Match Preview: Manchester United vs Bolton Wanderers

Our Newsblog is pleased to welcome our newest writer Tong Hon Cheong on board. In his first contribution, he presents in his own disarmingly informal and tongue-in-cheek style his assessment of Manchester United’s upcoming game against Bolton this weekend.

Anderson Anderson of Manchester United battles with Kevin Davies and Ricardo Gardner of Bolton during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers at Old Trafford on October 17, 2009 in Manchester, England.

Last 6 games
Manchester United: WWWWWW (OH YEAH.)
Bolton Wanderers: LWLWWL

Top of the table Manchester United take on 10th-placed Bolton Wanderers away at the Reebok Stadium this weekend (11 September: late Sunday night/ early Monday morning, 00:30, and I’ll be coming to Durty Nelly’s after my combat shoot, wish me luck).

Between the sticks

I was thrilled to see De Gea (I think he looks like Dr. Seuss, here’s a picture of Dr. Seuss: http://goo.gl/aEQB5) save Van Persie’s penalty that fortnight ago, he really needed that, considering all the criticism that has been floating around about his inability to handle crosses and his lack of authority in the box. Some of his flaws did show during the match, but I think it did wonders for his confidence and he should go into this fixture a more assured pair of hands than what we’ve been seeing so far. I don’t think we’ve any reason to fear a Dudek or Bosnich just yet. YET.

Back Four

With Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Rafael all out for at least the next month, the starting back four are looking to be young faces again as Phil Jones (CB), Chris Evans (CB) and Chris Smalling (RB) step up to the plate, with Patrice Evra (LB) adding experience to this defense. Personally, I love what this defense is doing; running at opponents with the ball, not being afraid to play around with it. Ferdinand, Vidic, Rafael and Fabio are all going to be hard pressed to fight their way up the pecking order. It used to be just Evra running up on his own, because Neville was lacking in pace (not that I don’t like the man), and it wasn’t till recently with the induction of Rafael and Fabio about two seasons back, along with Smalling this year that we start to see our wing backs more involved in the build up play. It really completes and complements United’s robust and attacking style of play thus far in the season, although granted my ‘thus far’ is just three games, but hey, don’t be hatin’.

Yet I must contradict myself by saying that it is also because they are so robust in their offensive play that they are prone to sloppiness, as seen in the Arsenal win. Those two goals probably could have been avoided with a little more discipline, but I’m just nitpicking.

Centre of the park

Midfield-wise, Ashley Young (LM) is a shoo-in to play, judging from his midweek goal against Wales on international duty, and he’ll be looking to continue that hot scoring form, together with Nani (RM), with whom he shares a combined total of 3 goals and 4 assists in 3 games, which is just fantastic for the Devils (it’s like 7 goals if you think about it). Tom Cleverley (CM) should be starting as well, alongside Anderson (CM) to complete the midfield menace.

I was really impressed by Cleverley while watching the win against Arsenal, he was really demanding the ball like a boss, and made good use of it too. I’m excited to see how the season will pan out for him, and I think it will be really great for him if he continues like that, he might even measure up to Scholes. Anderson is fleshing out as well, after backbenching the past three seasons and sucking up all the negative press about his ability. Sir Alex is looking to build the new Fledglings around him, and it seems like he’s ready to do so now, after a good showing so far. Young has burst off the starting blocks, and there’s no reason for me to say he can’t go the distance, and Nani just needs to brush up on his finishing and it’s all good here.

I feel the fight for the midfield places will be the fiercest this season, because while we’ve got all these younglings running amok, there are players like Park Ji-Sung, Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher, Darron Gibson, Antonio Valencia and Paul Pogba (HOW IS HE A 55 IN FIFA12?!) just raring to go. Barring an injury crisis (oh I’ve jinxed it haven’t I), this season will be an exciting one, both on the pitch and the bench.

In the net

Up front, we have Wayne Rooney (RS) and the man who makes him better, Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez (LS), who comes back from his pre-season concussion with a goal to boot in the 1-1 draw against Poland last week. Rooney also bagged a brace in England’s 3-0 win against Bulgaria.

Welbeck will be nursing that hamstring, while Owen, Berbatov, Diouf and Macheda will just have to wait their turn to impress Sir Alex.

(What, too short? Is there really anything to say here?!)

In conclusion

I’m signing off here because there’s nothing much else left to say; United’s gonna win, so chuck the rest into the bin. I’m looking at at least a 2-0 win before I book in Monday morning. Peace out.

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