On the last day of 2011, Manchester United will seek to consolidate their position by beating Blackburn, at home, in match week 19 and simultaneously reduce the goal difference between themselves and Man City who are five goals adrift of the Old Trafford squad, at the top of the Premiership table.
To find out at what time the match between Manchester United and Blackburn is due to kick off, take a look at the EPL schedule.
In match week 18, Manchester United thrashed Wigan 5-0, also at Old Trafford. Wigan were set back when Conor Sammon was sent off at 1-0, but that can take nothing away from the way United dominated the game and stayed in contention to defend their title. An early lead ensued when Patrice Evra got through to the byeline, and efefcted an accurate cutback to Park Ji-sung who swept into the roof of the net from eight yards out. Darron Gibson crossed from the right for Javier Hernandez to help in on to Berbatov who having failed to make a great first touch turned and drove left-footed into the net from close range.
Javier Hernandez was pulled down in the area by the Wigan defence to hand Man United and Berbatov a penalty. United’s fourth goal transpired when a corner was half-cleared to Michael Carrick, who played in Valencia to the right of the box to allow him to thrash the ball into the far corner. Berbatov completed a hattrick off a penalty after Park Ji-sung was tripped by Antolin Alcaraz. Last season’s golden boot contender has not had many starts and his return to form is an ominous sign for United’s rivals.
Blackburn held Liverpool to a 1-1 draw, on the road, in match week 18. At long last Blackburn gave their supporters some cause for cheer as they displayed great spirit to hold Liverpool at Anfield. Rovers got a shock lead when Morten Gamst Pedersen’s corner from the right fell neatly for Charlie Adam was happily stationed at the front post to shin the ball into the roof of the Liverpool net. The sides went into the interval with the visitors leading by the first half goal. Liverpool showed aggressive intent in the second half and the Blackburn backline could not withstand it indefinitely, allowing Martin Skrtel to loop a header to the back post where Maxi Rodriguez climbed above the defence to nod the ball in. To Rovers credit they withstood a barrage of attacks in the dying minutes, denying the likes of Suarez, Carroll and Downing to salvage a point from the game.
Head to head, in the last 10 years, Manchester United and Wigan have met in 20 league games, with United winning 10, Blackburn 4, and the remaining 6 games ending in stalemates. The last time these teams met was in May 2011; that match hosted by the Rovers ended in a 1-1 stalemate.
The Red Devils have won 8, and drawn and lost 1 each of their last 10 league matches, while Blackburn have won 1, while drawing 2 and losing the remaining 7 of their last 10 games
Currently 2nd behind Man City on the league table, United have hosted 9 home games, this season, winning 7 and drawing and losing one each of the remaining; the Rovers who are at the bottom of the table have had 5 draws and 4 losses, in their 9 away games.
United are favourites to win the game but Sir Alex’s squad will be wary of complacency against a Blackburn side who showed great resilience against Liverpool in match week 18. But Rovers will nedd much more of that against an Old Trafford side whose forwards are in rampanmt form having netted 10 goals in their last two games.
Man United’s starting eleven against Wigan: Lindegaard, Valencia, Evans, Carrick, Evra, Park, Gibson, Giggs, Nani, Berbatov, Hernandez.
Blackburn’s starting eleven against Liverpool: Bunn, Lowe, Samba, Hanley, Pedersen, Henley, Dunn, Nzonzi, Hoilett, Formica, Yakubu.
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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.