Saturday, 10 August 2013

Manchester United vs Wigan Preview

The Night Before.....

Manchester United have not enjoyed the best pre-season results wise.  Coming into the game, Wigan are certainly in better form.  They already have a competitive game under their belt, which was an impressive 4-0 win vs Barnsley away from home.  A team full of confidence they still have most of the players they had last season.  They have some decent players, particularly James McCarthy who has caught the eye on a-few occasions.  There have been a number of clubs in for linked with him this summer but he is yet to move.  They have been known for their nice attacking football under the now, Everton man Martinez.  This often meant that they leaked a-lot of goals.  Hopefully United's attack is on form to exploit that.  The way that United themselves, have been defending over pre-season has not been encouraging.  Hoping that Vidic is sharp tomorrow as he has had limited preperation due to a niggling injury.  I am feeling a little nervous but very excited to have proper football back.  It is a meaningless game in the grand scheme, but as it is Moyes first competitive match it is a bit more important than usual.  Should United lose, panic buttons should not be pressed.  However, with a tough start the team needs to get out of the blocks quick- no room to be slow starters this term. 

The saga around Wayne Rooney is still raging.  David Moyes opted to cancel his press conference and it is certainly due to the Rooney situation and him being sick of the journalists constant questions on the issue.  Annoying that, as there are other things that could have been asked in his other media meetings since his arrival.  It has been a bit of a summer of disappointment where United fans are concerned.  A deal to sign Thiago fell through when it looked like it was completed and another to sign Fabregas has been abandoned.  The central midfield has been a cause for concern for some years now and it is even more pressing that it is strengthened now that Scholes has retired.  However, it seems that the club are struggling to complete a deal to sign a player (any player!) of the quality United fans demand.  It is not just a question of desired quality, the United midfield is quite short in numbers too.  There are three weeks to go until the window closes.  Most fans had hoped that a player would be signed by now, to bed in before the ridiculously difficult start United have in the league.  It is imperative that they begin with winning ways and a good performance in the shield tomorrow.  It will also help to take some weight off of David Moyes shoulders.  Shudder to think of what the reaction will be, should United lose.  As for a team from United,  I am hoping it is as strong as possible.  There are some injury doubts- Hernandez, Young, Nani and Vidic.  I don't imagine that Rooney is in the squad, he was not part of Rio Ferdinand's testimonial and all tbat he has said is being available for England.  Love to see the young players who impressed on tour involved, or at least on the bench.  Adnan Januzaj deserves a start, really stood out in the testimonial and right throughout the tour.  Looks a very classy player indeed, excited about him.  Be a great debut in the shield at Wembley, most likely it will be off the bench.
Team Pick- De Gea, Rafael, Vidic, Evans, Evra, Zaha, Carrick, Anderson, Nani, Hernandez, Rvp
Kagawa is also an option in behind van Persie or on the left, likewise Welbeck may be a wiser option considering he'll be more match fit than Hernandez.  Kagawa was really poor the other night, he has had much less preparation than the other players, so for that think he'd be better off on the bench.  I would much prefer seeing Nani or a younger player on the left, but have a feeling that Giggs will start.  Nothing against Giggs but he has been there and done it before many times and isn't set to gain too much from it.  Team I'd like to see is based on form really and who has looked good in pre-season.  New signing Zaha, has pace to burn, still quite raw but he impressed in the games he's played so far.  Anderson and Cleverley are the two battling out for spots next to Carrick, Anderson has been the better of the two in matches watched.  Andy Mitten commented on the UWS podcast that Moyes likes Anderson.  The likeable Brazillian has yet to make his mark after 6 years at the club. Will anything change this season, will Moyes deal with his fitness issues?  Much as I'd love to see him do well, won't get hopes up too much.  Onto keeper, no point in playing anyone other than De Gea.  The defence picks itself with Evra, Rafael and Vidic certainties.  Partnering Vidic, preferably Evans as when he doesn't play United miss his distribution from the back.  Evans has had some injury issues, so it could be a good chance for Phil Jones in his favoured position.

As for Wigan, there will be no danger of them being fazed by the occasion or being at Wembley, having brilliantly won the FA cup there last season.  Their players and manager will be up for it.  There is silverware involved, albeit a shield.  But for a club like Wigan it is a much bigger deal.  You also have the factor of it being Moyes first competitive game.  In favour of Wigan and slightly superstitious, United have poor record at the new Wembley and have frequently struggled to score there.  New manager Owen Coyle was not a-lot of fans first choice, however many have warmed to him since and been impressed by the deals he made signing players.  The fans feel optimistic that their squad has improved and that they'll get back up to the Premier League.  They have signed Grant Holt who likes to be physical and scored a-lot of his goals against the better sides last season.  Seem to vaguely remember him playing well vs United before.  Really like their player Shaun Maloney, more familiar with him due to Scotland and always want him starting for the national team.  He is very good for Wigan, often their best player.  Could see him being quite a threat with his crossing.

Should be a decent game and despite what has been said by some, Wigan deserve to be there even though they are in the Championship.  They'll still provide plenty of  threat for United.