Saturday, October 14, 2006

Weekend Outlook (14 Oct 2006)

Wigan Athletic vs Manchester United

"...And speaking of the Neville, I have a feeling that he may score today...."
- JayWalk, 14 Oct 2006

While I must admit that the 2 goals scored by Solksjaer during the last game against Newcastle were hardly spectacular, we must look beyond the surface and analyse the stats. 62% possession and 11 shots on goal against 3 from Newcastle is what I would like to see from ManUtd.

The keyword here is domination.

If we continue to play like that we would be able to banish any thoughts from any teams thinking that they can come into the match and hope to get something from it. Something that we were facing last season and an identical situation currently bogging Chelsea at the moment.

Granted that Solksajaer's first goal was a gifted rebound and the second came off him as a result of a deflection to wrong-foot Shay Given, one must also take into consideration the numerous times Ronaldo hit the woodwork. If you ask me, I think the unluckiness more or less evens out the flukes.

In a way, we are lucky to meet Wigan this weekend for if it had been a relatively weaker team, we would be faced with the disadvantage of having more exhausted players who just returned from international duty. Fortunately for us, Wigan do have had quite a number of players called up.

Further up the horizon, we have ManUtd playing home to FC Copenhagen in midweek as the ECL marches on. A win there and ManUtd will be assured of a place in the Second Round. A subsequent single point either from Celtic or Benfica thereafter, would guarantee the top spot in the table and a favourable seeding in the next round.

We have seen Fergie sacrificed the Reading game ahead of the Benfica clash. Will he do it again, just so the ensure qualification as early as possible?

There have been rumours that Rooney may be rested this weekend ahead of the ECL fixture but here is what I think the problem is. Rooney have been out of sorts as a result of the 3-match suspension. He needs all the games he can get to regain match fitness. Resting him today may just undermine his efforts to get back to 100% quickly.

So perhaps, when the starting sheet is announced, we will figure out how Fergie intends to pan out this week's games.

JayWalk The Talk: Rooney has a good scoring record against Wigan. 4 goals in the last 3 games that these 2 teams played each other and I certainly hope to see him on the pitch today. Forget about physical exertion from midweek, Rooney is a player that will go stronger with more games. Besides, Saha is out injured and we are pretty short on strikers at the moment. Speaking of injuries, we are still missing Giggs, Park, Heinze and Silvestre. That means we would likely to see Ronaldo and Fletcher charging the flanks while Vidic would, at the expense of Brown, partner Evra. Bumbling Ferdinand continues to keep his place with Neville as well.

And speaking of the Neville, I have a feeling that he may score today.

Wigan on the other hand has a relatively clean sheet of health. That would certainly please Jewell but I doubt if they are able to take anything from this game except a small deficit in the goal difference department.

JayWalk The Walk: Perhaps the bookies are feeling guilty for taking too much money of late that they are offering ManUtd to give a mere 1-ball handicap. Ahh... but do not fooled by the mirage in front of you as Wigan are much stronger that you would have thought. Granted that they won only 1 games in the last 5. Granted that they only won 2 in the their last 11 home games. Granted that we won all of 3 last encounters with two 4-0 victories to boot. Wigan mustn't be taken for granted. No pun intended.

Decimal odds is 2.025 for ManUtd to beat the handicap and I think ManUtd would probably win this by a single goal. As such, most likely we will be headed for a draw (handicap-wise) and get our money back. I say go for ManUtd as a win is very likely i.e. we can't lose and hope for the extra goal to secure that payout.

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.


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