Manchester United vs Wigan Athletic: Preview

Betfair is the official Manchester United betting partner and we here at Red Rants have partnered with them to offer a free £25 bet when you register. Unlike other betting sites, Betfair allows you to place bets when the game is running and choose the odds at which you want to play. What allows you to do these things is you’re betting against other fans, not the bookie, so if you want better odds than are currently available, for example, you can place an order for a better price (but bear in mind that if your price is unrealistic your bet is unlikely to be accepted). So, give this a run if you’re up for it.

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The games come thick and fast during this time of year and later today Manchester United face off against Wigan Athletic at Old Trafford in their last match of 2009. United find themselves in a favourable position in the Premier League, if they win this match that would take them back to within two points of Chelsea at the top of the table. Considering our form of late and the less than convincing performance over Hull at the weekend, we must look to push on and continue the title fight.

Due to Edwin van der Sar’s absence for family reasons, we wish him and his family well; Tomasz Kuszczak will continue his stint in goal and hopefully continue his fine form.

Wes Brown and Nemanja Vidic both returned from injury against Hull and after assessing their fitness it is expected both will retain their respective places in the United side. Rafael also returned to the side and should start at right-back, while the ever present Patrice Evra will play in his usual left-back slot. The usual list of absentees continue to watch from the sidelines, those being Rio Ferdinand, John O’Shea, Jonny Evans and Gary Neville. Fabio and Ritchie De Laet will again find themselves on the bench.

With the defence slowly returning form injury, this gave Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick a chance to prove their worth in their natural positions. So expect to see them both in a settled midfield line up, Valencia will no doubt play against his former club and Ryan Giggs will continue to gain match fitness after being substituted at the weekend. If Giggs isn’t deemed fit to start then another player short of match fitness, Ji-Sung Park will be given the nod.

Up front we have the usual suspects, Wayne Rooney will look to furthermore make up for the mistake that so nearly cost his team and Dimitar Berbatov should be in line to start once more. Michael Owen is expected to be on the bench once more. It looks like Sir Alex Ferguson will stick with an unchanged line-up, the first time this month.

Since being humbled by Tottenham 9-1 the Latics have come back fighting and proved tricky opponents. Wigan boss Roberto Martinez is optimistic of his side’s chances,

“We know it’s a monumental task but we’ll enjoy it. We’re going to go there and try to nick it. Their home record is outstanding and they’ve got such a big squad but we’re all excited to be going there.” While also showing his admiration for Sir Alex, “It’s a tough challenge but it’s always great to go head-to-head with probably one of the best managers ever in world football,” he said.

Wigan go into the match with no real injury worries, Mohamed Diame is the only player missing. Despite their good performances of late, they are without a win in four. The record in all competitions against Wigan makes good reading for us, we have won all 10 previous encounters, scoring 30 goals and conceding just four. The omens look good indeed.

The main threat will be from Hugo Rodallega; the Colombian has scored seven times this season and has proved to be a key player since his arrival form Necaxa last January. However, they have conceded 39 goals in 18 league games so a clean sheet looks unlikely.

Wes Brown is in a positive mood ahead of the match,

“We’re in a confident mood now and hopefully we can keep that going against Wigan,” he stated “We’ve got a good squad, me and Vida (Nemanja Vidic) are back now and we can hopefully go on a nice little run and keep winning.”

After a tough few weeks it seems as if the wheels are back on, so three points it is.

Prediction: 2-0 United

Probable Line Up: Kuszczak, Rafael, Brown, Vidic, Evra, Valencia, Fletcher, Carrick, Giggs, Berbatov, Rooney.

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Betfair is the official Manchester United betting partner and we here at Red Rants have partnered with them to offer a free £25 bet when you register. Unlike other betting sites, Betfair allows you to place bets when the game is running and choose the odds at which you want to play. What allows you to do these things is you’re betting against other fans, not the bookie, so if you want better odds than are currently available, for example, you can place an order for a better price (but bear in mind that if your price is unrealistic your bet is unlikely to be accepted). So, give this a run if you’re up for it.


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