Sunday, January 07, 2007

Weekend Outlook (07 Jan 2007)

Manchester United vs Aston Villa

"...perhaps it's time to dream big and chase a second Treble?..."
- JayWalk, 07 Jan 2007

So we were held to a 2-2 draw by Newcastle resulting the dropping of 2 points. Big deal. It takes a small miracle to be able to pull off 4 victories out of 4 games in the space of 10 days of what is known as the Christmas/New Year fixtures. So I'm not complaining with our 10 out of a possible total of 12 points haul over the festive season.

In fact, the moment ManUtd beat Reading 3-2 the week before, I knew right away, that we were going to drop points in the subsequent game regardless of opponent.

Lo and behold, my prediction of a draw, placed with Sheena the day before kick-off, came true. This is perhaps known as the logic of the illogical?

We dominated the Toon Army during that game and granted that both sides were even in the Shots-On-Goal department, the SOG map showed that most of Newcastle's shots were outside the penalty box while ManUtd's were mainly concentrated inside. That comes to show that Newcastle were having difficult penetrating the ManUtd defence and their two goals were merely the helping hands of the football gods.

Anyway, ManUtd is in a comfortable position right now. Having cleared the first round of the ECL and 6 points atop the EPL, perhaps it's time to dream big and chase a second Treble? Sir Alex Ferguson was conferred the Commander of the British Empire (CBE) when he completed the Treble back in 1999. Would there be a Knight Commander of the British Empire (KBE) or even the Knight Grand Cross of the British Empire (GBE) for the fiery Scot, if he pulls off the Double Treble? I wait with baited breath.

JayWalk The Talk: It's the FA Cup this weekend as ManUtd kick off their campaign from the 3rd Round. The Red Devils hosts Aston Villa at home, a game which will be repeated the following week when both sides meet again at Old Trafford to fulfill their EPL fixture. Are we going to see the exact same results for both games? We'll see.

Anyway, in FA Cup head-to-head since history, ManUtd played Aston Villa 10 times and won 8 of them. The last time Aston Villa beat ManUtd in the FA Cup was in 1957. It was the finals and Aston Villa beat ManUtd 2-1 to lift the trophy, which conincidentally was the last time Aston Villa won the FA Cup. Well, if you want to go into further specifics then it was 1920 when ManUtd last lost to Aston Villa at Old Trafford in an FA Cup match. Again, it was by the same score line.

Well, the picture is not as bleak if you were to consider all competitions then the last time ManUtd lost to Aston Villa at Old Trafford was in 1983 with Peter Withe (current Indonesian National Coach) scoring both goals and again by the same 2-1 score. Still the year of 1983 doesn't offer much of a consolation.

Their last 5 head-to-heads were all EPL fixtures where ManUtd won all 5.

Ok, enough of trivia for a while as we head to the dressing room. Looks like Louis Saha is the only doubt for ManUtd selection (groin injury) and perfect timing to make way for Henrik Larsson to make his debut. Expect Van der Sar to be rested as well. Over at Aston Villa and we have Sutton, Taylor, Delaney, Laursen and Moore filling up the casualty sheet for the visitor's side.

Form-wise for Aston Villa has been erratic. They did hold Chelsea to a respectable 0-0 draw but critics could only scratch their heads as the Villans came off an embarrassing 1-2 defeat in the hands of the Addicks and haven't won a game since 11 Nov 2006 which is unbecoming of a manager of Martin O'Neil's calibre.

JayWalk The Walk: Bookies are making ManUtd give up a 1.5 ball handicap and a 1.975 (and slowly inching towards 2.000) decimal odds to beat it. On the 1X2 front, ManUtd has a 1.28 odds to win outright.

In a knock-out tournament, goal difference doesn't come into play and as such, a 1-0 victory is the same as a 6-0 win. Hence, I see less motivation for ManUtd to keep scoring and expecting them to want to hit the cruise control button as early as possible.

Having said that, I'd stay away from punting on this game.

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 10:22 PM, January 06, 2007, Blogger Acey Deucey said...

Mr. Boh Ho Seh Mourinho is so Ah-Q!

The plain fact is, Man Utd pulled away by 4 points over the 4 games and he is still claiming Man Utd slipped up. The thickness of his skin defies logic.

At 8:45 AM, January 07, 2007, Blogger JayWalk said...

Managers are supposed to say that lah. Imagine if the manager were to throw in the towel at this stage, then the team will have nothing to play for already.


Post a Comment

<< Home