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Will United Continue Dominance of Wigan in Boxing Day Clash?

Many people look forward to Christmas Day, what with all of the presents and the food and the family time. Now, that’s all very, very nice, but I look forward more to the day after Christmas, even if it’s not a holiday in my little corner of the world.

Boxing Day means football, football, football, and for Manchester United, Boxing Day traditionally means success. That should once again be the case today, as in-form United, looking for a fifth straight Premier League win and to extend their unbeaten league run to nine matches, host Wigan Athletic.


United were victorious in their two meetings against Wigan last season, winning 2-0 at Old Trafford in November and then notching a 4-0 win in the corresponding fixture in February. Chicharito netted three times in two matches against the Latics, and the two matches also saw rare goals for Patrice Evra (his first Premier League goal since 2006) and Fabio (his first Premier League goal).

Overall, United have completely dominated Wigan since they came into the Premier League. Along with a 4-0 win in the 2006 Carling Cup Final, United are a perfect 12 for 12 in league matches against Wigan, and in those 12 matches, United have scored 37 goals and conceded only four. At Old Trafford, United have won six in six, scoring 19 and conceding only once, a late, meaningless penalty by Leighton Baines in a 3-1 win on Boxing Day in 2006.


Wigan Athletic

After escaping the drop by the hair on their chinny chin chins last season, Wigan appear destined for another such battle this season.

After a three-match unbeaten run to start the season, Wigan lost their next eight league matches, getting outscored 19-4 in the process. However, their form has been on an upswing as of late, which is good news for Roberto Martinez’s job security. In their last six matches, they’ve lost only once, a 4-0 thumping at the hands of Arsenal at home. They’ve picked up wins in their last two away matches, defeating Sunderland and West Brom, and they come into this match off the heels of back-to-back home draws against Chelsea and Liverpool.

It isn’t enough to take them out of the bottom three, as they currently sit 18th, with 14 points from 17 matches, one point behind Wolves, but it is enough to give them a needed boost of confidence heading towards the second half of the season.

With the exception of the Arsenal defeat, Wigan have defended much better lately, and their clean sheet against Liverpool was their first since a 2-0 win over QPR in late August. They’ve also shown a great deal of resilience in their recent run, having come back from early deficits in their wins at Sunderland and West Brom and netting a late equalizer in their draw against Chelsea.

However, even though they‘ve fared better in front of goal recently, they are still statistically the league’s worst attacking team, with only 15 goals thus far. Their leading scorers are midfielder Jordi Gomez and striker Franco Di Santo, who have both notched four goals, but they haven’t gotten a single goal from star striker Hugo Rodallega, who has yet to score this season after scoring nine league goals last season and ten the season before that.

Manchester United

In spite of the fact that a new name gets added to the injury list almost every week, United are once again thriving.

Since that disastrous night in Basel, United have produced three dominant performances, and they’ve been rewarded with three wins. Wolves were tossed aside 4-1, QPR should have been dispatched by more than a 2-0 scoreline, and when last we saw United, they had their way with Fulham from start to finish in a 5-0 win at Craven Cottage last Wednesday.

United hadn’t been receiving the expected contributions from the likes of Wayne Rooney and Nani for a while, but both have been key in this run, and praise also has to be reserved for Michael Carrick and Antonio Valencia, who are both in fine form, and Ryan Giggs, who turned back the clock against Fulham, picking up two assists and a goal. Giggsy’s now scored in every Premier League season, and he could be set to extend that amazing record.

Unfortunately, injuries continue to be an issue, and the latest casualty is Ashley Young, who is set to be out for at least the next couple of weeks after suffering a knee injury at Fulham. However, his absence is tempered by the recent form of Valencia, who has definitively reclaimed his starting spot on the right wing.

Rio Ferdinand will also miss out today due to a foot injury, but he’ll be back for Saturday’s visit from Blackburn. But on the positive side, Phil Jones will be available today after his face was on the receiving end of a Clint Dempsey elbow early on in the win at Craven Cottage. It was initially feared that he’d be out for several weeks due to a facial injury, but quite fortunately, that won’t be the case. To his credit, Jonesy soldiered on as long as he could against the Cottagers, and while you don’t want someone to endanger their well-being, it sums up the fact that he’s as much a Manchester United player as anyone before or after.

The recent flurry of goals has allowed United to close the gap on City on goal difference, with United’s now at +28 (it was +18 prior to the Wolves’ match a little over two weeks ago) and City’s now at +38 (it was +35 prior to their defeat at Chelsea in that same round of fixtures). With United’s next two matches at home and City’s next two matches away from home (at West Brom and Sunderland), the opportunity could be there to help their cause even more in that department…and perhaps in the points department as well.

However, United have to take care of business on their end first and foremost, and while United have been dominant against Wigan, the Latics have provided a great deal of resistance on several occasions and could do so today. That being said, if United produce the same kind of performance today as they have been recently, Wigan’s attempts at resistance will be futile, the goals will continue to flow, and it’ll be a fifth straight league win for United.



  1. colver

    26 December 2011 at 13:25

    Yeah really we should win this. But complacency is a terrible thing. So I want us to win by a comfortable margin and put in a strong performance.

    I feel that we have finally stumbled upon a system that works pretty well considering the players we have, just as we stumbled upon a system early in the season.

    Valencia is giving us great width and for my money is a better crosser of the ball than Nani which is great news for Rooney who seems to have a great understanding with Valencia. Whereas Nani thrives on the left as it gives him more freedom and allows him to display his wider range of skills and get into some very dangerous positions. While Carrick in a more advanced role has the passing skills to get the ball to our attacking players and then if we want to be more defensive we can have Jones holding and if we want to be more offensive we can play Giggs and Carrick exposing a bit defensively but creating tons of chances for our forwards….don’t forget last season Giggs and Carrick were our best central midfield pairing putting Chelsea to sword over three consecutive fixtures and making Schalke look like a pub side (which to be fair they kinda are).

    I’m predicting this team:

    EVDS-Smalling, Rio, Evans, Evra-Valencia, Carrick, Jones, Nani-Welbeck, Rooney

    with Giggs and Hernandez coming on in the second half if needed

    • RedDevilEddy

      26 December 2011 at 14:06

      @colver: I miss Edwin 🙁

      Lindegaard starting today though, no De Gea if that’s what you meant!

  2. fahime shuhaime

    26 December 2011 at 13:51

    EVDS? Wake-up mate! 😉

  3. RedDevilEddy

    26 December 2011 at 14:08

    If we are to punish Wigan we should push wide, or look to get in behind their defence. Their backline stays awfully high for a Premier League team, and the likes of Caldwell and Boyce aren’t exactly the fastest players around. I actually want to see Welbeck and Chico start today, despite Rooney having a great scoring record against them he deserves a rest and we should go for pace and great movement in the box. Swing crosses in, or get balls behind them, and we should score lots today!

    • RedDevilEddy

      26 December 2011 at 14:11

      @RedDevilEddy: Rooney and Welbeck starting though… Can’t complain about that either! 😆

      We are fielding the exactly same team to the one that started against Wigan, but it’ll be interesting to see which one of Jones and Smalling who starts on right back! When was the last time we fielded the same team two games running?

  4. RedDevilEddy

    26 December 2011 at 14:19

    Wait I’m see different lineups everywhere… Some saying Carrick starts in central defence and Gibson in the middle. The fuck? 😕 😕

  5. Owen

    26 December 2011 at 14:23

    Michael Carrick starts in defence for Manchester United in place of the injured Phil Jones. Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck are rested as Javier Hernandez

  6. Vignesh

    26 December 2011 at 14:25

    What type of team is this ?

    Lindegaard; Valencia, Carrick, Evans, Evra; Park, Gibson, Giggs, Nani; Hernandez, Berbatov.

    If this is what can be put out…i wonder why the manager needs to say there needs to be no new additions for january ❓ ❓ ❓ ❓

  7. Traverse

    26 December 2011 at 14:38

    Evans Evra
    Valencia Park Carrick Gibson Giggs Nani
    Hernandez Berbatov


    Saying that we’ll probably still beat Wigan 4-0 as usual.

  8. Robbie

    26 December 2011 at 14:58

    Biram diouf on bench, ahhhhh….poor. Should win this one easily

  9. karma

    26 December 2011 at 15:38

    Wow! Evra’s doing a free roaming full back with Park covering his ass!

  10. fahime shuhaime

    26 December 2011 at 15:53

    I wonder what had happened to Smalling… Got into the injury list also? 😕

    • Traverse

      27 December 2011 at 00:28

      @fahime shuhaime: Smalling and Jones have a virus from what I can tell.

  11. colver

    26 December 2011 at 15:54

    Wow 2-0 up with Gibson and Evra the unlikely assist providers.

    No wonder Sir Alex was talking up Roberto Martinez.

  12. colver

    26 December 2011 at 16:09

    Real chance of finishing the year level on points with Manchester City.

    Whatever you can say about Ferguson’s failings in Europe, the Premier League is his bitch.

  13. Eddie Griffin

    26 December 2011 at 16:12

    Just toying with them. Need to get a few more. Should bring Rooney and Welbeck on for the last 20-30 minutes to terrorize a tired Wigan defense.

  14. Eddie Griffin

    26 December 2011 at 16:41

    Hat trick for Berba! If there’s one area where we’re not starved for options, it’s up front. Still time to get another one or two!

  15. Eddie Griffin

    26 December 2011 at 16:52

    And thank you West Brom!

  16. Traverse

    26 December 2011 at 16:54

    Top of the league, and that’s a facht.

    45 points, same as City. Our next game is Blackburn, theirs is Liverpool I believe.

    *Edit* They’ve got Sunderland (A) then Liverpool (H).

    • [OPTI]Madschester United

      26 December 2011 at 17:24

      @Traverse: Don’t worry. Gerrard will gift them an own goal… it’s in his blood…

  17. thatboywazza

    26 December 2011 at 16:58

    top of the fucking league whooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  18. gator

    26 December 2011 at 17:07

    hahaha city have lost it now you cant expect to beat united to the finish without a headstart from christmas on. 😈

    oh yea and feeeeeed tha scousers

  19. Owen

    26 December 2011 at 17:41

    Valencia is obsessed with providing assists..What a great signing he has turned to be..

  20. AndyCR7

    26 December 2011 at 17:46

    Well it was only wigan… 😉

    • Owen

      26 December 2011 at 18:06

      @AndyCR7: Same Wigan who would have won against Chelsea and Liverpool…And these 2 played their best team.

      • AndyCR7

        26 December 2011 at 18:32

        @Owen: You took it literally… again…

  21. AndyCR7

    26 December 2011 at 18:32

    Fun fact (source twitter): Berbatov’s scored more goals in the league this week than Torres has since signing for Chelsea. 😆

    • Onkar

      27 December 2011 at 03:39

      @AndyCR7: 😆 😆 😆

    • Nuevo

      27 December 2011 at 04:03

      @AndyCR7: Joke: So i was in london and feeling hungry…went to a Subway and asked the guy for his most expensive Sub. A lifelong Chelsea fan, the subway guy served me torres on a platter 😆 😆 😆

      • Onkar

        27 December 2011 at 13:16

        @Nuevo: Awesome dude… 😆 😆 😆

  22. Owen

    26 December 2011 at 18:42

    IF Manchester City dropping points is a rare thing this season,then why don’t write the same for United..?

  23. Owen

    26 December 2011 at 19:07

    Wonder how Kompany’s ‘gut feeling’ is this afternoon 🙄

  24. [OPTI]Madschester United

    26 December 2011 at 19:35

    Who pissed on the Doom-and-Gloom parade 🙂 Berba, Park, and Valencia did 😆

    • Craig Mc

      26 December 2011 at 21:14

      @[OPTI]Madschester United: Opti mate – I am telling you that team of ours was threadbare in most areas, but Wigan were too piss poor to do anything about it. I mean come on was it that we were so great or Wigan were so totally bad. A very good team would have given the team we had out there today a very hard time. But hey ho – we got the points and goals. I am not in agreement with Sir Ferg that our squad has real depth – play that eleven again and I feel we will be caught out and especially away from home!

    • Stephen

      29 December 2011 at 16:01

      @[OPTI]Madschester United: Great post, whoever pressed dislike you should be really ashamed, do you actuslly want us to loose? 🙄

  25. Yang

    26 December 2011 at 20:59

    I was worrying about Wigan game because they are in good streaks for few games. Wigan use three back so, if we can’t get early goal then there is good possibility of another tough game. Both wing-back played well causing many problem for Wigan. Quick goal open defense.
    Evra upped his game, so pleased to see that.

  26. RedDevilEddy

    26 December 2011 at 21:41

    Ian mate, this is Eddy. My mail finally broke down 100%, so switched over to this one. Lost all my contacts though, could you send me an email to this new adress? 🙂 Cheers!

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