Writer: Red Boy
Date:Friday August 16 2013
This Saturday evening, Manchester United start the defence of their Premier League crown won last season when they travel to South Wales to take on a Michael Laudrup managed Swansea side.
For an opening day fixture we could have been handed something a little easier, but if we are on top of our game you have to say that it is a fixture we should get a result from, as David Moyes leads our fine club into a new era.
Ahead of his first Premier League game in charge, as well as having a lot of selection issues to mull over, David Moyes seems troubled by the fact that the fixture computer has given United such a tough start to the season.
Speaking to the media, Moyes has remarked about an opening spell of fixtures that will see us take on Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool, as well as starting with a tricky fixture at the Liberty Stadium,
"The old manager told me those sort of things happened. I find it hard to believe that`s the way the balls came out of the bag."
"I think it`s the hardest start Manchester United have had for 20 years."
"I hope it`s not because United won the league quite comfortably last year that the fixtures have been made much more difficult."
Not sure that a touch of paranoia is called for there, I`d prefer to linger on the fact that if we have a hard start then somewhere, in the fixture list, will be a period where we meet the weaker teams in the Premier League.
Besides, if we can get off to a good start it`ll make the others sit up and take notice, will it not!
Michael Laudrup will be without Jonathan De Guzman with the Dutchman picking up a concussive knock whilst on international duty. However, the Dane is able to call upon the services of Jonjo Shelvey and Pablo Hernendez after they recovered from illness and a groin injury respectively. Wilfried Bony, an expensive summer acquisition, is set to make his first Premier League start.
Picked up for a bargain fee this time last year and a player who took the Premier League by storm. Let`s hope he has a quiet game against us.
As for United team news, David Moyes will have to make a decision relating to Wayne Rooney. Will Rooney start for United after his England efforts or will he be notable by his absence? I suspect it'll be the latter.
Definitely missing will be Rafael, with the defender serving the last of a three game ban. There are doubts about Michale Carrick and Javier Hernndez being available for selection. Carrick returned from England duty, ahead of the clash with Scotland, with an eye injury, whilst Hernandez has a thigh problem. Also doubtful are Nani and Ashley Young meaning Wilfired Zaha is likely to make his first Premier League start.
Got his season off to the perfect start, in the Community Shield, last Sunday with a brace. Here`s hoping he`s got his shooting boots on this Saturday evening.
Looking at the recent history in fixtures between the two sides we find that United have taken 10 points out of the 12 available.
However, United have only won once, at Swansea, in the last ten visits going back to 1932!
The referee nominated to officiate in this fixture is P. Dowd ably assisted by G. Beswick and D. Bryan as his assistants with L. Mason acting as the fourth official.
David Moyes may have had a good moan about the difficult start the fixture computer has given Manchester United and the Liberty Stadium may not be the ideal place to visit on the opening day of the season but it could have been worse couldn`t it. If United can repel the early Swansea onslaught and keep it rock-steady at the back, I`m taking Moyes` side to snatch the three points on offer with a narrow win, possibly by the odd goal in three!
Our second Premier League fixture will see us welcome Chelsea, one of our main Premier League rivals to Old Trafford on Monday 26th August.
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Date:Friday August 16 2013
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Is It the Baggies for Zaha (Sunday December 8 2013)
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