With trips to Villa, Villarreal, and Citeh in a spell of 8 days, perhaps it’s an easy statement to say the next week or so is massive for United’s season.
The fixture list has not been kind to us this season but we are in a position where we have visited Fratton Park, Anfield, Stamford Bridge, Goodison Park and the Emirates and we’re 5 points from the top. Dropped points at Arsenal and Everton can quickly be put down to sheer wastefulness and slack defending. A cutting edge could have seen us rack 4 or 5 goals up in either game.
Arguably our last toughest away games are our next two – and our position then will give some kind of strong indication of where we stand in the title race. Villa, in particular, are looking the real deal. I don’t think it will be an easy game against Villa – indeed, I’m concerned, it’s been 13 years since we lost against them in the league, and any run has to end at some point.
The trip to Villa Park comes with it’s injury concerns – Wes Brown out until next year, but also, the probable absence of Dimitar Berbatov for the triple header.
I’m not doubting the impressive performance of the Bulgarian since he’s arrived (and I was a fence sitter on the signing given the huge fee), however, will his absence be a blessing in disguise?
Fergie can now unleash last years front three of Tevez, Rooney and Ronaldo on Villa Park – and despite the supposed lack of a target man, those three were the driving factor behind two 4 goal pummelings of Villa. And throw in the City games and the trio might just have some kind of revenge in mind for last seasons double by our rivals.
Like I said, I don’t think it will be easy, but a potential return to the same line up that was so potent last season makes me look forward to this week with optimism, especially considering we now have a plan B in either Welbeck or Manucho on the bench – both unknown quantities, both prepared to wait for and take their chance with no sulking.
The ideal, realistic, scenario would be two league wins and a draw in Spain.
I believe the absence of Berbatov could inadvertently aid United’s season at a crucial point. Am I crazy?