Owen Hargeaves was quite rampant yesterday. I dunno that he can be an attacking threat when playing on the flanks.
Both Owen Hargeaves and Park did well yesterday.. they are both very fast and crosses are also good.. Now that we have Ronaldo, Nani, Park, Owen who can all play on the wing, I think Giggs can retire soon...
Eric backs double bid
Eric Cantona says the Reds are on for a glorious league and European Cup double this season, claiming "this will be United's season".
The Frenchman was a special guest for United's midweek 1-0 win over AS Roma, which sent Sir Alex Ferguson's men through 3-0 on aggregate.
Barcelona await the Reds in the semi finals, while this weekend Arsenal visit Old Trafford in a crucial league encounter. But Cantona is confident United will get past both sides and go on to clinch the double.
"Manchester United will win both trophies, I am sure of that," said Eric. "It will be tough, the title is close and Barcelona are a great team, but United have everything right now; this will be their season."
Key to United's success is the form of Cristiano Ronaldo, who Cantona believes is head and shoulders above any other player in the world.
"Cristiano Ronaldo has skills which no other player has, he is the best player in the world," Cantona told the Manchester Evening News. "It's important he plays as many games as possible.
"I am happy he is wearing my shirt. It was special for me, I hope it is special for him too."
Ronaldo to retain PFA double?
Cristiano Ronaldo could do the PFA awards double again this year - but the absence of any team-mates from the senior shortlist may surprise United fans.
The Reds winger has been nominated for the PFA Players' Player of the Year 2008, alongwith two players apiece from Liverpool and Sunday's opponents Arsenal plus Portsmouth and England goalkeeper David James.
Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres are the Anfield men nominated by their fellow professionals, while Emmanuel Adebayor and Cesc Fabregas represent the Gunners.
Torres and Fabregas also join Ronaldo on the PFA Young Player of the Year shortlist which is completed by Aston Villa pair Gabriel Agbonlahor and Ashley Young and Manchester City defender Micah Richards.
Rio fit, Vidic on the mend
Rio Ferdinand will be fit to face Arsenal at Old Trafford on Sunday, while Nemanja Vidic is on course to return against Blackburn next Saturday.
Ferdinand had to have three stitches in a cut on his right foot at half-time during Wednesday's 1-0 win over Roma. The injury was unrelated to the problem that forced him off against Middlesbrough last week. The good news is that the 29-year-old has suffered no further ill-effects from this latest complaint.
Vidic, Rio's central defensive partner, was forced off in the first half of the first leg against the Italian side in Rome ten days ago. He was given a two-three week recovery prognosis, and looks set to be back in double-quick time.
"Vidic is doing very well," said Sir Alex Ferguson. "He's not available for Sunday, but he should be back for Blackburn."
Nani, who has been suffering with a thigh problem, may struggle to play a part against Arsenal, but he will definitely be available to face Mark Hughes' side at Ewood Park.
Elsewhere, Gary Neville is in contention for the first-team after his cameo appearance on Wednesday. But Sir Alex admits competition for places is tough with "players playing well in defence". He added: "Nevertheless, it's great to have him back."
United's only other injury concerns - Darren Fletcher (knee) and Louis Saha (hamstring) - are doing well in their recovery and will both be back before the end of the season.
Key men: Ronny v Adebayor
Sunday's battle royale at Old Trafford between United and Arsenal is a stage set for heroes. For the Reds it's a chance to take one giant leap towards the title, for the Gunners it's their last shot at the championship.
Both teams have key players, but two clearly stand out - Cristiano Ronaldo and Emmanuel Adebayor.
Ronaldo clearly loves scoring at Old Trafford; 18 of his 27 league goals this season have come in front of his home crowd. But Adebayor relishes scoring on the road. 10 of his 19 strikes this term have come at away grounds.
The Togo international is also a threat in the air, having scored five headed goals. But Ronaldo is equally as dangerous. He has scored headed goals against West Ham, Fulham, Wigan, Blackburn and Liverpool.
United will need to limit Adebayor's space inside the penalty area, as all but one of his league goals have come in the box.
Ronaldo, on the other hand, is a more varied threat to the Gunners. Five of the Portuguese's goals have come inside the six-yard box, 17 inside the 18-yards box and five from outside the area.
Ronaldo v Adebayor
Barclays Premier League 07/08 stats:
29 -- 31 Matches played
27 -- 19 Goals scored
18 -- 9 Home goals
9 -- 10 Away goals
17 -- 13 Right foot
5 -- 1 Left foot
5 -- 5 Header
5 -- 8 Six-yard box
17 -- 10 In the penalty area
5 -- 1 Outside the area
13 -- 10 First half
14 -- 9 Second half
Provided by statbunker.com.
Fans anticipate Arsenal visit
Spirits seem high amongst United fans as we anticipate this Sunday's showdown with Arsenal. Here is a selection of posts from our Talking Reds message board...
From: J J Tan
"I'd go for 4-4-1-1 with Rooney leading the line and Tevez just behind. If Nani's available I'd put him on the left with Ronny on the right, Scholesy and Hargreaves in the centre... bang! Another 4-0 win for United!"
"After 2 big matches against Roma, I think 5 midfielders worked well. I think 5 midfielders should be used again against the Gooners: Scholes, Carrick, Anderson, Park/Hargreaves and Ronny. Then Rooney as a lone striker, or Tevez could be considered for his form against Roma Hargreaves did a very good job too in that match. I think we have a very good chance to beat the Gooners at OT! Come on lads!”
“With Gary Neville back and fully fit, I am expecting him to start against Arsenal at right back while Wes Brown is given a central defensive role which he has done before. For midfield I think we should go with Scholes and also Hargreaves who seems to be playing good attacking football at the late stage of the season. Ronaldo certainly will play on the right and for the left wing maybe we should give Nani another chance if he's fit. One more thing, we should start with two strikers rather than one as we need to win the game and entertain the home fans rather than playing safe.”
Reds aim to end Arsenal challenge
Sir Alex Ferguson knows victory on Sunday would extinguish Arsenal's title hopes, but he's far more concerned with winning for United's own ambitions.
Arsenal are six points behind United and three behind second-placed Chelsea. Arsene Wenger remains bullishly confident about the Gunners' title chances, but the Frenchman himself admits that this match is do or die for his team.
That may add determination and resolve to the way Arsenal approach the clash at Old Trafford, but it won't alter the way United play.
"[A win for us] makes it difficult for them. No question," Sir Alex said at his pre-match press conference on Friday. "Five games to go is not a lot of leeway for them. They can't afford to drop any points.
"But that doesn't make it any different for us in our preparations for an Arsenal game because they are always very competitive games anyway."
United are looking to bounce straight back after last weekend's 2-2 draw against Middlesbrough. That result may have come as a surprise to some, but Sir Alex maintains he was always concerned about the trip to the Riverside.
"I had a fear about that one," he said. "Middlesbrough always raise their game against big teams and I was half-prepared [to drop points]. But the games coming up now - our final five matches - are the ones we expect to do well in."
Duo win March awards
Sir Alex Ferguson and Cristiano Ronaldo have been named Manager and Player of the Month for March.
The duo received their awards on Friday after what was a near faultless performance from the Reds over the last four weeks. Sir Alex's monthly prize was the 21st of his career.
United won every one of their five league games in March (keeping clean sheets in every match), netting 13 goals. Five of those strikes came from Ronaldo, who bagged his fourth Player of the Month honour.
The Portuguese winger claimed both goals in the 2-0 win over Bolton and scored again in the 3-0 home thumping of Liverpool. A 4-0 triumph over Aston Villa finished the month, in which Ronaldo netted a contender for goal of the season, cheekily back-heeling the ball past Scott Carson for the opener.
Ronaldo’s goals have not only seen him break George Best’s record of 32 goals in a season from midfield, but now leave him odds on to win the Golden Boot Award.
The 23-year-old is currently six goals ahead of Liverpool striker Fernando Torres and ahead of Sunday’s crucial clash against Arsenal has 27 league goals to his name.
United are now 5/2 to do the Premier League/Champions League double and 7/4 clear favourites to bring the European Cup back to Manchester.
The Reds are 4/6 to reach the final at the expense of Barcelona who, along with fellow semi-finalists Chelsea and Liverpool, are 3/1 to triumph in Moscow.
As for this weekend’s match against Arsenal, the odds are 4/5 United, 3/1 the visitors and 9/4 for a draw.
The Gunners conceded four goals at Liverpool this week and four on their last appearance at Old Trafford in the FA Cup. It’s 10/1 that United score exactly four goals this time.
The other match between the sides this season finished 2-2 at the Emirates Stadium in November and it’s 14/1 for that scoreline to occur again.
Wayne Rooney scored the opening goal in the FA Cup tie in February and is 100/1 to net first in another 4-0 win.
Cristiano Ronaldo is the 3/1 favourite in the first and las goalscorer marker as he bids to reach 30 Premier League goals and trigger a £50,000 Betfred donation to a local children’s hospital.
Ok match time: Sunday 11pm!
dun think SAF will play the usual first 11... think Owen, Park will remain in the line up!
Think some of the old man will play like Gary n another 1 or 2, hopefully SAF dun play too many of them if not kena slow down! best is keep them al in the bench hee...which i think impossible!
So with them around, it will only be 2 goal margin win!
Last edited by melvin; 12th April 2008 at 12:51 PM.
Owens form has never ever ceased to amaze me... even back in the BM days....have always rooted for him to be brought to ManU!
and here he is, delivering more than what he does at BM!
BYE BYE GOONERS!
glory glory man United!!!!!!!!!!!!!
u r right.
hargreaves was pretty good today, exceptional freekick at the right time! but park didnt play well.
anderson did well to intercept and made some tackles. im loving anderson more and moooore
It was a superb comeback