Saturday, February 6, 2010

Taking back the league

MU will go a point clear of league leaders Chelsea for at least a day should the form book ring true today.

Portsmouth seem to be on a free fall, having taken only a point in their last five games in the league. Their last win was at their own ground, an impressive 2-0 win over Liverpool. But that was in December.

In fact, their only away win was against Wolves on Oct 3, and that finished a narrow 1-0. MU went to Fratton Park in November and whipped Portsmouth 4-1, so you know what should happen.

I, of course, say should because, as they say in football, the ball is round.

Kanu is expected to feature for Portsmouth and although I don't think very much of him, he does pop up every now and then and scores crucial goals. Portsmouth is also battling relegation. Mathematically, they can still make it out of the relegation zone but they have to start winning points now. So beware the wounded tiger (although in Portsmouth's case, it's more like a wounded mouse!).

At Old Trafford, Vidic is back in contention although it remains to be seen whether Fergie will use him or save him for the midweek match against Aston Villa. In fact, you can expect Fergie to be ringing in the changes this week as he tinkers with the side again to ensure his main players are well rested and his fringe players get a chance to get some real match practice in and try to prove themselves to the manager.

Some of the players I expect to be among the changes are Fletcher, Carrick, Nani, Scholes and perhaps even Rooney. Valencia should be back in the team to take over from Nani who has been outstanding the past three games. Anderson and Gibson perhaps will run the engine room while Park may be given an extended run in the team. Then again, it could be Giggs out there too.

Up front I think Berbatov would be brought in and perhaps partnered with Owen or Diouf, with Rooney on the bench in case things don't go according to plan.

Whatever the shape of the team and whichever players are on the field, I still expect MU to run riot over Portsmouth. Of course, running riot doesn't always translate to goals, so it'll be worth a watch to see how many get slotted in. Unfortunately, I won't be catching the game as I have something to attend tonight. Hopefully, I'll be able to catch the last 10 minutes or so, or at least the goals, later.

My reading of the stars: MU 3 Portsmouth 0


Tomorrow, I'll be watching the Chelsea-Arsenal match and screaming for Wenger's side. They may have been resoundingly beaten by the Red Devils in front of their own fans last week, but Arsenal are still a formidable side and can take a point or three off the league leaders. With Terry finding the sordid details of his personal life being splashed across the papers in the UK and after Chelsea dropped points at Hull, there is every possibility that the team could find themselves second at the end of the week.

That, and the fact that Arsenal need to win to keep alive their title hopes will make this an interesting tie. Absolutely mouth-watering stuff.

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