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Preview: Manchester United v Wigan Athletic

Rob Bromilow Thursday, November 18, 2010

Manchester Utd v Wigan
Old Trafford
Saturday 20th November - 3pm Kick Off

Manchester United welcome Wigan to Old Trafford on Saturday hoping for a victory to push their title charge back in the right direction. 2 draws away to Manchester City and Aston Villa have left United now in 3rd place in the league, but with Sunderland's surprise victory at Chelsea last Sunday United are only 3 points from the top. Arsenal lie a point ahead of United which makes the pre-christmas fixtures even more important. Before Christmas United's run in the league is:

Wigan (H), Blackburn (H), Blackpool (A), Arsenal (H), Chelsea (A) with two Champions League ties and a Carling Cup Quarter final tie at West Ham squeezed in between.

While United face some traditionally easier fixtures in the next 3 matches, Chelsea travel to Birmingham and Newcastle and face Everton at home. The crunch clashes for United before Christmas come against Chelsea and Arsenal. If United can come out of these matches still within touching distance of the lead then we all know United can kick on in the second half of the season. One thing is certain and that is that 9 points are crucial in the next 3 matches with Wigan, Blackburn and Blackpool. Normally a slip up could be afforded but there have been 7 of these already this season and United need to gain some consistency.

Against Wigan United may welcome back Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs, with Paul Scholes returning from suspension. Ex-Wigan winger Antonio Valencia will miss the visit of his old side, still out with injury. Owen Hargreaves and Michael Owen remain long term absentees.
United could line up:

van der Sar
Rafael Ferdinand Vidic Evra
Nani Carrick Scholes Obertan
Rooney Hernandez

Bench: Kuszczak, Brown, O'Shea, Anderson, Giggs, Berbatov, Macheda

United could choose to rest Fletcher completely with the Rangers match in mind (3 in midfield for that game no doubt). Anderson and Giggs could get some minutes from the bench if all goes to plan. Even though United have been poor in recent matches they should be comfortable in this one.

Prediction: United 2-0 Wigan

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