Mar 08 2012

Manchester United Match Preview: v. Athletic Bilbao

As expected, Real Madrid and Barcelona are dominating La Liga once again this season, and that naturally dominates the headlines, for better or worse.

But when you look at the best of the rest, Athletic Bilbao are solidly perched near the top of those ranks and head into the last few months of the season with a chance to lock up their first Champions League berth since 1998, and they’ll be a confident bunch as they pay a Europa League visit to Old Trafford tonight.

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Feb 26 2012

Will United Clip the Canaries at Carrow Road?

The one good thing about Manchester United’s European adThe one good thing about Manchester United’s European adventures presently being on Thursday nights is that it means league games on Sundays instead of Saturdays, and when the archrivals and chief title rivals are playing the day before, that means you know what you have to do well ahead of time.

With City defeating Blackburn at home yesterday, United head into this afternoon’s visit to Norwich City needing three points to keep the deficit at the top at two points heading into next Sunday’s crucial clash at Tottenham. But to get those three points, we’ll have to see a much better performance than the one we saw on Thursday in the 2-1 fall-from-ahead and hairier-than-it-should-have-been home defeat to Ajax. Given this season’s overall success away from home to this point, there’s reason for optimism, even after what was an extremely forgettable performance in what should have been a stroll.

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Feb 23 2012

United Look to Seal Europa Progress at Home

For those who’ve grown accustomed to seeing my pre-match previews, I apologize for my absence last week. However, it was an excused absence, as I was welcome my first child, a rather adorable little girl (yes, I’m biased, of course!), into the world. The last week has been quite hectic, to say the least, but I can’t say I’ve had many better weeks.

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Feb 11 2012

United Look to Lay Lashing on Liverpool

There’s something about today’s opponents that seems a little familiar. Oh, that’s because there is. The latest installment of the Manchester United-Liverpool rivalry was only two weeks ago, and after Liverpool nabbed a late win at Anfield that day, United are aiming for revenge in the form of a crucial league win at home today.

Valentine’s Day is next week, but there isn’t a lot of love between these two sides, so today’s encounter is sure to be a tense one. The backstory that is Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez facing off for the first time since their now-infamous interactions in October is garnering plenty of headlines coming in, understandably, but it shouldn’t distract from the fact that this is a crucial match for both sides and that a United win will put all the pressure on City to match the result tomorrow.

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Feb 05 2012

United Seek First League Win at Chelsea Since 2002

Today is one of the most important days in the American sporting calendar, as the NFL’s Super Bowl takes place. But well before the rival Giants and Patriots kick off in Indianapolis, the real clash of the titans will take place at Stamford Bridge.

Either Manchester United or Chelsea have won the last seven Premier League titles, and in that time, the two sides have developed quite the rivalry, to put it mildly. And though Chelsea haven’t been at their best in Andre Villas-Boas’ first season at the helm, today’s showdown is still undoubtedly one of United’s biggest games of the season, because it’s Chelsea, because Chelsea don’t need to be allowed an opening back into the title race, and because United need to keep pace in that race.

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Jan 31 2012

United Look for Key Win against Pesky Potters

Is this a cursed season for Manchester United? From the word ‘go’, injuries and illness have torn through the side, and while injuries can’t be looked upon as an excuse for some of the poor and surprising results that have occurred this season or the exits from the Carling Cup, FA Cup, and most disappointingly, the Champions League, there’s no doubt that United’s chances for success in all of those competitions and in the Premier League would be at least somewhat enhanced by a fitter squad.

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Jan 28 2012

United Lock Horns with Liverpool in FA Cup Clash

There really isn’t much that needs to be said here. Manchester United v. Liverpool, the FA Cup, Anfield.

Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Smalling, Evans, Evra; Scholes, Carrick, Giggs; Valencia, Welbeck, Park.

Subs: Lindegaard, Fabio, Ferdinand, M Keane, Pogba, Berbatov, Hernandez

Liverpool: Reina; Kelly, Agger, Skrtel, Enrique; Carragher, Maxi, Gerrard, Henderson, Downing; Carroll

Subs: Doni, Johnson, Coates, Kuyt, Adam, Shelvey, Bellamy

No Rooney or Nani today, so there’s a lot of responsibility on Welbeck, Valencia, and Giggs to create, create, create.

De Gea gets the start in goal today, and this is as much a test for him as he’ll get this season. Pass it and he strengthens his hopes for regaining his starting slot soon, fail it, and well…

Jan 22 2012

Will United Rebuff Arsenal’s Revenge Quest?

As memorable as the last meeting was for all of the right reasons for Manchester United, it has to be put at the back of the mind. Or should be, at least.

But one can’t help but think of it ahead of today’s rematch at the Emirates Stadium, because it was such a memorable match and because you now have to be aware, if not wary, of the possibility of a backlash.

No one likes to be humiliated, and no one likes to lose to a rival. When you combine the two, it’s the ultimate stomach churner. United have been on the other end of the spectrum this season as well, and knowing how to respond and having responded to it, they know how to prepare for today. So, they’ll be ready for whatever Arsenal throw at them, aware of the need to put more distance between one rival and close the distance between another.

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