May 06 2012

Will United Smash the Swans in Home Finale?

What a difference a month makes, eh? A month ago, United looked to be well on their way to the Premier League title. With an eight-point lead with only six matches remaining, things looked quite rosy.

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Apr 30 2012

Will United deliver decisive blow in derby epic?

In case you weren’t aware – and if you weren’t, you’ve been living under a giant rock in the remotest of places – there’s a match of some importance tonight in Manchester.

The Premier League title race has been a two-team tussle between United and City for much of the season, and it’s been expected for some time that it could all come down to tonight’s showdown at the Etihad. And after many a twist and turn, we’ve finally reached the match everyone’s been waiting for, and it stands to have as much meaning as many thought it would.

Is it the most important match in Premier League history? Many have billed it as much. While that might be up for debate, it certainly has an argument for being the most important Manchester derby of all time.

It’s been previewed from almost every angle possible, many a statistic has been thrown out, many quotes have been given and analyzed. Along with the thousands packing into the Etihad tonight, millions upon millions around the world will be watching, United supporters, City supporters, neutrals.

Will it live up to the hype and be a classic? That would give people more to talk about, but when it comes down to it, the result is all that matters. For United, a draw would do, but United are going for the win, as they should.

Apr 22 2012

Will United Leave It Late against Everton Again?

For Manchester United, the equation for the next two games is pretty simple. Defeat Everton today and City next Monday, and the Premier League title goes to Old Trafford once again.

United have won five in a row at home against Everton, but the Toffees can often prove to be a difficult side to put away, just as they were last season when United needed Chicharito’s late winner to secure a vital 1-0 win.

Manchester United: De Gea, Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Scholes, Nani, Rooney, Welbeck. Subs: Amos, Jones, Smalling, Giggs, Park, Young, Hernandez.

Everton: Howard; Hibbert, Jagielka, Heitinga, Distin; Osman, Neville, Fellaini, Gibson, Pienaar; Jelavic. Subs: Mucha, Stracqualursi, McFadden, Cahill, Gueye, Barkley, Anichebe.

Apr 15 2012

Home Sweet Home for United against Villa?

Wednesday’s defeat at Wigan was an ill-timed blip and also made for unpleasant viewing, but while it added another twist to a Premier League title race that many – mistakenly, because it’s not over until the title is secure – considered to be all over, Manchester United are still in full control of their destiny.

City closed the gap to two points with a 6-1 win at Norwich yesterday, but United can restore their lead to five points with a home win over Aston Villa in today’s only Premier League tie.

United have won all six of their home league matches in 2012, and a seventh win in a row would continue United’s dominance over Villa. Villa have only one win over United since 1995, and considering that they’re winless in their last five away matches, the odds are strongly against them today.

Manchester United: De Gea, Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Scholes, Young, Rooney, Welbeck.

Subs: Amos, Jones, Cleverley, Giggs, Nani, Berbatov, Hernandez.

Aston Villa: Given, Hutton, Collins, Baker, Lichaj, Bannan, Gardner, Clark, Ireland, Weimann, Agbonlahor.

Subs: Guzan, Johnson, Delfouneso, Heskey, N’Zogbia, Cuellar, Carruthers.

Apr 08 2012

Sparky Returns as United Look to Continue Title March

Another season, another second-half charge by Manchester United. United’s prowess when it really matters has been proven time and again, and it looks to be another case of the same old, same old this season. United left it late against Blackburn, but the end result was a seventh straight league win and a five-point lead atop the Premier League table.

For much of the season, many have pointed to United’s visit to City later this month as the tie that could decide the outcome of the title race, but there’s a real chance things could be all but decided ahead of that match. Three of United’s four matches prior to derby day are at home, whereas three of City’s four pre-derby fixtures are away from home. That’s notable, given United’s present form and the fact that City have won only twice in their last nine away fixtures in the league.

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Apr 02 2012

Title-Chasing United to Pass Tough Ewood Park Test?

Ewood Park has had a tendency to be an unfriendly place for Manchester United, but a win there tonight against Blackburn will not only significantly aid United’s title charge, but it’ll help make up for the embarrassing 3-2 defeat that Blackburn inflicted on New Year’s Eve.

United have come a long way since the back-to-back defeats to Blackburn and Newcastle, at least in regards to league form, and another fine performance tonight will bring title #20 even closer to being realized.

Tonight’s lineups, without further ado:

Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Jones, Scholes, Rooney; Hernandez

Subs: Amos, Smalling, Giggs, Park, Pogba, Young, Welbeck

Blackburn Rovers: Robinson; Orr, Dann, Hanley, Olsson; Lowe, Nzonzi, Pedersen, Olsson; Hoilett, Yakubu

Subs: Bunn, Dunn, Modeste, Formica, Petrovic, Rochina, Henley

Mar 26 2012

United Aim to Reclaim Top Spot against Cottagers

There’s nothing wrong with saying that it’d have been nice for Chelsea and Stoke City to hold a couple of important leads over the last several days, because the opportunity to take a seven-point lead with eight matches left would have been a fantastic one that would leave my soccer picks looking very healthy indeed.

But heading into the home stretch of a tight title race, any advantage is a helpful one, and with a win tonight over Fulham, Manchester United will be three points clear of City, who moved back to top spot with Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Stoke. And along with an advantage in points, United could also take an advantage in goal difference if they can crush the visiting Cottagers, who went down 5-0 to United at Craven Cottage in December.

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Mar 15 2012

Is Another Legendary European Night in Store for United?

Another off-night for Manchester United in a European home match means that tonight could well be the end of a forgettable European season. That is, if United are unable to overturn a 3-2 deficit at Athletic Bilbao. The mission? Win by two clear goals, win 3-2 to at least force extra time, or win by anything from 4-3 to 10-9 and beyond to win on away goals.

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