Spurs vs. Manchester United preview & view from the oppo

Posted on April 10, 2016  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Match Previews, Spurs   No Comments »
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Matteo Darmian tussles with Harry Kane in United’s 1-0 victory over Spurs at the start of the season

Manchester United travel to White Hart Lane this afternoon, looking to pick up all three points – something they haven’t done since 2011/12 when Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young, who netted a brace, scored to beat Spurs 3-1. Fast forward four years and both clubs have very different aspirations for the season’s finale. United are preparing for an FA Cup quarter final replay against West Ham, whilst also trying to keep the pressure on fourth placed Manchester City and try and creep in to the Champions League. The hosts, on the other hand, are chasing their first English Championship since 1960/61 and have a whole array of young talent on show that are making their mark in England’s top flight.

Spurs have not lost at home since their 1-0 defeat at the hands of league leaders Leicester City, whilst United are buoyant following victory in the previous two games, including a 1-0 victory over Manchester City. United have a successful record at White Hart Lane in the Premier League era, winning 12 out of 23 games and only losing 3 times. Manuel Pochettino has done a brilliant job since arriving from Southampton in the summer of 2014 and his high pressing game has many admirers in the game, which Sir Alex Ferguson alluded to in a recent interview.

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United look to close gap on 4th spot with win over Everton

Posted on April 03, 2016  by Stretford-end  in Everton, Man United, Match Previews, Premier League   1 Comment »
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Wayne Rooney scores for United versus Everton in the 3-0 victory earlier in the season

Manchester United are looking to overtake West Ham, who drew 2-2 with Crystal Palace yesterday, and close the gap on Manchester City in fourth. Louis van Gaal will be in confident mood having beaten City in the derby 1-0 two weeks ago and will be looking for a repeat victory against Everton from earlier in the season.

United will be without Bastian Schweinsteiger, who picked up a knee injury with Germany over the international break – and will miss the rest of the season. Captain Wayne Rooney, is making good progress and although will not feature against his former club today – is likely to play for the U21s soon. The visitors will be missing midfielder Gareth Barry, who is serving the final match of his two game ban.

On a day that the South Stand is to be named after Sir Bobby Charlton, van Gaal will want to ensure Old Trafford witnesses a performance worthy of the legend himself.

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Manchester City vs. Manchester United preview & view from opp

Posted on March 20, 2016  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Manchester City, Match Previews, Premier League   No Comments »
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Bastian Schweinsteiger puts in a tackle against Manchester City in the 0-0 draw earlier in the season

In what was once an epic clash for the league title, the Manchester derby has now been replaced with the battle for fourth spot and Champions League qualification. Manchester City, who head in to the derby fifteen points off league leaders Leicester City and comfortably in the quarter finals of the Champions League, have had a poor run of form against top half of the table teams and must pick up all three points today if indeed Manuel Pellegrini is to add to his one league winners medal in what is his season finale at The Etihad.

Louis van Gaal looks again to be on borrowed time, which we have discussed on so many occasions throughout the season, with reports suggesting that the club has signed a pre-contract agreement with Jose Mourinho – who is still jobless following his dismissal at Chelsea earlier in the season. United come into the game off the back of a limp exit to Liverpool in the Europa League – the club’s first defeat to English opposition in Europe. van Gaal hasn’t won an league away game since the 1-0 victory over United’s Europa League conquerors – with Wayne Rooney scoring a late undeserved winner.

The away side are missing Wayne Rooney, Luke Shaw and Phil Jones – whilst Ashley Young and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson are back in training, but are unlikely to start. Juan Mata is back in contention following his dismissal in the 1-0 defeat away at WBA two weeks ago. Manchester City will be without club captain Vincent Kompany – who picked up a calf injury against Dynamo Kiev, whilst Nicolas Otamendi will be assessed ahead of the game.

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United chasing Champions League spot with a win over WBA

Posted on March 06, 2016  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Match Previews, Premier League, WBA   No Comments »
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Jesse Lingard bends one in against WBA earlier in the season when United ran out 2-0 winners

With both Manchester City and West Ham picking up three points yesterday, Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United must ensure they keep up with the chasing pack in order to qualify for the Champions League. This feat would be unthinkable a few weeks ago, when United lost at home 1-0 to Southampton – but have picked up crucial wins against Watford and the 3-2 victory over Arsenal last weekend. This of course coincided with all of the top four dropping points in the last two weeks – so United do have a chance of qualifying for the Champions League, outside of winning the Europa League.

Today’s opponents will look to their form against United last season, picking up four points in the 2-2 draw at The Hawthorns and the 1-0 victory over United at Old Trafford. However, United will look to the 2-0 victory over The Baggies earlier in the season, when Jesse Lingard scored a superb second. Although the football hasn’t been vintage, van Gaal has done a good job in brining youngster through to the first team – although there is of course a suggestion he was forced to play his hand with the amount of injuries United have suffered – and surely Marcus Rashford will continue up front to see if he can add to his two goals Premier League tally so far.

United last picked up all three points at WBA in March 2014 under David Moyes. The Scot was sacked just over a month later, but the 3-0 win was one of the highlights of his short lived managerial stint. The home side are undefeated in the Premier League since February 6th and will be looking to build on the victory over Crystal Palace and the 2-2 draw with league leaders Leicester City.

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Manchester United vs. Arsenal view from the oppo

Posted on February 28, 2016  by Stretford-end  in Arsenal, Man United, Man United News, Match Previews   No Comments »
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Alexis Sanchez scores as Arsenal thump Manchester United 3-0 back in October

Anthony Martial is a major doubt for Manchester United, who are already missing captain Wayne Rooney through injury. Martial picked up a hamstring injury in the warm up against FC Midtjylland in midweek and could well miss the clash against Arsenal. David De Gea is due to return in goal for the home side, having also missed the game through picking up an injury in the same warm up. United have only won two of the last six games at home.

Arsenal are looking to bounce back from their 2-0 defeat at the hands of reigning European Cup holders Barcelona. Arsene Wenger suggesting that his side only has a 5% chance of qualifying for the next round – so focus will turn to the league title and the FA Cup. The Gunners last picked up a league win at Old Trafford in the 2006/07 season, when Emmanuel Adebayor scored a late winner. The away side are without Alex Oxlade Chamberlain – who picked up a knee injury in the Champions League match against Barcelona. Wenger’s men have only won one of their last four away matches.

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Louis van Gaal’s future rests on victory over Chelsea

Posted on December 28, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Chelsea, Man United, Match Previews   No Comments »
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Robin van Persie smashed home a last minute equaliser against Chelsea last season

Is D-day finally here for Louis van Gaal? The under fire Manchester United boss saw his side completely outclassed and outfought by Stoke City on Boxing Day, with Memphis Depay putting in a performance that would warrant being dropped from the Dog and Duck Sunday side. United welcome Chelsea who offer some humour for the Old Trafford faithful due to the West London club having an even poorer season and are currently lingering in the bowels of the Premier League in 15th spot.

Michael Carrick, who will surpass Paddy Crerand’s appearances today if he plays (both on 397 appearances for United), has been very vocal regarding the need for unity in a “difficult time”. A difficult time is an understatement as it is 79 years since Manchester United lost five games in a row in a single season. That season was 1936/37 – when United lost 6-2 to Grimsby Town, 5-2 to Liverpool, 2-1 to Leeds United, 2-1 to Birmingham City and then 3-2 to Middlesbrough before drawing 2-2 with WBA to stop the rot. Scott Duncan was United manager in that period and managed to keep his job until the following season before resigning. United were relegated that season and although there is no chance of history repeating itself if United were to lose for a fifth time tonight – a top four finish will be unlikely.

Both Eden Hazard and Wayne Rooney, who have been extremely poor so far this season for their respected clubs, could both returned to the starting line ups this evening as they could only make the bench two days ago. Diego Costa is suspended for picking up a fifth booking of the season in the 2-2 draw against Watford. Chelsea have not won at Old Trafford since the 1-0 victory at the end of the 2012/13 season, when United were already crowned champions. United haven’t beaten the Londoners at home since the 3-1 victory in the Autumn of 2011/12, when Fernando Torres missed an open goal.

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Slavan Bilic dismisses boring link as United take on West Ham

Posted on December 05, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Match Previews, Premier League, West Ham   No Comments »
Robin van Persie scores against West Ham United last season
Now departed Robin van Persie scores the opener against West Ham United last season.

Manchester United welcome West Ham to Old Trafford as the hosts look to close the gap on Manchester City at the top of the table. United drew 1-1 last weekend with Leicester City, when a win would have taken Louis van Gaal’s men to the top of the table – but had to settle for a point, with Bastian Schweinsteiger netting his first goal for the club.

The visitors have lost their last two games away from Upton Park, losing 2-0 to Watford and going down 4-1 to rivals Spurs – whilst United are undefeated at home. Wayne Rooney, who has been struggling for form this season, will miss the game through injury. Rooney is currently on 499 appearances for the club and will have to wait a little longer for his milestone.

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Jamie Vardy looking to torment Manchester United again

Posted on November 28, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Leicester City, Man United, Match Previews   1 Comment »
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Jamie Vardy was a constant threat in the 5-3 victory over United last season

It was an absolute whirlwind of a game. If this was to be the final result on a Football Manager style simulation game, you would have hammered the reset button, folded your arms in disgust and comment on how “unrealistic” this really is. Well, it happened – Manchester United were 3-1 up and coasting before Jamie Vardy morphed in Marco van Basten and pulled United’s trousers well and truly down.

Since then, Leicester City have survived, sacked their saviour of a manager, hired the tinkerman and are now sitting pretty at the top of the table. Vardy is now the most prolific striker in the land, notching up 13 goals so far. He is level with former United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy on ten goals scored in a row – one more today, against van Nistelrooy’s former employers, would put him out on his own. It is a remarkable story from a player who was playing in the eighth tier of English football five years ago.

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Louis van Gaal looks to answer Scholes critic with win at Palace

Posted on October 31, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Crystal Palace, Man United, Match Previews   No Comments »
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Marouane Fellaini scores the winner against Crystal Palace last season

Manchester United travel to Crystal Palace today to try and bounce back from their League Cup exit in the week at the hands of Middlesbrough. The hosts are also looking to try and pick up three points following their 5-1 thumping against Manchester City on the same evening.

Crystal Palace have lost their last two games; 1-0 away to Leicester City and 3-1 at home to West Ham United – where as United have picked up four points with the win against Everton and drawing last weekend with Manchester City.

Wayne Rooney has come under heavy criticism from United fans for his performances so far this season. Rooney was openly defended by Manchester United legend Paul Scholes who stated that “any striker would find it difficult to score in this current team” and that his (Rooney) movement has been excellent, but he isn’t getting the football due to the ball retention enforced by Louis van Gaal philosophy. Can Wayne Rooney add to his two league goals so far this season?

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Manchester United vs. Manchester City view from the oppo

Posted on October 25, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Manchester City, Match Previews, Premier League   No Comments »
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Juan Mata scores United’s third goal in the 4-2 rout at Old Trafford last season

When Manchester United and Manchester City take the field this afternoon, it will be 170th time both clubs have done battle. In fixtures gone by, fans of both sets of clubs have seen the likes of George Best, Franny Lee, Eric Cantona, Georgi Kinkladze, Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Aguero do battle – with United winning seventy of the matches and City forty-nine. If United are victorious in the derby, they will leapfrog City into second place and could even go top for a handsome win (United will need to win by four clear goals). If the away side are victorious, City will return to the top of the Premier League and put some distance between themselves and United.

Wayne Rooney will play his first game for the club at the age of 30 and if he is on the scoresheet will be the 2nd highest goal scorer in the Premier league outright. The United captain is currently joint second with former Manchester United striker, who had a brief spell at Manchester City, on 187 goals. Rooney will have to score a fair few more goals to catch Jimmy Greeves, the all time top goals scoring in English football’s top flight – with 357 goals (Rooney currently in 36th spot).

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