Sunday, March 05, 2006

Weekend Outlook (6 Mar 2006)

Wigan Athletic vs Manchester United

"...I think they will win this by another handsome margin. 2 goals at least."
- JayWalk, 5 Mar 2006

The result over at Anfield is Liverpool 0 - 0 Charlton Athletic. What did I tell you about Liverpool spreading itself too thin and starting a spiral of points-dropping? Now that's 2 screw-ups in 3 games and I think Liverpool won't make past Benfica this coming mid-week either to make it 3-in-4. Scoring only 4 miserable goals in the last 6 games, things are bleak for the Reds. Again, I reiterate that Benitez is a stupid idiot.

Sure Liverpool are in second place now but it is merely a point ahead with ManUtd having 2 games in hand. Oh how the tides has changed!

On the European front, it looks like none of the English clubs will get past this midweek and it is certainly bad news for ManUtd. Should these clubs carry onto the Quarter, semi or even the finals, it would spell "continued distraction" for these teams while ManUtd stealthily chalk up the points in the background.

With the Carling Cup in the bag, ManUtd's team poster for next season will look a little bit better with a small little trophy displayed proudly in front. Before you go on to think that ManUtd has nothing to play for, think again. There is still a mathematical chance of catching Chelsea (though I won't hold my breath for it), failure-which there is the Runner-Up spot to consolidate. This is certainly not the time to be complacent as we have seen Liverpool when they go on a freaky streak. Better to be cautious in this aspect.

To top it off, each individual players will be playing their best from now till the final World Cup team selection is announced. Everybody will be on their best in the hope of impressing their respective gaffers, hoping to be picked to go to Germany.

Players like Rooney, Ronaldo, van Nistelrooy, Van der Sar, Neville, Park and Ferdinand would be virtual shoo-ins as far as the World Cup squad list is concerned but the rest of the players like Silvestre, Saha, Heinze and Brown will have to continue to put in the effort as they fight for the remaining spots on the plane. It's a pity though to see Smith missing out due to the horrific injury at Anfield though.

Speaking of "nothing to play for", this would be the case for Wigan. With 40 points in the bag, there is no way of relegation. On the same token, they are destined for mid-table finish after chalking up only 3 wins in their last 10 matches. As for the spot in the UEFA Cup, it's theirs as long as ManUtd secures, and very likely if I may add, the spot to next season's Champions League. Early vacation for Wigan? I certainly think so.

JayWalk The Talk: There have been 3 instances where ManUtd played their opponents in quick succession e.g. 2 games against Birmingham in the space of 1 week, 3 games against Blackburn in the space of 3 weeks and 2 games against Liverpool in the space of 3 weeks. Not once did ManUtd managed a 100% win. Now we have 2 Wigan matches in the space of 1 week. Could there be a jinx?

Recent head to head shows that ManUtd triumphed over Wigan by an emphatic score of 4-0 each but it has to be said that both games have been won at Old Trafford. There has been no record of ManUtd's performance against Wigan at The JJB Stadium.

Ryan Taylor is out for Wigan while van Nistelrooy is down with flu. Looks like it would be the same bunch of people on the pitch again.

JayWalk The Walk: The real problem with Wigan now, other than the vacation mood kicking in, is that they have a hard time scoring goals (albeit still better than Liverpool). 7 goals is all they have in the last 8 games. This in contrast to ManUtd's 18 goals in the last 8 games.

Will ManUtd break the jinx? I not only think that they will win this just to get back to 2nd spot, I think they will win this by another handsome margin. 2 goals at least.

So at the very generous 3/4 ball handicap against ManUtd, this should be a stroll in the park for the Red Devils.

Disclaimer: The above views are purely my own two-cents' worth. In other words, I cannot and will not guarantee that my predictions are accurate. If you want to bet on the game, do so at your own risk. Also, please bet responsibly and within your means regardless of how "sure thing" that game may appear to be. As the old saying goes, "The Ball Is Round". Good luck.


At 10:36 AM, March 05, 2006, Blogger Acey Deucey said...

I don't feel it will be all bad news for Man Utd should all English teams be kicked out from the Champions League.

Well, Chelsea is out of sight now in the league now. And they're still on a possible treble. Better that they get ousted now from the Champions League. Barcelona looks like the team with the best chance and firepower to beat Chelsea. I'd really hate to see Chelsea getting the treble.

Arsenal is out of it. Not a threat to 2nd place even. So whether they progress in the Champions' League or not won't make too much of a difference.

As for Liverpool, maybe there is some truth there. Let them continue to spread their resources too thinly so that Man Utd can consolidate 2nd place. But I feel getting eliminated by Benfica will do sufficient damage to their morale to affect their league form as well.

At 11:05 AM, March 05, 2006, Blogger JayWalk said...

wah piang... so fast reply liao... you champion! :)

I think Arsenal may have trouble even securing 4th spot. It would be such a delight for either team of Arsenal or Spurs to be gloating should either fail, given that they are arch-london rivals.

As for Liverpool, I rather they go further and then fail. Bigger devastation mah. I is evil. muahahahaha.....

At 7:54 AM, March 07, 2006, Blogger Acey Deucey said...

So they did break the jinx you were talking about. Only just.

2 points ahead with a game in hand. Things look good.

At 6:55 AM, March 08, 2006, Blogger JayWalk said...

Don't count the chickens yet. Let us do the cartwheel only after we consolidated the 3 points from the game-in-hand first.

See what happened to Liverpool when they had their 2 games-in-hand a few weeks earlier?


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