Manchester United take on the only-just-recently managerless Queens Park Rangers at Old Trafford today, hoping that they can return to winning ways.
Last week’s un-expected defeat in a below par performance at Norwich was followed by a 1-0 defeat to the hands of Galatasaray, and this had many fans over analysing and spitting feathers, determining what the right line up would have been, and who should be shown the exit door in January.
But alas, this isn’t Football Manager 2013. It’s proper football, and the squad that went down to Norwich a week ago will dust themselves off and be ready for the fight this weekend.
Wayne Rooney has been declared fit again after missing the last two games, and Chris Smalling has recovered from a shoulder scare. Phil Jones could continue his comeback for United against the Londoners, but Nani and Johnny Evans will still miss out through injury.
Who knows. They have a new manager in ‘Arry Redknapp, and even when they did the team wasn’t exactly settled. Eleven new players arrived in the summer, including Ji-Sung Park and Fabio on a waste of time loan. When we let them have Macheda last season, their panic tactics meant that if things weren’t going right they’d hike in new players, and he had nine strikers to contend with. Fabio, perhaps their second best defender after Bosingwa often finds himself on the bench, and for me it’s their reaction to the going-getting-tough and chop/changing of players that’s a mark of their position in the league.
Bobby Zamora is unfit, and Andrew Johnson has a knee injury for the visitors.
After two successive defeats, I can’t see Sir Alex Ferguson allowing his lads to drop points again. Not against this lot.
If we lose the “turn up and win” kind of mentality that we looked to have at Carrow Road from time to time last week, and go for it a la Spurs second half earlier in the season, it could be a rout. And United owe the fans something like that – they should look to take advantage of QPR whilst stability at the club is at a low.
I’d like to see Anderson get a start in midfield, with Carrick and Cleverley alongside him. A three pronged attack of Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Chicharito would provide huge threat against the relegation contenders, and whatever back four Fergie has at his disposal, the strongest available to get momentum back up is a must for me.
I see nothing but victory over Rangers, and a 3-0 win come 5pm on Saturday is my tip.
Fancy a flutter?
Bet365.com offer these odd on these wagers for the weekend…
• United to win 3-0 – 13/2
• Rio Ferdinand to score against his brother – 12/1
• United draw at half time, win at full time – 11/4
• QPR to win – 14/1
I hope QPR’s new managerial appointment is there for a long time. I hope he gets to take full control of the team, and doesn’t make panic decisions and hoping that quick fixes are the way forward. Whether Tony Fernandes has allowed Mark Hughes this standard luxury or not I don’t know, but I’d like that to just become a normal football club again.
But not this weekend. Here’s to three points.