Man Utd v Porto: Preview

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It would be really incredible if I didn’t mention the name of one of Porto’s strikers; the Brazilian, Hulk. Porto are said to have a pretty good recent form, but I don’t suppose they are anywhere near the side that sneaked past us, few years ago.

Yesterday Ronaldo strutted out lines you’d think he could have even said backwards; “I am at the right club”, is about as obvious and politically correct as they can get, for now. We’ll revisit this speculation in a couple of weeks, or whenever the press start scraping the barrel for stories.

Fergie feels it will be hard to keep Macheda out and there’s a good chance the Italian will be on the bench today. Speaking of Macheda, anyone else find it disturbing that there is a raft of articles comparing him with absolute fooballing legends on the back of one moment of brilliance? I mean, in the Guardian there was an article comparing him with George Best! That’s hilariously ridiculous. Trust the media to big something up anticipating a gigantic fall. One hopes the staff at United keep the lad firmly grounded.

On the game, Rooney will return and so will Vida. Hopefully this will ensure we manage to keep our defensive end as tight as we can. For a start, it would be a welcome change to get through a game without conceding a goal. Rooney’s influence would give us more of an attacking threat than we’ve managed to witness in the first 70 minutes of the Villa game.

So at the back, I’d expect a back four of Evra, Evans, Vidic and O’Shea. Carrick would likely partner Giggs in the centre, and Ronaldo and Park could be on the wings. Up front, I suppose it would be Tevez and Rooney.

Prediction: 2-0 to United.

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601 Comments

  1. Jaffa Cakes are cakes.
    Biscuits are hard, and go soft when left out.
    Cakes are softer, and go hard when left out.
    Simples. 🙂
    Hurry up the Sunderland match! I Can’t wait!
    Happy Bank Holiday weekend to those who it applies. 🙂

  2. @Matt: Matt your a genious mate, and one of the few who can see that our MF has needed an injection of talent for the last two seasons. We need another one who can command the MF with Hargo.

  3. @Rahul: Mods, are we having to nominate fucking mods now????? Surely we haven’t got sooooooooooooooooo bad that we need someone to play schoolmaster Bro 😀 .

    If we do have to nominate mods, where the fuck are Jb and Fred the Red, they would get my vote along with Grog. Two of those guys have gone AWOL, WHY?????? Send in the Military Police to get after them 😆 .

  4. I want to kick Sunderland arse so bad this weekend. We need to kick some butt and win by a margin. Come on you devils, GET THE COMBATANTS ON!.

  5. Tell you what, nobody should be on the field against Blunderland, unless THEY BELIEVE. Nobody who is not willing to fight like fuck to get the win, I don’t care the score. Get that fucking win – end of 😆 . Get the players on WHO BELIEVE and are psyched up – please Fergie, no Dads army thank you.

  6. @ROOOOONEY: I find it amazing that in one week Rafael and Wes Brown are fit but they couldn’t suit up a week earlier and help the club out. Pussies, the whole lot of them. Real men don’t play this game, little girls who wear yellow polka dot underwear do. Are any of these players capable of sucking it up, enduring a little discomfort and taking one for the team? Man up you fucking wimps. We needed you to return a week early from your two month vaginal douching sessions. It’s just amazing when you’ve been gone so long, that an extra week can make you have a complete recovery but there was no way either of you could face the pressure cooker last week when the club was in dire straights at RB and CB. And we wonder why this team has no grit.

  7. @Natzca: None taken mate. I just felt explaining myself would make more sense to you and help you realize that I think things through before I speak. Anger is a great motivator and we all say things in the heat of the moment but I really do believe the end has come for several players on this team. And today, Fergie has pledged himself for another two to three years. Well I love Fergie and respect what he has done for us but I am just a little concerned that his motivation to win a few more European Cups is blinding him from the real goals that should be set for this club. That is getting better and getting younger. By being more aggressive on the filed as well as off it and by once again instilling discipline and no nonsense rules and regulations for the players to follow. Two more years of his mellow side is not something I am looking forward to. 😀

  8. @Will: I am not sure why Nani is required. I don’t see him doing anything special on the field. If you see the scorecard for each match plated this season you will see that 95% his performance has been dissapointing. Once Hagreaves is back next season all our midfield and winger worries should be over. And also the new guys from Serbia should be groomed and ready for next season. I agree that he is not good at scoring goals. But so doesn’t Nani. For now Park is the best choice.

  9. Craig Mc, whydo you think ando isnt getting many games this year. He is 1 player that is actually good enough to be in our midfield but it seems fletcher gets the nod over him. Actually earlier on in the season ando and fletcher had a run of games together and did really well, it was when we had our 1-0 periodd for about 6/7 games. Carrick has been very poor over the last month and really needs a rest, a few weeks dropped to show if your not on form you dont play. Unfortunately at the minute it seems theres 7/8 players that are guaranteed a starting spot every week regardless of their form which to me is wrong and unfair to the players that deserve to play. Fletcher has got some stick from me and maybe unfairly but atleast he has been a pretty consistent performer for a while so probably does deserve a starting spot. Cant for the life of me think why ando has featured so little this year, an explosive little player like him at this time when we seem tired and sluggish would be a welcome boost.
    Another player who i really feel for and believe has been treated disgustingly is 1 of your favourites craig and thats nani. Seriously why the hell does he never play. Before the villa game i hadnt seen him since the carling cup final. He never even managed to come on as a sub. Is park really more deserving of a starting spot than nani. Talent wise no way, even form wise park hasnt been anything amazing this year. These decisions really are weird to say the truth, we seem so defensive minded this year, we have been even out scored by the scousers. Hate to say it but we really should adopt their formation more to outscore teams. With the 2 central midfielders, the 3 attackers ahead and the leading man up top.

    This team would just kill nearly any1.

    VDS
    RAFAEL RIO VIDIC EVRA
    CARRICK FLETCHER
    RONALDO ROONEY TEVEZ
    BERBATOV

    That team is a rival to barca goal scoring wise instead of the drab boring stuff we have played all year. Im sorry but fergie and the muppet phelan have to take the blame here for their terrible tactics. Less of the osheas and parks of this world and more of ando and nani is what i want. Come on fergie lets be bold and try it like last season.

  10. @Matt: Riquelme? 😯 Don’t get me started on Riquleme. Many on this blog know how much I love that player but he is the last thing we need on this club. It’s not about his skill set, he is a gift from the gods, but his pace (or lack of) is not suited for the English game. Secondly, he is a disciplinarians nightmare. He beats to his own drummer and unless a manager is willing to allow one rule for Riquleme and another rule for the rest of the squad, it’s just a cancer waiting to spread. His ability is not in question but he is also 30 now and his best days are behind him. We should have bought him 3 years ago. If I was to go for anyone of that age I would try for Michael Ballack. There are rumors that he will not be given a new contract at seasons end simply because trying to fit him and Lampard into the lineup is difficult and it usually means a lesser role or ineffective role for both him and especially Michael Essien. Ballack is over 30 but he still plays the game well and is the quintessential box to box midfielder we don’t have and for me is the best header of the ball in the world. With that said, we should still prefer youth and players who want to play for us. Franck Ribery would be a great start as well as Sergio Aguero. Both like the club and would love to play for us. As for central midfielders, well there are plenty out there who could help. How much do you want to bet though that Fergie settles for Paul Scholes? 🙄

  11. i would like a change , someone with a good final ball distribution. and hopefully promoting kiko or campbell or danny ” i hope its kiko ” . i have not given up on berbatov i really think he can come through for us this season.

  12. @Craig Mc: We have a mod, his name is Red Ranter. Good enough for me. Other than that, we all need to watch each other’s backs when some newbie comes along and decides he want so to use this blog for his personal pissing session and decides he like to pick on individuals like a sociopath serial blogger. As long as we have each others support, having RR as our one mod is all we need. Now can’t we all just get along. 😉

  13. Grognard, im glad you too are a fan or riquelme and yes i have heard of his problems but i just figured if any1 could tame him it would be fergie, but to be honest judging on how he seems to be at the minute maybe your right and he wouldnt be disciplined at all which seems the way it is at the minute. I do hear he has a friendship with tevez though so maybe he would tell him beforehand what would be expected of him. My point anyway was we need a player like him, just someone who can bloody score goals from the middle. Chelsea have lampard and ballack, liverpool have gerrard and even arsenal have arshavin and even fabregas who can easily get 10 goals a season. We have no 1.
    As for ballack who you mentioned, im not sure. You say about riquelme having a bad attitude, well from me looking at him from the outside i would say he has 1 too. I really havent seen him much but he does seem a bit of a moody git for germany as well so maybe he could be a worse effect on the dressing room i dont know. I do think if any1 comes in as the AM though we do need an experienced player like rique or ballack. We have so many youngsters who we hear will produce in a few years, we just need 1 now. But yes someone like a ballack would be a good choice even though i feel ballack himself is an unlikely option.
    i just feel at the minute we need a change. Our players i feel arent hungry for more trophies so a few new players in and some out may be needed. The likes of the osheas and parks, gibsons and kuszaks arent good enough, scholes is too old and from my perspective ronaldo has lost his hunger. I bet though we dont do anything much in the summer, the players really are taking their positions for granted it seems. In many ways i do feel liverpool could be primed to over take us in the near future. We seem to be old, no hunger with no discipline at all. Liverpool remind me of us in the 06/07 season, a smallish squad that is hungry that just needs a few more quality signings. I really dont like saying that but im a realist and if we do make it to the final and play barca we would get killed, beating them in midfield is how to beat them and we definitely cant beat them there at the minute. Overall some big changes are needed this summer, but i fear fergie will do with what hes got. Is it just me or are you scared and fearful of a few more years of fergie the way he seems. Harsh i know but i fear for us at the minute.

  14. @Red Ranter: I really get tired of the “doesnt turn up in the big games” tag. I think its thrown around way too much. first of all, how many big games are there? in regards to Ronaldo he was the leading goal scorer in England and the Champions league, even had a goal in the Final, yet he misses a penalty kick and the tag jumps out again that he cant do it on the big stage. The same thing was said about Ibra, he is a talented player but he cant produce when it counts. I just find it highly unfair because the big games come around 1 in 10 games if that.

    I think it is just a convenient thing people bring up when they cant find anything else to fault someone for. Ronaldo has produced plenty of times for club and country in “big games” but those games are easily glossed over and the critics go quiet until he has a bad game against a big side, and the argument comes roaring to life again.

  15. We wont need another midfielder once bionic man AKA hargo comes back with his bionic legs! plus adem will be coming in january, i have high hopes for him.
    The only singing i would really make is a left winger, it was cringe worthy looking at park and evra against porto! Not a single one of them could cross, so when we got into the attacking third, they just pass it to eachother until we get a throw in.

  16. Can anyone please tell me why the hell tosic has not got any playing time. I heard it was cos he was so skinny and was being made to bulk up, well thats just crap cos park is the skinniest smallest guy i have seen, he is always down on his ass. Seriously i swear a strong wind would knock him over ffs. Anyway dan, i agree about hargo, man we could do with him, and as for the young serbian lad, he looks quality from what ive seen but that is if im honest just youtube clips which isnt enough to judge anyone on.

  17. @Matt: Ballack is not a problem child whatsoever. he may challenge his national team manager once in a while but as a club player, he has always been a model of professionalism. He is just too much of a luxury at Chelsea when they need to strengthen other areas of the team. Deco, Lampard, Ballack, Essien are all world class players and really, there is only room for two of them in the starting lineup. Unlike our squad that has Scholes, Carrick, Fletcher, Anderson of which none are world class players. Scholes was once but not any longer and the others are just good players. Hargo is the only truly world class player we can throw into that mix but we will have to wait until next season to see if he is truly fully recovered. Anybody who feels our midfielders other than Hargo are world class, well all that I can say for them is that they are smoking something highly illegal.

    Riquelme has even now burned his bridges with the national team. It’s almost hilarious that he would lose favour from the one man who you would think would understand him. Maradona may have been one of the top two to three players of all time but he is nothing more than a junkie and a criminal to me. For him to find Riquelme a massive problem and distraction is certainly disconcerting to say the least. That may not be the case. It just may be that Maradona believes in going with a young team but either way, he is losing out on having the oil that keeps all those fine parts turning with grace, timing and efficiency. and it certainly showed against Bolivia. I hate Maradona and so I am glad they lost like that. A great player like Riquelme needs to be understood and respected as someone who beats to his own drummer. All the greats are a little eccentric and need to be given some slack. God knows we have our own disciplinary problems with Rooney and Ronaldo and I often think that their crimes are more severe than anything Riquelme has ever done. I fear that we have all seen the last of Riquelme at the top flight of football. No moe European teams or Argentina national team opportunities. We will just have to put up with him wasting his time with Boca Juniors. No disrespect intended to Boca fans.

  18. Yeah, Brown and Rafael have been sitting on the sidelines too long. It would have been great to be able to play one of them on the right against Porto and put O’Shea on the left. Evra has been terrible lately and should be dropped in favour of someone who can offer a bit more defensive stability.

    Im amazed no-one has been talking about our debt. After winning the EPL and the Champions League we still made a net loss of £44 million because of the huge debt repayments we need to make each year.

    I don’t think there will be much money available for transfers end of the year and if a big money offer for Ronaldo comes along I bet the Glazers will be tempted to accept and pocket half of it.

  19. @johnsom33: He has not been great in big games but he hasn’t exactly stunk in them either. For me he was the player of the match in the last FA Cup we won and yes he did score in the CL final last year. But overall, I cannot lie and say he has shown up whenever we needed a big road win or were playing the best teams in a must situation. It’s not always just finals. Where was he when we played Liverpool this season? Come to think of it, where was he when we played Arsenal and Chelsea on the road? Was he a factor in any big games and must win games this year? Perhaps, but when it was time to deliver against the big teams, he was absent. Yes he scored on a header vs Inter but other than that, he was disappointing. It’s not just showing up and putting one in the old goal. It’s about overall play. He is often caught waiting for others to make things happen and he ends up on the end of things to finish. In big games he becomes a hybrid striker and observer, waiting for an opportunity rather than tracking back, getting the ball and making things happen. And when he has this season, more often than not he has been dispossessed of the ball which has led to counterattacks which in the last two games has led two goals. But poor Riquelme the loner has had to endure a lot of unfair and some fair criticism over the years just because he is a non conformist. Perhaps I sympathize too much with the man because I too am a non conformist who loves to challenge authority when he sees them wrong or unjust. And for that the man who was sent to us by the football gods, has been banished from the big time by a punk masquerading as manager of Argentina. Truly pathetic and very sad. 🙄 🙁

  20. @Dan: Problem is we need more than just Hargo back mate. He will be the energy and hustle we need from a DMF but we still need to see what we will do with the left side of the midfield/wing and see if Carrick can become a box to box midfielder. So far he has shown me that he cannot sustain that for long periods of time. I like Carrick but he frustrates me. Not as much as Anderson, but frustrated is how I feel. No I think we need Hargo and new fellows in three out of our four midfield positions. The present group isn’t working offensively, and of late they have been doing a terrible job defensively too.

    Now we should examine who can we really go after and who is a realistic target for us to chase based on his availability, desire to play for us or in England and based of course on how much money we have to throw around? I’ll leave it to you guys to offer up some suggestions. And please, refrain from the obvious and highly unrealistic choices like Xabi, Fabregas, Essien etc. Go with attainable players, not fantasy miracles

  21. @Matt: Apparently he has been playing very poorly for the reserves. Yet another dud that has been bought using United’s highly overrated scouting system. It seems to me that 3 out 4 young players we buy are duds. The good news is that every so often we get lucky with an Evans, DaSilva twins, Macheda and Welbeck. But really, how good is Anderson, Nani, Llajic, Tosic, Manucho, Possebon? Some have had a long time to prove themselves, others not so long, but none of these players has done anything yet to really get us excited. Scouting for young players is a gamble and quite often it is hit or miss. Unfortunately, United does miss quite often. I fear Tosic is a tosser.

  22. @colver: Exactly. Considering how long Brown and Rafael have been out, would three days make that much of a difference. W e could have used one of them at least on the bench instead of that old fart Neville.

  23. @colver: I used to think the same thing about money from a Ronaldo sale. But apparently that is not the case. Monies made from the sale of players go into the teams player fund, to be used to pay players and buy players. This is what I read a while back. I hope it’s true but it would make sense. The Glazer’s get all the licensing money and money from advertisers, tv and investors like the Arabs. Even if Ronaldo stays, which I believe he will, we should still have money if we were to sell a few failures on the team and have a few salaries disappear with the retirement of a few players who are nothing more than dead weight (no names, but we all know who they are). We should generate enough to buy a Ribery and another midfielder or striker.

  24. @Grognard: carrick is to slow and lacks the stamina to be a box to box. you need to get this hope out now, it will not happen unless carrick takes some pills! Out of our current mids, anderson is the best/closest box to box midfielder we have, he can be a real enforcer.

  25. @Grognard: I too love Roman and think that Maradona is a tosser of the highest order. However, to be fair I thought I’d read that Riquelme quit the national team and Diego said that he’d welcome him back if he changed his mind. I might be wrong about this though and couldn’t be arsed to google it.

  26. @Grognard: Wes Brown is fuckin immense, and none of you can deny it. Wes is the best on the right side we have, and he defends like a fucking trojan. Nobody, and I mean nobody we presently have is better than Wes. He has been sorely missed.

  27. @Grognard: Grog, FFS, Bro I didn’t say we needed mods. I was answering somebody elses post who was talking about mods, and I thought RR was pissed of and decided to ENLIST mods. Fuck me, I get hung when I am not saying what people think I am saying 😆 . RR and you make a fucking great pair 👿 😀 .

  28. @Craig Mc: too soon to judge mate, hes still settling in, his physic isnt great and if anything, its tougher in the reserve league(most of them are english lads, compared to the league we’re there are more nationalities) then the premier league.

  29. @Matt: Matt, I think Andie has been injured, and has only just recovered mate. We cannot deny that Fletch has worked his bollocks off for us in MF. Carrick has been SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO off form in the last few games, and scholesy/Giggs (United legends are done I believe. They had their best days.) Andy has got to be more consistent Matt, because he has great games and then INDIFFERENT games, when he is out of it. Andie still has a lot to prove yet Matt. But it is up to him, he has the talent, but he needs consistency to be a regular 😀 .

  30. @Eric the Red: Riquelme quit the team because Maratossa never selected for the two previous internationals that were in Europe, and when he realized he was not in his future plans either, he just said to hell with him and told him to stuff it. Unfortunately at his age, I doubt we will see him again play for Argentina but then again, I doubt Maradona will make it out of this summer. You would think that of everyone out there, the one man who would understand Riquelme’s rebellious nature and personality would be a grown former junkie and nonconformist like Maradona. Go figure! 🙄

  31. @Craig Mc: I totally agree and I also believe that he was more in Fergie’s dog house because of his wage demands last summer than because of any frakken injury. I do believe that in a few years Rafael will be far superior, but right now, Wes is the man.

  32. @Craig Mc: I am basing it totally on his lack of success here which I do not blame him for. Relax Bro, you know how much I love the Lil Man but you and I both have agreed that the best place for him is as far away from OT as he can hitchhike to. 😀 So am I out of the doghouse with my explanation? 😳

  33. @Craig Mc: Hey I’m no mod mate and in fact half the time I am in the middle of a sticky situation. Besides any time I have tried to be a peace keeper, RR, has told me to piss off (not in those words) and let him take care of his blog. I just want there to be peace love, no world hunger and for United to kick the living shit out of every team they play, take no prisoners and show no mercy. 😈

  34. @Grognard: I would also argue that Fergie changes his tactics in big games and focuses on shutting up shop in the back and frequently leaves the attackers isolated up front. It would be nice if Ronaldo would track back get the ball and bring it up in attack, but we all know that is just never gonna happen with him. He is an out and out attacker who needs a quality midfield to supply him with balls. I feel him operating on the same wing with evra makes them both dangerous, but Ronaldo struggle when he has Neville on his side.

    Having said all that I think you bring up some interesting points, and its refreshing to hear differing opinions with out have to tear down a player just for the sake of ones argument(Ill admit I am guilty of this 😆 )

  35. @Matt: Im not a big fan of Riquelme, but I can see why he is adored by others. Of course I could be wrong, but I dont see Riquelme at any stage in his career making it in the EPL. Its just not his sort of game, he is better suited for the Spanish or Italian league. Like Grog pointed out, He is someone who requires his own set of rules, which is something Fergie would never go for.

  36. 1. Win the league and record #18 to tie with liverpool.
    2. Beat Everton.
    3. Beat Porto.
    4. Beat Tottenham
    5. Beat Arsenal in league
    6. Beat Aresenal in CL x 2
    7. NAME ON THE TROPHY!

  37. @johnsom33: When he does track back and get the ball, all that happens is he gets fouled and the referee ignores it. The guy can’t win or get a break.

  38. @johnsom33: Riquleme is a super talent but he is not known for his pace and the quickness as well as the physicality in the EPL would wear him down quickly. I personally feel that is why Veron was a failure. There of course are Argentines who have done well in England but presently, I think quite a few of them are unsuited for the English game. They believe in short passes, ball control and slow buildup (remember that classic goal they scored in the las World Cup against Serbia? That’s the style they prefer.). Slow and patient is the way most of them fell most comfortable with. Even quick players like Aguero and Messi play better when all around them are in a controlled and slower tempo. United themselves have slowed down their play this season and it has hurt our domestic play in terms of offense.

    As for discipline, Riquleme is not impossible to manage, like some he needs to be understood and loved and then given artistic license to do his thing. This is a wonderful thing to see like at last years Copa. In that tournament he was absolutely awesome until he and the whole team layed an egg in the final. Up to that point I really believe he had earned the Balon D’or as world player of the year. But unfortunately the man gets no respect. People forget how he singlehandedly saved and took a very ordinary Boca team to the Argentine league title that same year. When he arrived they were in dire straights but he took them to the title as well as the South American championship. He is a true magician but very few managers can contain their ego’s and their need for control and allow this man the breathing room to express himself on the pitch. Fergie lets Rooney and Ronaldo get away with a lot but most of it is not linked to showing up to practices late or refusing to do certain things because they find it unnecessary. like I said, Roman is his own legion and he answers to nobody but Roman. Let him be his own Caesar and you get a player who not only plays well, but actually gets along well with his teammates. Treat him poorly or not allow him his needed freedom, and you get a moody and antisocial individual who disappears and ignores the team’s rules and regulations.

    People ask me why I protect and defend the guy? Those who say that just have not watched this man play enough times to realize what a true gift from the footballing Gods he is. And the only sin he really commits in my opinion is, he knows it.

  39. Johnson 33 is right about the big game theory.In a season,there are nore than 60 games for a team like ours and in all those you have around 10 big games at most.To judge a player on those is shunning consistent performances.If i dare sk,where are the big game players in the remaining 50 or so games?
    Ronaldo last season scored against every team in the premiership.So the idea of not being a big game player should be put to bed.He is simply the best player in the world.Iam glad Messi is going to face chelsea so people see how he fares against big players.I saw him bitching about rangers being too physical and anti football.
    The reason we need Nani in these last games is we need to attack,and though sometimes disappointing,he is a better option than park on the wing.He also has a surprise element in him.An eye for goal.We need players with goals in them.
    The reason our defence has looked shaky has something to do with the whole team.The best way to defend is to attack.If you dont attack a team,they will attack you.Its that simple.

  40. @Grognard: He’s only better off out of OT because Fergie is stupid enough with the lad NOT to harness his talent. Pity he isn’t Russian, Big Dutch Guus would bring him to legendary status, like he seems to be doing with Isanovic??? Guus knows how to bring players ON. You can come out the doghouse for now, but give Nani some again, and I will personally chuck you and several others on this blog in the LION PIT together 😆 😆 😆 .

  41. I hope Blackburn play as fecking frantically against L’fool as they did against us, where they put in SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much effort, I think they lost their following games. I also hope that our lads fight for A WIN today, as if THEIR LIVES depended on it. Very worried about our makeshift defence again though!

  42. @Craig Mc: I totally agree about Nani. We both know what he is capable of Fergie just can’t bring it in him. As for Guus, agreed again, and yes imagine what he could do with him. I don’t know how ell he has worked with this Isanovic guy you mention but he has done wonders with Ivanovic. 😉 😛 Just had to mess with you over you typing error. It’s cause I am bored.

    By the way RR, put up a new thread because this one is too old, slow and has reached it’s shelf life expiry date. Call me picky mate but a Sunderland Preview should be up before the game, not after it. 😛 Like Craig, I’m just messing with you too. Just call it being in a good but bored mood. 😀

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