Dec 20

All United want for Christmas is three points

Tag: Match Preview @ 4:46 pm

Danny-Welbeck-Aston-Villa-v-Manchester-United_3052335Having negotiated the elements against Stoke on Wednesday night, United turn their attention to the Premier League which, this weekend, sees the arrival of Sam Allardyce’s West Ham United at Old Trafford and of another set of fans whose hatred for United overcomes even that normally destined for their local rivals.

As East London’s finest make the journey up, David Moyes is left counting his injured player like a kid counting down the days to Christmas Day, albeit with a complete different attitude.

Having lost Robin Van Persie for a month, the United manager will have to do without Nani tomorrow – which, given his performances, might be a blessing in disguise – as the Portuguese winger has suffered a hamstring problem which could keep him out for part of the festive period.

Wayne Rooney, however, has a chance to feature tomorrow and West Ham must be sick of the sight of him, as the United striker has netted seven goals in the last six league meetings against the Hammers, who haven’t scored against United in six of their last eight Premier League meetings.

Profligacy in front of goal has been a recurring theme for both sides, with United scoring just eight in their first eight league games at Old Trafford this season, while West Ham haven’t found the net in nine of their first 16 league outings, which hasn’t helped their dismal away record which has seen them winning just once away from Upton Park this season.

With their striking options virtually non-existent given the long term injury to Andy Carroll, Big Sam is likely to deploy his usual strategy which, nine times out of 10, consists of parking the bus in front of the penalty box in the hope of weathering the storm, before nicking a goal on the counter.

That and United’s diabolical performances at home against Everton and Newcastle do nothing to dismiss the theory that it could be another long afternoon at Old Trafford, but consecutive away wins at Villa and Stoke leave some room for some, extremely controlled and very prudent, optimism.

Should Rooney not be passed fit, Danny Welbeck will be expected to lead the line again up-front, with Phil Jones and one between Tom Cleverley, who delivered a much needed improved performance against Stoke, and Ryan Giggs set to take their place in the middle of the park, unless Moyes opts to give Marouane Fellaini his monthly runout.

Having registered two consecutive clean sheets, Moyes isn’t likely to change much at the back, but one between Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic could replace Chris Smalling, while Jonny Evans will have to take care of former United Academy’s bad boy Ravel Morrison, who’s impressed since moving to London.

With Arsenal and Chelsea hopefully taking points off each other on Monday night and with Spurs facing a testing trip to Southampton, United – whose 16 points are their worst return after 16 games since they picked up 24 over the same amount of games in the 2001-02 season – could make up some ground and make the Christmas turkey taste just a little bit better.

Dan


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Tags: Match Preview

7 Responses to “All United want for Christmas is three points”

  • Good performance from Danny Welbeck. He is starting to display the form and confidence he showed for the reserves that has endeared him by many supporters.

  • Glad Fergie is experiencing the drivel that he dished up week after week (referring to his yawn during the game on international television)

  • Another useless performance by Tom Cleverley.
    Poor positioning (defensively and offensively)
    ‘Could not establish who he was marking – if any’
    No defensive cover
    No creative display
    0 tackles
    0 interceptions
    0 positional cover for overlapping players
    0 balls collected from defense
    0 balls carried out of midfield
    0 conversions from defense to attack
    0 attempts to connect midfield to forwards
    0 penetrating passes
    2 good “off the ball” runs into the box
    0 dribbles
    3 forward passes
    20,000 backpasses
    90 minutes of “headless chicken” roaming around

    • @Karl: pls have the courtesy of not just disliking the comment…state what you dislike or which of the stated stats you disagree with.

      • @Karl: 7 dislikes to a request like this shows a serious sign of disrepect (the opposite of courteous for those idiots that don’t know).
        Rudeness is not the ideal substitute for stupidity.

  • tonymontanna4united

    Much better first half performance from us, that’s the sort of football us fans are expecting to see most weeks.
    It was really quite excellent at times (maybe if we saw that more often, alot of fans wouldn’t be on Moyes’ back so much?).
    2nd half we seemed to start dropping a bit deeper and not pushing up as much as we were doing in the first half while still pretty much dominating West Ham, which was disappointing for me as I really felt there were a few more goals from this game to be had but maybe the 3/4 games coming up over the next 10 or so days was playing on our mind?
    Shame about losing the clean sheet (wtf was Buttner doing?) but I thought Evans and Smalling with Jones just in front of them were all excellent once again.
    Januzaj too was his usual lively self, and Welbeck looks a different player playing up front rather than out wide on the left.
    The fact that so many of our young players are really stepping up is very pleasing for me so long may it continue.
    Now if the elder members of the squad could do the same we might be able to go on a bit of a run now.

  • who would have thought young would get goals in consecutive matches??? yowsa and good goals too. may have to keep him for english quotient ???

    adnan for #7 roony is a class box to box cm. now if the injured players can keep this form up when they return…

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