United v Charlton
Manchester United have an impressive Premiership record against Charlton Athletic: 13 wins and two draws, (6 wins and one draw at Old Trafford). With the Addicks are currently deep in relegation trouble whilst United are flying high, we are expected to score an easy victory.
And this is the point when one word springs to my mind: Sunderland. Hopefully Charlton will not pull off a shocking result like the Black Cats who frustrated us in April where some of the optimists started to believe that winning the title is indeed possible. They are the worst team away from home in the league, conceded the most goals on the road so every statistics show United should be 4 or 5 up when 90 minutes pass. Expectations were similar at Watford's visit and they left Old Trafford with 4 goals in the bag so I hope for something similar.
It will be interesting to see how Pardew will try to avoid defeat. Boothroyd and Watford set out to defend in numbers and they were very good at it until Jay DeMerit decided to get Solskjaer's shirt some 70 minutes before the final whistle. It's almost certain Pardew will opt for a similarly negative attitude as an attacking performance equals to a suicide for a relegation candidate at Old Trafford.
In the past, Charlton all too often sank without trace at the Theatre of Dreams. Last season's corresponding fixture finished 4-0 on the last day, with goals from Ronaldo, Saha, Richardson and a Euell own goal and in August we trounced them at the Valley, winning 3-0 thanks to goals from Fletcher, Saha and Solskjaer.
Sir Alex Ferguson has some injury worries though Wayne Rooney is believed to be fit and available. Edwin van der Sar is definitely out just as John O'Shea while Carrick and Ronaldo are doubtful.
The visitors will not risk Darren Bent who had been linked with United in January but an offer never materialised with Larsson coming in on loan.
Man Utd (from): Kuszczak, Heaton, Neville, Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Silvestre, Evra, Heinze, Ronaldo, Park, Scholes, Carrick, Giggs, Fletcher, Richardson, Rooney, Saha, Larsson, Solskjaer.
Charlton (from): Carson, Sankofa, Bougherra, Song, Thatcher, Rommedahl, Kishishev, Faye, Diawara, Holland, Hughes, Thomas, Hasselbaink, M Bent, Ambrose, Myhre.
Prediction: 3-0, should be a breeze for United.