Man United preview: The 2nd of two BIG games 2 November, 2007Posted by lasagnechef in Premiership.
We’re less than 24hrs away from the most important game of the Premiership campaign. No one expected us the be here at this point, everyone wrote us off when Thierry Henry left for Barcelona and said Tottenham would break into the top four. How wrong they were. Fans alike were worried about the coming season and I doubt many thought we’d be in such a strong position.
The kids have done brilliantly and last week they proved they can do it again against the big boys. However, tomorrow is a tougher test. United have done well to get back level on points with us, we do have a game in hand but the stage is set perfectly for tomorrow.
Now lets focus on the possible team. There’s no new injures, just Van Persie and Senderos are out. It’s tempting to think the team will be the same as the one that played Liverpool, but that was away and unless Arsene’s going to go 4-5-1 at home I think they might be a couple of changes.
In goal it will be Almunia. I remember last year in this game Lehmann made some important stops and I bet he’s desperate to feature tomorrow. However Manuel is our first choice ‘keeper now and however much Jens moans he’s just going to have to come to terms with it. Cesc Fabregas has this week said the team feel comfortable with Almunia between the posts, and that’s the important thing. He’s made some good stops recently and I’m sure we’ll need more tomorrow.
The back four is the only certainty; Sagna and Clichy have been doing great out wide and won’t be replaced, no matter how good Diarra was in the week. And of course it’ll be Gallas and Toure in the middle, we’ll need a giant performance from them but I know they are capable. I have complete faith in our defence and they do not worry me one bit, wouldn’t swap them for anyone.
Now the midfield and attack are harder to predict. Will Arsene go 4-4-2? 4-5-1? 4-4-1-1? All are good options. I think it’ll have to be Fabregas and Flamini in the centre, whatever formation. Gilberto played well in Sheffield and personally I think we could do with him tomorrow but he wont start; Arsene wont drop Flamini, we’re going to need his determination, heart and strength. He could prove a massive figure tomorrow. Out wide I reckon Hleb and Rosicky. That’s assuming it’s going to be a 4-4-2. Eboue has started a lot recently and to be fair I haven’t been incredibly impressed. I’d rather Diarra at right midfield but I’m pretty sure that wont happen.
Upfront Adebayor is a definite starter too. He’ll be looking forward to this game just as much as the fans and I bet he’d love to get another goal against them. It’s just who will partner him. It’s between Walcott, Eduardo and Hleb. If it is Alex, then maybe Gilberto will get a chance in the midfield? Or maybe Eboue would come in on the right making it the same team as the one at Anfield. It would be one of those two or Diarra or Diaby. I don’t think it’ll be Walcott partnering Ade, as much of a threat Theo is I wonder if he’s physically up for this one. I personally think he’s going to have more of an impact as a second half substitute, I expect to see Theo as some point in the game but I don’t think he’ll start. I’d guess at Eduardo as Emmanuel’s striking partner. He played well in mid-week and his pace, skill, strength and goal scoring awareness might make the difference. But what do I know? So he’s that team:
Sagna – Toure – Gallas (c) – Clichy
Hleb – Fabregas – Flamini – Rosicky
Adebayor – Eduardo
I’m really getting exited about tomorrow now. The tension is building. Neither team will want to lose so we could expect quite a dull game, United have only let in something like 4 goals so far this campaign. Last year, this was the game of the season with those 2 late goals giving us that 2-1 win. Anything like that again tomorrow and I’ll be fucking delighted. Enjoy the game however you follow it. Match report on Sunday. Thanks for reading.