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Match Preview: Stoke vs Manchester United

Siddarth Saturday, October 23, 2010
Date: 24 October 2010

Kick Off: 13:30 BST

Venue: Britannia Stadium

We have had quite an exciting week at Old Trafford, emotions ranging from anger to joy, frustration to relief, we’ve had it all. It was like an award winning play directed by Sir Alex that ended in an anti-climax that surprised most of us! Now with the Rooney saga put to bed finally, at least for now, it’s time to get our minds back to Football where it matters, on the Pitch!

Sunday’s fixture against Stoke will be difficult one; Stoke’s physicality as well as their stubborn & organized defense can be a tough test for the team. With our defensive problems finally solved we now seem to have forgotten how to score! It’s clear that the team is struggling to attain the balance, but we’re improving with every game so it’s only a matter of time before we get into to top gear and everything clicks.

At the moment, the problem lies in midfield, Sir Alex cannot play Scholesy every week, so he has to look at his other options. Michael Carrick has been far too inconsistent so far, while Darron Gibson hasn’t done much to deserve a look in. Our midfield mainstay remains Fletcher at the moment and Anderson’s impressive return from injury has been heartening, though it’s still too early to say he’s capable of playing successfully in a two man midfield, but so far the signs are good.

As far as the team news and injury concerns go, we’ll be missing Valencia, Rooney and Giggs through injury. While it seems Gabriel Obertan might finally get his first start of the season, with Giggsy injured and Park in uninspiring form, I don’t think he’ll get a better chance to establish himself in the first team. His cameo against Bursaspor showing that Obertan has worked hard on improving the physical side of his game and it was showing against the Turks.

Our past results against Stoke have been very encouraging; we’ve scored 14 goals in the last 4 meetings against them and are yet to concede a goal. Hopefully the trend continues and we can produce a good all round display from the team for the first time this season since the community shield!
I think Sir Alex will go for a 4-4-2 formation with Berbatov and Chicharito up front. The right back position might be an interesting call, because of Rory Delap’s long throw’s we could do with another good header in the box, but then Rafael has been very good in defense so far. But I think we will see John O’Shea get the nod ahead of Rafael. Rio and Vidic should continue in centre of defense while Scholesy should mostly start along with Darren Fletcher in midfield.

This fixture is no cake walk, we might have done well in the past against them but that doesn’t count for anything come Sunday. We have more than enough quality to see off this Stoke team if we play well, and hopefully we will. But their aerial threat at set pieces worries, hopefully Vida and Rio are at their usual best.

I’m going for a 3-1 win for us, with Hernandez and Berbatov scoring one each.

Predicted Final Score: 3-1 to United

Possible Starting XI:
Van Der Sar; O’Shea, Rio, Vidic, Evra; Nani, Fletcher, Scholes, Obertan; Berbatov, Chicharito.

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DeviledSpam said...

Your last paragraph pretty much sums it up. No one is afraid of us anymore so we're gonna have 2 work every game like we're the new boys out 4 respect.

Im hoping for 442 as well but Ando needs 2 be in midfield if we evr expect him 2 perform consistently. No Macheda! I want Chicarito up front w/ Berba, they're both class & have gell well 2gether. I'd like 2 keep Raphael confidence going but for reasons you've given we may see Sheasy @ RB. Hopefully we see Obertan w/ Bebe getting some play later in game. I was hoping 2 see Smalling aside Vidic but seems majority are 4 Rio. I'm for getting over the old team dependence sooner than later. But no one seems 2 wanna take that step. We can't expect progress if our youngsters aren't given quality play time. The more we wait the more "scouse cunt who sahll not be named" situations we'll see. I truly believe that. OK, I call it by what I expect & my chosen Xl so MUFC 4-0 Stoke. Why not a clean sheet? hahaha I BELIEVE!

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