Saturday, February 27, 2010

An interesting weekend

This will surely be that!

Man United fans may be looking forward to the Carling Cup final tomorrow, but their eyes, no doubt, will be glued to the idiot box for today's early game. Man City travel to London for a showdown with Chelsea and MU fans will definitely be cheering their City rivals on.

Having won their midweek game against West Ham, United will be hoping City can at least take a point off Chelsea so the Londoners remain within sight. Better yet if City can beat Chelsea. It will be no easy task, as Chelsea have won all their games, bar one, at Stamford Bridge this year. The one game in which they did slip up was a draw so they have yet to lose at home.

With Adebayor suspended, MU fans will be hoping old boy Tevez will do them a favour and smash a few goals past Hilario, who will deputise for Cech, who is out injured for about a month, in the Chelsea goal.

New money Man City visiting Stamford Bridge would be enough to grab headlines in itself, but the focus of the newspaper articles so far has been on a different issue altogether: the match-up between Terry and old-pal-turned-enemy Bridge.

Though both are defenders, they will occasionally meet up during Bridge's forays down the flank or Terry's jaunts into the City penalty area during freekicks and corners. It will be interesting to see how the two react to each other on the pitch. Or will their managers tell them to stay as far away from each other as possible, unless absolutely necessary? Will things come to blows?

Whose silverware will it be?

Come Sunday, Wembley will see two good teams with two good managers going head-to-head. The might of the league's top scoring team taking on the league's meanest defence.

This is Villa's first title match in over a decade and their fans will be hoping for some glory at last. Actually, history is on Villa's side as United have never won back-to-back league cups (whatever they are called at the time).

They are coming up against a team, however, that has a certain man in a rich vein of form at present. A certain Mr Wayne Rooney. There's a report out that Ferguson is considering leaving Rooney out of the match to give him a rest and leave him for the important Champions League and EPL matches which are coming up, but somehow I don't think that is going to happen.

Players definitely out of the final, however, are Ferdinand, Giggs, Anderson and O'Shea, all through injury. Van der Sar should be back between the sticks after Fergie decided to give Foster a run-out against the Hammers in mid-week. Vidic is back, which is great. I think he'd probably have Evans as his sidekick, although I think the young lad has not been playing to par over the last few games. Having said that, however, I have to say I don't know how he performed against West Ham. Leftback should be Evra, of course. As for the opposite side of the field, I hope it's either Wes Brown or, preferably, Rafael.

I don't know what sort of midfield formation Ferguson's going to adopt, but I think Fletcher deserves a place in the squad. If Fergie opts for a five-man midfield, then the centre should also include Carrick and Scholes or Gibson. On the flanks, Nani and Park are the most likely contenders, although Fergie may opt for Valencia in place of either one of them.

Lone man upfront, of course, should be Rooney, and if he gets a partner, it will obviously be Berbatov.

Whatever it is, I'm looking forward to a good game and a good weekend. Here's hoping MU can break that jinx and win a Carling Cup for the second year on the trot. Make that trophy case groan even more boys!

My prediction: a hard-fought 2-1 win for the Devils!

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