Nov 01 2014

Battle of the star galacticos

Tag: Match Preview @ 12:28 pm

derby-day-scarvesThe usual format for an article is to open with a witty introduction filled with crudely constructed similes and metaphors designed to distract the reader from what is unlikely to be the most interesting piece of sports journalism they will read this week. Sunday’s match needs no introduction. This derby is massive.

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Oct 25 2014

United determined to avoid the Sunday blues

Tag: Match Preview @ 10:39 am
Clash of the Titans

Clash of the Titans

It could get messy on Sunday. Eamonn Holmes at an all you can eat buffet messy. Everyone is aware of a possible humiliation, but there is reason to be positive. A talented and ambitious group of players, a big game manager at the helm and an electric Old Trafford atmosphere. The stage is set for a match of astronomical proportions. Eamonn Holmes proportions.

United fans are still full of optimism and hope for this team as reflected by the demand for Manchester United tickets, optimism that is not misplaced. Although the results have yet to become stable and the defensive performances have been as shaky as Rolf Harris’ alibi for his whereabouts during the 1970s, this is a team full of promise. Not just built around superstars but filled with grit and determination, motivated by a fiery Dutchman.

There is only so far promise can get you, however, and while United appear to be a work in progress, their visitors on Sunday appear to be the finished article.

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Jul 23 2014

A first glimpse of LVG: LA Galaxy vs United preview

Tag: Match Preview @ 4:10 pm

Louis van Gaal and assistant manager Ryan Giggs of Manchester United watch their team train in LAThere is very little rest for the wicked, it seems. There’s definitely been almost none for Louis Van Gaal who, less than two weeks on since his Holland side dismantled Brazil 3-0 in the World Cup third spot playoff, will take charge of his first ever game as Manchester United manager tomorrow morning at 4.10am UK time when the Reds take on Los Angeles Galaxy.

The game at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl – the same ground that hosted the 1994 World Cup final – is the first friendly of United’s US tour, which will also see them facing Roma, Inter Milan and Real Madrid in the International Champions Cup over the next eight days.

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Jun 28 2014

World Cup predictions: Netherlands, France and Belgium to win

Tag: Match Preview,Opinion Piece @ 8:00 am


For United fans – once the England mess is cleared away – the World Cup has been as interesting from a managerial standpoint as it has been from a players standpoint.

With United manager Louis van Gaal taking Netherlands to the Round of 16, Netherlands v Mexico will be watched for LvG’s tactical approach to the game more than it’ll be appreciated for the talents of United strikers Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez.

In fact, with Manchester United still looking to sign a central defender, fans will be watching Netherlands’s Bruno Martins Indi with a lot of interest too.

The Dutch are favourites against a Mexico side that’s only met expectations by qualifying for the group stages, and how these two teams more comfortable on the counter play will be interesting to watch.

The Sunday game isn’t the only one with United players involved – Patrice Evra will start for France in their game against Nigeria and Marouane Fellaini is expected to start (with Adnan Januzaj on the bench?) for Belgium in their game against the USA.

France were unimpressive in their 0-0 draw against 10-man Ecuador in their final group game, however they should eb a different prospect altogether when it comes to Nigeria. Evra’s ability to create chances from the left flank will be important considering Nigeria have kept two clean sheets so far in this World Cup.

For Belgium, Fellaini will be crucial against a fast and aggressive USA team, and if he can lead Belgium to the quarters it will only bode well for United – we need him playing at his best, and he has seemed to grow in confidence in this World Cup.

Predictions: Netherlands, France and Beligum to win. Good odds on this acca if you’re looking for a betting tip. Also, RvP to score.

World Cup predictions with JUST EAT – Win £500 in free takeaway

Everyone knows that takeaway and football go together. Well, our mates at JUST EAT, the online takeaway service, have taken things a step further with their Foody Forecaster.

The Forecaster is a fun way to predict football results – go with your gut, and predict games based on each team’s national dish. Make the right predictions, and you could win £500 in free takeaway.

The Round of 16 games are a culinary delight – for United fans, it’s a choice between Stamppot (Netherlands) and Burritos (Mexico), Crepes (France) v Nigerian Stew (no prizes for guessing who) and Mussels and Fries (Belgium) and Hamburger (USA). Just looking through all the different national dishes has got me salivating for some great food, which is kind of the point of JUST EAT’s forecaster (that and winning JUST EAT vouchers, of course).

Signing in is a breeze – you can use Twitter or Facebook, and you don’t have to annoy your mates by spamming their wall when you want to play. Then you can predict today’s results and the knockout stages. JUST EAT vouchers are up for grabs every day, not forgetting the grand prize of a year’s supply of takeaway – perfect for enjoying the footy on a full stomach! 

Click and play with Foody Forecaster!!


May 10 2014

Light at the end of the tunnel for United

Tag: Match Preview @ 9:17 am

rp_1212629-25313206-640-360-200x200.jpgAt long, long, last we’ve finally reached the end. Sunday’s trip to the South Coast brings the curtain down on this seemingly endless, utterly shambolic, largely uninspiring campaign meaning we can all spend the next few months dreaming of returning to success, while our heads spin at the number of players United are linked with in the press.

In the last quarter of a century never has there been a season Reds are so desperate to see the back of such as the current one, which has tested our collective resolve and patience in a whole new way from what we had been used to for over two decades.

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May 05 2014

It’s out with the old, in with the young for United

Tag: Match Preview @ 2:29 pm

19A9F6E88A5B4BC9AC765E6CFD351ECFOn Monday, it’ll be a year since Sir Alex Ferguson took charge of his last ever game at Old Trafford but the way things have unfolded this season one’d be forgiven for thinking that 10 years have passed by since that rainy May afternoon. United’s catastrophic season simply refuses to end, the feel good factor generated by David Moyes’ sacking and Ryan Giggs’ first game in charge evaporated in less than a week, as United were their usual inept selves on Saturday.

The defeat against Sunderland underlined that while appointing a world class manager is crucial, so is securing world class players in the upcoming transfer window if United are to challenge for trophies again in the foreseeable future, for most members of the current squad simply aren’t good enough.

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May 02 2014

Giggs hoping for perfect double

Tag: Match Preview @ 11:01 am

Giggs_appOver the last two weeks, football has been somewhat of an afterthought at United, with all the attention focused on David Moyes’ successor who, presumably, will be unveiled next week and is extremely likely to be speaking Dutch.

Football, of course, still has a role to play in this most endless, disappointing and beleaguered of seasons, whose finishing line seems destined to remain something blurry on the horizon. Good as it would be to draw a line on this season, after 10 months of dross and disappointment the last seven days have provided a welcome relief, with Ryan Giggs making his managerial debut in style, Liverpool losing the initiative in the title race and John Terry’s tears filling our TV screens yet again.

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Apr 25 2014

Giggs wants to play the United way

Tag: Match Preview @ 10:50 am

Giggs_app“We’re Man United, we’re at home, I expect us to win and play well and we want to give the fans something to shout about, play attacking football, score goals, make tackles.”

Ryan Giggs might only be in the Manchester United dugout for the next four games but if the above statement is anything to go by, then the remainder of the season could prove to be a world away from the dour, turgid, reality we’ve experienced for the last 10 months.

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