It would be fair to say that due to his stellar season, Nani would find it difficult to find himself playing a substitute role for a third successive final, but the harsh reality of the situation is he will in all probability be warming the bench yet again.
Given that Valencia has returned to the squad, dare I say, in better form than he has ever expressed in a red shirt, it would be incomprehensible if he wasn’t marauding the right wing come kick off. With the right berth tidily filled by the slick Ecuadorian, the role of left winger is up for grabs, Giggs, Nani and Park being the obvious candidates. Having been at the hub of a great team effort against Chelsea last weekend, Giggs has developed his game into playing a more central role for the benefit on the club, which suggests that the battle will be between Park and Nani.
Though in truth, and unfortunately for Nani, I can only see one possible outcome of the tussle. I believe Park will get the nod over the Portuguese flair man due to his ability to grab a game by the scruff of the neck and stop Barcelona playing their usual destructively delightful football, which in the likely absence of a match fit Darren Fletcher is a very useful commodity indeed.
United need to accept that they are going to have to surrender possession of the ball more often than they’re accustomed to if they are to overcome the threat of Iniesta and Co in possession, and given his ‘big-game’ reputation Ji Sung Park is the man I believe can get under the Spaniards’ feet and disrupt their style of play.
Park isn’t renowned as a hard challenger which without doubt makes him even more suited to the role, because while the whole of the football world watched Barcelona’s shameful antics turn ‘el classico’ into ‘el travesty’, Sir Alex will have been plotting their downfall by way of new tactics which don’t allow the Barcelona players the chance to over simulate and dive.
Park’s ability to nick the ball from players whilst staying on his feet, coupled with his ability to attack and feed the ball through to Hernandez and Rooney, stands him in the best possible stead to prove his credentials come final day.