Where: Old Trafford, Manchester, England.
When: Saturday, November 24th, 2012.
Time: 15.00 GMT.
Referee: L. Probert.
Just as I predicted last week, it is these matches against the bottom tabled teams who are fighting for survival themselves, are the most difficult matches to come away with three points. Manchester UTD rightly found that out and here is another clash that is against a team that is rock bottom with a their manager sacked & a team that is almost as new as Sir Alex’s statue, that was unveiled today. Both UTD and QPR look rusty having lost their last two matches in all competitions and any other result other than a victory would put UTD in a bad shape while it would be catastrophic for QPR as well.
Manager: Sir Alex Ferguson.
With the possible presence of UTD legends in the stands for tomorrow’s game, we could only hope that it would inspire the new looking UTD team to do well & make these legends proud. It is the ability of UTD to not change their attacking style when things were not going for them led to their downfall in the last two games against Norwich & Galatasaray. Both these teams did one thing well – defended their hearts out against a potent force and hit UTD on the counter and set pieces. What has been lacking in the last two matches. With the return of Rooney after a two week layoff, UTD can only hope for their fortunes & luck to go with them, especially against a team that is rock bottom on confidence and a team that has no wins in the season.
The previous meeting between these two teams at Old Trafford last season saw UTD winning comfortably but not by much which gives us the signs that this game is the best chance to increase their goal difference and justify their brute attacking power at the front. Sir Alex rightly was seen saying, “I want to make sure we get some consistency and get momentum going in the run up to new year.” They definitely need that consistency given the fact City hit their top form last weekend thrashing 5-0 against a team that UTD had to come from behind & do it the hard way.
In all competitions (last 10 matches): LLWWWLWWWW
In EPL (last 6 matches): LWWWWW
Given an acute number of chances this season, the man to look out for is the famous goal poacher & UTD’s new Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, “Chicarito” Javier Hernandez. But he has been the most successful coming as a substitute. Rooney is back to the line-up while Evans returned to training but will not be playing. Nani is still side lined due to a tight hamstring. Kagawa is still recovering from injury.
Formation: They have switched to a 4-4-2 formation after the intial 4-2-3-1 due to the absence of Kagawa.
Queens Park Rangers
The signs were there last season that it would be an uphill struggle for QPR who managed to scrape through the season ending thrilling finale against City where other results helped them stay in premier league. They have bought new players that can form a team themselves which always would affect the team dynamics; they have scored less, conceded more and did look out of ideas under their sacked manager. While they have been threatening enough with chances been created, their players have lacked the co-ordination and the final finishing touch that saw Taraabt missing easy chances which he would have scored with ease on another day. It is evident that pressure that has got to the players which is why they misfire.QPR fans got what they hoped for – Mark Hughes sacked
With Harry Redknapp in talks with QPR and if appointed, we can only think that things could go well for QPR, given the expertise of Harry in handling such teams (remember Spurs 2008?).
In all competitions (last 10 matches): LLDLDLLLLD
In EPL (last 6 matches): LLDLDL
Cisse looks to be in form at bits and pieces and it is to him that their midfield needs to put the ball if they want to put UTD in trouble tomorrow. Their captain and former UTD veteran Ji Sung Park is set to miss the game despite returning to training after an injury. Stephane Mbia is back after serving a three-match ban but strikers Bobby Zamora (hip) and Andrew Johnson (knee) are out and on-loan defender Fabio cannot feature against his parent club.
We all know that perfect occasions like the one for UTD’s unveiling of Sir Alex’s statue are the best occasions to spoil the party. But it is really difficult to see any other result other than UTD winning, given the storm of results that QPR have had. QPR could salvage to play for a draw and can only hope for better things under a soon to be appointed new manager.
UTD’s (in favour) – 3-0
QPR (in favour) – 1-1