Behold! Squeaky bum time is approaching and approaching fast for Manchester United and if you think that I am talking about the remaining five fixtures that Fergieâ€™s men have left in March, you are gravely mistaken. Nay, it is not March which worries me, but April… that is a different story.
Of Manchester Unitedâ€™s eighteen possible fixtures left, nine of them would be next month. Aside from the four Premier League fixtures, they could have an additional four Champions League games and, if they get past Portsmouth on Saturday, the FA Cup semi-final is conveniently placed between the two legs of the Champions League quarter-finals (in place of a Premier League fixture against Middlesbrough).
Oh, did I mention that they will also be taking on Arsenal and Chelsea?
So onto the actual fixtures:
- On April 1st or 2nd, just a couple of days after facing Aston Villa in the Premier League, Manchester United will play in the Champions League quarter-finals. Against whom, I do not know yet. Hopefully no one knows yet because the draw will be made on March 14th. I am eying a draw against either Schalke or Fenerbahce, but not getting my hopes up too high.
- April 5th is scheduled to see Middlesbrough take on United. But that could change. If Fergieâ€™s men manage to beat Portsmouth tomorrow, they will instead play in the FA Cup semi-final. But never fear, because if thatâ€™s the case, the Premier League will find another little interval where they could fit in a match like this.
- The second leg of the Champions League quarter-finals is due to be played on April 8th or 9th.
- It does not get easier after that either. On the 13th, Wengerâ€™s obnoxious pricks** will pay Old Trafford another visit and hopefully it will be very similar to the last encounter these teams had at the Theatre of Dreams. This one has title-decider written all over it.
- After the Arsenal game, Manchester United was set to have a lengthy break (six full days!), but that will not happen if they qualify for the FA Cup semis. Remember the â€˜little intervalâ€™ from above? This is it. So on April 16th, we could finally see United take on Middlesbrough.
- On the Saturday after that, United will travel to Ewood Park, where they will face Blackburn Rovers. It has been more than a year since Manchester United won away at Blackburn, you know?
- The Champions League semi-finals will follow for Manchester United (hopefully!) either on the 22nd or the 23rd of this very exciting month for footy fans.
- And just because there is no reason for Rooney and co. to relax even for a moment, a mouth-watering away fixture against Chelsea comes up next. April 26th the day of that match, and if the football gods are in good spirits, we could even have an encore of last yearâ€™s FA Cup final!
- Finally, April will finish for Manchester United with the second leg of the Champions League semi-final (if the qualify, that is). Knowing Manchester Unitedâ€™s luck, they might get Barcelona here, but if they make it to the semis, they will make it to the final as well methinks.
Thatâ€™s all folks. Thatâ€™s all that Manchester United has ahead of them in the month of April and surely they would have fitted in more matches if they could. But what am I complaining about? They are alive on three fronts and odds are that they will triumph in at least one of these competitions. On top of that Chelsea and Arsenal have very similar fixture lists.
|01/02-04||UEFA Champions League quarter-final|
|05-04||Middlesbrough v Manchester United or FA Cup semi-final*|
|08/09-04||UEFA Champions League quarter-final|
|13-04||Manchester United v Arsenal|
|16-04||Middlesbrough v Manchester United *|
|19-04||Blackburn v Manchester United|
|22/23-04||UEFA Champions League semi-final*|
|26-04||Chelsea v Manchester United|
|29/30-04||UEFA Champions League semi-final*|
**there is nothing wrong with throwing insults at Arsenal, is there?
*there is a possibility that these matches might not be played, but letâ€™s not go there.
How do you think Manchester United will fare in April?