Saturday, April 21, 2007

Weekend Outlook (21 Apr 2007)

Manchester United vs Middlesbrough

"...With the ECL semi-final game coming up at Old Trafford against AC Milan, we need to bang in the goals early today and get our key players off the pitch as soon as we can, to give them maximum rest...."
- JayWalk, 21 Apr 2007

I didn't stay up to watch the ManUtd vs Sheffield Utd match since it was a weekday and really late at night. So when I checked the scores on the web the next morning, I was delighted to see that we are on track with 3 more points but had a heart attack when I saw both Rooney and Smith kena 2 yellow cards each.

It was really strange that by right 2 yellow equals 1 red but there was no mention of any red cards anywhere. Soccernet main website, Soccernet Gamecast as well as all reflected the yellow cards (Smith 29 & 59th min; Rooney 29th & 42nd min). I continue to read the match reports but there was no mention of any double yellows. Surely something as serious as this would get a mention in the post-match article? In my heart, I thought hong kan liao given that we are already short handed due to injuries and now we get 2 more players on 1-match suspension each?

Die lar!

I just rechecked the 3 websites today to verify as well as hoping to do a screen capture to show everyone. Too bad, they corrected the mistake already. Damn.

Oh well, it is better news to me knowing that we still have these 2 strikers at our disposal.

Midweek's match was a clinical straight-forward business as we dispatched them efficiently with a 10 vs 3 shots on goal and a 64% vs 36% possession. Just another day at the office. Kudos to our rivals as Chelsea had to undergo the psychological pitfall of falling 6 points behind albeit only for 24 hours. Today, we are going to play the same hand again, as Chelsea will be playing away again on Sunday.

JayWalk The Talk: ManUtd has had a good healthy squad at the turn of the year, just at a time where other teams were plagued with injuries. Looks like the tides of fortune as has changed as we find ourselves with a long list of injured players, bad timing for us when other clubs' injured players are slowly returning to the squad.

Evra is the latest casualty, joining the long injury list that include Silvestre, Neville, Saha, Park, Vidic. Ferdinand is doubtful initially but I think he is good enough for selection today. Like I said, I am most relief that the double-yellow suspensions of Smith and Rooney was merely a typo error on the websites. But to have 2 different websites showing the same mistake? What are the chances? Unless, one mirrors the content from the other?

Anyway, rumour has been going on that Ronaldo will be marked by Boro today. Given that the past few games ended with a bad after taste, emotions from the visitors may be unstable and on a high. With alleged diving and subsequent penalty conversion, I am afraid that the Boro players may end up going for his legs rather than for the ball. We can't afford any further injuries, we lagi cannot afford to lose Ronaldo at a time when he is carrying the team through.

I am thinking that this will be a very physical match and hopefully the Old Trafford crowd could be called in to subdue the visitors. Otherwise, I foresee quite a lot of yellows and a red or even two.

I have no idea what Rooney was trying to do in the last match against Sheffield United. He was running all over the place and tackling recklessly like he was on a mission to collect as many cards as possible. Hopefully today, we have a smarter Rooney out there on the pitch.

With the ECL semi-final game at Old Trafford coming up against AC Milan, we need to bang in the goals early today and get our key players off the pitch as soon as we can, to give them maximum rest. Even if we leak 3 goals after scoring 4 as a result of replacing all the key people with fringe players. I'll take it. Today is not about the score. Today is about the 3 points with minimum exertion and minimum injury risk.

JayWalk The Walk: Bookies are fluctuating between ManUtd giving 1.5 ball (1.875) and 1.75 (2.05). So how? Give -1.625 ball?

With the AC Milan match coming up, it is hard to focus today and really scared to incur more injuries. By right, we should roll over Middlesbrough easily given that they have nothing to play for as they are destined to languish in mid-table. They have only 1 victory in their last 6 EPL games and not scored a single goal in their last 5 away games. Still, I fear the bad blood between them and Ronaldo fueling the aggression and making this game difficult for us.

While I do believe that we will take the 3-points, I am afraid that the price we have to pay to get them may be too high.

Verdict: No point betting if your bookie insist on 1.75 ball handicap against ManUtd. Try negotiating a better deal.

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 6:21 PM, April 22, 2007, Blogger Merenwen said...

Well 1-1... What a disappointment. Needing 4 wins from 5 games to seal the title we had to slip up now. Let's hope Newcastle does us a favour tonight.

At 6:30 PM, April 22, 2007, Blogger Jiahao said...

Otherwise, we have Arsenal to do us a favour too..

At 11:26 PM, April 22, 2007, Blogger C.O.O.L said...

newcastle have done us the favour.. now we have to relied on 3 teams.. with bolton, arsenal and sandwiched liverpool in between for the champions league game..

At 9:08 AM, April 23, 2007, Blogger JayWalk said...

Like I said, 2 more wins to seal it. We stumbled on Boro when we had the chance to take the easy 3 points.

As usual, we always make it difficult by shooting ourselves in the foot.



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