Red Devil’s Rant

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Archive for the ‘Preview’ Category

Preview – Chelsea vs Manchester United

Posted by Sharath Ciddu on August 5, 2007

Chelsea Community Shield
Wembley, London
Manchester United


The premiership champions get ready to kick off another exciting season with a warmup against the FA cup winners for the shield, which Keano famously lifted without a grin on his face. Although United have done a host of good to their shirts selling due to a far east tour, I really doubt if they have had quality preseason except for the Inter Milan game, which was a wake up call.

Ferguson is treating the new signings with kid gloves, understandable as he doesn’t want to miss any of them during the actual season due to haste now. The United XI is going to be mostly the same team which has featured against Inter Milan, except for probably Darren Fletcher replacing Eagles or “the goal scoring machine” O’Shea. United might revert back to the latest darling “4-2-3-1” with the new number 10 jersey bearer the front man in a fluid interchanging front four.

The kid who played the game like a man, now a man is playing the game with the same enthusiasm as a kid. Ryan Giggs, who has been running up and down the left wing at Old Trafford might be given a free role, which when fit, he has been performing brilliantly. His positioning and awareness of the people around him will be invaluable this season.  Unlike the FA cup final, the players are not tired and I expect United to play a attacking formation.

On the other side, “Glorified Bolton Wanderers” have been playing the special trademark boring game under their special one Borhino, just winning the matches last season. Injuries to Robben and Joe Cole might have been his excuse but it remains to see the addition of a world cup finalist and stand out player in Ligue 1 last season Flourent Malouda, if he plans to use the width to make the match any interesting. Unlike United, Chelsea might be tempted to hand a debut to their new signings. They are all quality and it remains to see how they can warm the bench and be happy.

Kick off time: Sunday 5th August 2007, 15:00 BST

Venue: Wembley, London

Prediction: 2-1 to United.

Players to watch out: Both Pizzaro and Malouda are proven and experienced players, and if given a run are the players to watch along with Drogba.

United squad from: Van der Sar, Kuszcak, Evra, Ferdinand, Brown, Vidic, Silvestre, O’Shea, J.Evans, Bardsley, Simpson, Carrick, Giggs (c), Ronaldo, Fletcher, Eagles, Gibson, Martin, Rooney, Dong

Injury news: Hargreaves, Nani and Anderson are not fully fit and will not play. Saha, Ole, Gary Neville and Scholes are all out with long term injuries.


Posted in Manchester United, manutd, Preview | Leave a Comment »

Preview: Urawa Reds vs Manchester United

Posted by Sharath Ciddu on July 17, 2007


United start their Far East pre season with kick off against the Japanese champions Urawa Reds in Tokyo. The United faithful have to wait for some more time to see their new signings in action as Nani and Hargreaves are still carrying minor knocks and Anderson is yet to join the squad. Sir Alex has stated that he plans to field a strong team, who have to get the required mileage before the season kicks off.

Youngsters Evans and Eagles might get a decent run too (probably as 60th minute substitutes), as they are being considered the replacements for Heinze (who might leave OT soon) and Park (who is out till January/March). Although there is Fletcher ahead of Eagles to be deployed on the wing when required, I hope Evans is groomed as a substitute to Evra as the thought of playing Silvestre sends a chill down the spine. In the striking department Smith is the only recognised striker alongside Wayne Rooney as Rossi is taking a extended holiday, Dong is on international duty, Saha and Ole recovering from injuries.

Kick off time: Tuesday 17th 2007, 11:05 BST

Venue: Urawa Reds Diamonds, Tokyo

Prediction: 3-1 to United.

Player to watch out: Shinji Ono, known as Tensai (Japanese for Genius) is a skillful midfielder and is a big hope of Japan. He has European experience behind him when he played for Feyenoord and was a fan favourite. He can play any position in the midfield and is a constant menace to the defenders.

United squad from: Van der Sar, Kuszcak, Heaton; Evra, Ferdinand, Brown, Vidic, Silvestre, O’Shea, J.Evans, Bardsley, Simpson, Carrick, Scholes, Giggs (c), Ronaldo, Fletcher, Hargreaves, Nani, Eagles, Gibson, Martin, Rooney, Smith.

Injury news: Hargreaves and Nani have minor knocks and might not be fielded.

Posted in Manchester United, manutd, Preseason, Preview | Leave a Comment »