Sunday, August 19, 2007

Weekend Outlook (19 Aug 2007)

Manchester City vs Manchester United

"...forgot about the game, lost the hunger that got you the Rolex, the cars, the mansion..."
- Keane: The Autobiography. (2002)

Over 50 million pounds Sterling and all we managed is 21 shots on goal, out of 46 attempts and ONE MISERABLE GOAL????!!


Perhaps we "forgot about the game, lost the hunger that got you the Rolex, the cars, the mansion" all over again? Chelsea lost the title to us last season by a mere 6 points. We are now into the 3rd match of the season and we are almost there already with a 4-point deficit.

We had a 21-to-7 shots and a 12-to-6 shots on goal record against Portsmouth and yet the score was 1-1 with a 3-match suspension for Ronaldo. Certainly not the best of starts for us this season.

Some may say that we were unlucky to have David James at the top of his game. I say enough of the excuses already. Goalies are always put at a slight disadvantages in football as goals are more entertaining to watch than saves. Hence, over the years, we developed faster balls and wider goal posts. So don't go shifting the blame to an excellent keeper when the game was designed to fail the goalie.

This coming 148th Manchester league derby cannot come at a worse time when we were dropping points so readily. Derbies have always been a hard game to predict even if the respective standards of both teams may be vastly different. Today is a game between 2nd placed and 12th placed and strangely it is the Red-half at the bottom-half while the Blue-half finds themselves in an unfamiliar position near the top of the table.

Sven Eriksson really that good meh?

JayWalk The Talk: Warrants for the arrest of Thaksin and Mrs Thaksin are out in Thailand. How would that impact ManCity? On the pitch, probably nothing but off the pitch may be a big storm brewing. Supposed if the Thai courts were to order an asset freeze, does that include ManCity? Will the UK government cooperate with their Thai counterparts?

Coming back to the game at hand, Eriksson has a full squad to pick from and will continue to use Kasper Schmeichel in between the sticks. Do you know that the Great Dane Peter Schmeichel is the father of Kasper Schemichel? Fortunately for us, Kasper is still a rookie and a Great Dane, he is not. Not yet.

Isaksson will be the only casualty on the ManCity list.

The casualty list on ManUtd side however, is less than cheerful as we add Rooney to the list of Neville, Park, Hargreaves, Saha, Dong, Foster and Anderson. Oh yes, don't expect Heinze to feature as well as his loyalty is still in doubt ahead of the panel hearing on Monday.

Tevez is set to start in place of Rooney but who is going to fill in for Ronaldo? Problem is that nobody could tell me if Ronaldo is a midfielder or a striker. The line seems to be quite fuzzy in this aspect. Perhaps Nani to boost the midfield and Solksjaer to partner Tevez? I hope Fergie won't put O'Shea up front a second time.

JayWalk The Walk:
Even though it is very early in the season but it is a bad sign when ESPN featured a poll asking if ManUtd has blown the title defence already. Given that 65% out of 91,000+ respondents said "No", it is quite worrying to have to see this type of question when we are barely one week into the season.


Anyway, when you thought ManUtd buang-ed twice in the row, you'd think that the bookies would ease up the pedal on ManUtd. But nooooo, despite playing away to a some-what rejuvenated ManCity, ManUtd still have to give up a 0.5-ball handicap and a even-stevens decimal odds of 1.95 to clear.

Eriksson and Fergie were never on good terms given the tussle of players caught in between the Country-vs-Club row over the years when the Swede was England manager. The last time of any significance both manager met as opposing team gaffers was the UEFA Super Cup in 1999 where Eriksson's Lazio (UEFA Cup Champions) beat us (ECL Champions) 1-0, courtesy of a 35th minute Marcelo Salas goal. Still it was 8 years ago and a different team than today's. Besides, the UEFA Super Cup was never a major event since it is held in the summer where teams are still on their summer break.

We have the edge in terms of stability as Eriksson is the 12th ManCity manager during Fergie's single 21-year reign. This shall be Eriksson's maiden Manchester Derby and his inexperience in this aspect will cost him dearly.

Verdict? I would go for ManUtd, had they opened the season strongly. Unfortunately, they are sizzling as fearsome as a damp sparkler. I am going to sit out this game on account of the fact that ManUtd has lost 3 consecutive Asian Handicaps. You may wanna take a look at the Goals-Over/Under for ManUtd has had 5 in a row already at "Under".

I see a draw here. 1-1 perhaps?

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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