United travel to Wigan on New Year’s Day after what you could describe as an efficient Christmas period. Many spoke of points dropped at Swansea but, at the end of the season, I’m convinced that the point gained there will be seen as a positive result. A neutral-pleasing 4-3 victory over Newcastle was married with a sluggish 2-0 home victory against a vastly improved West Brom. The squad has been utilised to its fullest and we’ve been given the Christmas gifts of a fit Vidic and Kagawa. In all, it’s been a very merry Christmas. Let’s hope for a happier new year! Since the 03/04 season, only one club has topped the league at Christmas and failed to win the league, Liverpool, and that’s a fact.
Rafael and Phil Jones are very close to a return to fitness and may be given game especially given the short turnaround from the Newcastle game. Kagawa, post an impressive return to the team, should start. Van Persie may be rewarded with a starting berth after his classy winner against West Brom although Welbeck could be afforded more time under his belt. Nani (not going anywhere according to the boss) and Rooney remain sidelined. Ferguson has made it clear that the team will be freshened up so expect a few changes from the West Brom game.
Ferguson is likely to use this game as an opportunity to rotate his squad as he will see this as a game that should be won if United are to go on and win the title. Wigan are on the back of an impressive 3-0 victory at a less than impressive Villa and could be caught on the hop, as they say. However, anyone fancying United to romp home to an easy victory would be well served to remember the trip to Wigan last season. Eight points clear at the top, the day after my wedding incidentally, and we lost. I remember my new father-in-law telling me that United had lost and I didn’t really care. ‘Ah, we’ve got a safe enough cushion,’ I thought. We’re in a very similar position as we head to the JJB tomorrow with much more of the season to go. United will expect a win but will have to work for it.
Fancy a Flutter?
United win @ 6/10
Vidic to score first and United to win 3-0 @ 140/1
Van Persie hattrick @ 12/1
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