Premier League match time strikes at Old Trafford as Manchester United get set to host Wigan Athletic in the afternoon of Saturday, November 20.
Manchester United In retrospect, Manchester United would have been level on points with Chelsea, if only they had beaten Aston Villa. But as it transpired, the Villans led 2-0 before the Red Devils woke up and squared the equation strikes in the ten minutes of the game. Scholes, serving a suspension, was absent, and his importance to Sir Alex’s squad was underlined on a day the lack of creativity in midfield was so palpable you could cut it with a knife.
Both Berbatov and Hernandez were off-colour and were replaced by Obertan and Macheda, a move that paid dividend when Macheda’s powerful strike in the 80th minute reduced the lead and four minutes later, Nani’s cross was headed in by Vidic to restore parity. United remain the sole unbeaten team after 13 match weeks and that speaks a lot for their spine.
The Latics have been extremely inconsistent and any prediction of a game involving Martinez’s squad is contingent on which Wigan Athletic has turned up to play on the day. As it turned out, match week 13 saw the ‘good’ Wigan as opposed to the ‘indifferent’ one in action, as they prevailed 1-0 over West Brom after 19-year old Victor Moses made the black sea (of West Brom’s defenders in their dark jerseys) part to allow the solitary goal of the match.
Di Santo missed a sitter that would have doubled the lead for the Latics who however had luck on their side when a late attempt by Marc-Antone Fortune was kept out by Al Habsi between the posts.
Rooney could return to action against the Latics, his first appearance since playing against Bolton in September. Rooney who underwent a rehabilitation program in the United States has returned half a stone lighter, which is bad news for Wigan against whom he has had a brilliant record. Sir Alex is likely to subject Rooney to the test on Thursday, to gauge the striker’s match fitness.
Apart from Rooney, the following United players are in injury bay: Owen, Giggs, Hargreaves and Rafael; Scholes is serving a one-match suspension.
McCarthy, Pollitt and Boyce are the Wigan players sidelined owing to injury.
While United have recorded six draws in seven games on the road, they have won all but one of their matches at home. And the Saturday game should be no different, unless perhaps the ‘good’ Wigan decide to turn up and snatch a point, or three.
Manchester United had the following players in their starting eleven against Aston Villa: Van der Sar, Evra, Ferdinand, Brown, Vidic, Park Ji-Sung, Carrick, Nani, Fletcher, Berbatov and Hernandez; Obertan, Macheda and Smalling played in the game as substitutes.
The following players comprised the first eleven for Wigan against West Brom: Al Habsi, gohouri, Alcaraz, G Caldwell, Stam, Thomas, N’Zogbia, Gomez, Cleverley, Diame and Rodalegga; the following players featured as substitutes: S. Caldwell, Moses and Di Santo.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.