Saturday, February 03, 2007

Weekend Preview: 4th February 2007

Manchester United vs Tottenham

"So I was wrong about the last match... doesn't mean I'll be wrong again." - Sheena

My powers must be failing. In the previous match against Watford, I predicted that Manchester United would win, but by not more than 2 goals, and that they would leak goals in the final 10 minutes.

In the end, United won 4 - 0.

It wasn't exactly a totally breathtaking display of attacking flair; but it was still a comprehensive and efficient win by any standards. This is just the boost the team will need in order to be up for the challenge of Tottenham tonight. Manchester United may have won in their past 5 visits to White Hart Lane, but as I recall Tottenham never made it easy for us.

Martin Jol recently publicly admitted that the team missed Michael Carrick, and indeed, looking at their inconsistent performances this season (losing against the likes of Everton and Bolton but winning against Chelsea), that may well be the case. However, their performances and their 11th position in the league table belie their capabilities and the undoubted talent in their ranks. Surely a team that boasts England number 1 Paul Robinson, Aaron Lennon, Jermain Defoe, Robbie Keane, and Dimitar Berbatov can do better than that.

On the other hand, Sir Alex also has a wealth of talent at this disposal and a fully-fit squad, with Louis Saha back for tonight's match. Rooney is firing on all cylinders and as usual Cristiano Ronaldo has been dazzling. Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic have struck up a great partnership and so have Carrick and Paul Scholes. Indeed, so much of the accolades heaped on the team has been directed at Rooney and Ronaldo that it is easy to miss the contribution of our two central midfielders who have been tirelessly pulling the strings.

Plus, after Chelsea's win against Charlton last night, Man Utd's lead at the top of the table has been cut to a precarious 3 points, and the team will want to do all they can to increase their lead back to 6 points again.

Matches against Spurs have always been interesting affairs, and even though previous fixtures have been low-scoring (and I suspect today's will be too) they are never dull. Having said that, Spurs will not be able to stop Manchester United tonight. But it will be fun watching them try.

Man to watch (Tottenham Hotspur): Dimitar Berbatov. The striker has been a revelation at the Lane with 6 goals and 7 assists to his name. Good aerially and on the ground, the Man Utd defenders will have their hands full with him and the speedy Jermain Defoe.

Man to watch (Manchester United): I'm going to go with Michael Carrick for this one. It's his first visit back to the Lane since his move to Man Utd and we all know how players tend to get more fired up against old clubs. Anyway, he has been performing amazingly well over the past few months, but so quietly that we almost don't see it. Be prepared to truly see it tonight.

Jaywalk's Encyclopaedia of Bookies' Odds says: Man Utd are giving 0.5 ball with 1.80 to beat. Those are some good odds for punters. I don't see any other result for this other than a Man Utd win, and they simply need to win by one goal.

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.

Note: Goddamn it, I was wrong again. But still... another 4 - 0 win! Hurray!


At 11:09 AM, February 05, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...


The battle cry will still remain:



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