Here are the grades:
EVERTON 8.5/10 Their attackers saved Jordan Pickford for his huge error and Ancelotti gets another positive result. It will show how far they have come under him at the Emirates next week.

CRYSTAL PALACE 4/10 They are in trouble as they aren't getting the results they should and the next two games against Newcastle and Brighton are must win games.

Club Brugge vs. Manchester United Match Analysis and Player Ratings

A frigid and wet Thursday night in Belgium saw Manchester United continue their frustrating run of failing to win following a victory in a big game. This time, the Reds played out a stalemate 1-1 draw against Club Brugge in the first leg of their Europa League Round of 32 clash.

Thankfully, this result did not come in the Premier League. United will get another crack at putting together consecutive wins in the league on Sunday when they host Watford at Old Trafford. But Thursday's endeavor was not any less frustrating. Understandably, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rotated quite heavily, with United set to play seven games in over the next 21 days, but the performances from the players that were given a chance left for a lot to be desired.

Of the six changes in the starting lineup, three of them involved the inclusions of Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, and Juan Mata. On paper, three of United's most creative players. On the pitch, they were all far from it.

United were toothless for t…

Club Brugge vs Manchester United Preview

The Europa League return this week Manchester United travelling to Belgium in order to face Club Brugge in the first knockout round of the competition. They will play at 17:55 GMT in one of the early kick-off games this Thursday.

Brugge will be no easy task for Manchester United as they are top of their league, the Belgium Pro League, and in good form domestically. Meanwhile, Manchester United sit in 7th in the Premier League in what has been a mostly disappointing campaign to this point. However, given the quality of the teams and the stature of Manchester United, United are still huge favourites in this game and the tie overall.

In terms of team news for Manchester United, Victor Lindelof could return for Manchester United after missing Monday's victory at Chelsea. Also, the pair of McTominay and Tuanzebe, who have not featured for United since December due to injuries, have both been training recently and could feature, however the they as well as Mason Greenwood and Phil Jone…

Chelsea vs Manchester United Match Analysis and Player Ratings

A massive result for Manchester United in the race for Top Four as they halved the gap from fourth to three points. The win pushed United up to seventh place as they put two headers past Chelsea at the Bridge to complete the first double over Chelsea in Premier League history. A slightly controversial win with VAR intervening twice to disallow two Chelsea goals as well as denying a potential red card for Harry Maguire.

Team Selection:
Manchester United swapped to a back five as they have done against big teams with Eric Bailly coming in for the ill Victor Lindelof and slotting in alongside Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw as the back three. Brandon Williams and Aaron Wan-Bissaka acted as the wingbacks and would be required to offer width in attack and neutralise the Chelsea fullbacks. In midfield, Fred and the returning Matic sat in the pivot and Bruno Fernandes moved to number 10 as Andreas Pereira was rightfully benched. In attack, Greenwood was rested and sat next to new signing, Odion …

The Manchester United Left Back Debate

A debate that has raged throughout the season for Manchester United is that of who should be the starting left back? At the beginning of the season, everyone's answer was Luke Shaw on the back of a good season of football last season. However, with an injury to Luke Shaw earlier on in the season gave an opportunity for the young academy prospect, Brandon Williams to make his mark, which many argue he has. Since this, then there has been a debate by fans as to who should start for United and who should be the backup.

When Luke Shaw signed for Manchester United for £30 million, a then world record transfer fee for a teenager, he was one of the most promising teenage talents in the world. However, now he is 24 and has massively stagnated since his promising teenage years. So, is it time for a change at left back?

This season in 18 appearances Luke Shaw averages 1 tackle per game, 0.9 interceptions per game and 0.3 blocks a game ( This shows that he is a competent de…

Chelsea vs Manchester United Preview and Combined XI

The winter break is finally over and the eagerly anticipated match between fierce rivals Chelsea and Manchester United probably holds a lot more weight and significance at Stamford Bridge when these two Premier League giants met in the opening game of the Premier League in August 2019. 

Manchester United had the upper hand in this meeting and beat Chelsea 4-0 at Old Trafford with goals coming from Rashford (2), Martial and Daniel James. Manchester United are currently in a disappointing ninth place with this game in hand and are desperate to make ground on Chelsea who are currently holding the all important fourth place in the Premier League and are six points clear of the Red Devils. For Solskjaer this match could be critical as another loss would potentially leave the gap of 4th place too large a gap to make up and leave them in an embarrasing midtable position. The Red Devils have proven when facing the top six teams this season they can step up their game and have registered wins a…