Date:Wednesday November 29 2006
Just three days after the exhausting clash against Chelsea, United face another tough opponent, Everton. David Moyes' men have nicked a point in each of their last two visits at Old Trafford so we can expect a difficult game.
The Toffees are currently sitting in the 8th position as they've been stumbling recently following a fine start to the season. United have an excellent Premiership record against them but the Reds found it pretty difficult to break them down in recent meetings.
I think we all agree that United cannot afford to drop points at home again so we must win, especially with Chelsea playing at Bolton at the same time. If the champions slip up, we might be able to create ourselves a little cushion at the top, ahead of the hectic Christmas programme. Of course, we should have done it on Sunday but that's another story now...
Carlos Queiroz (assistant manager): "So soon after playing Chelsea it is important to react with the right mentality and motivation and be alert, especially with three important games coming up. For us and Chelsea, our matches against Everton and Bolton are the third part of Sunday`s game. It is like extra time against Chelsea, so we have to react in the right way otherwise your hard work can be undone."
A very interesting aspect but I hope the players will not be drained physically, even if it's like an extra time.
David Moyes seems quite relaxed ahead of the match. Of course, they actually have nothing to lose.
Everton manager David Moyes: 'Any time you go to Old Trafford it is a thrill because of the challenge you will receive.
'You are up against maybe the best team in the country at this time. Who wouldn't want to go there?
'We have had a couple of good results at Old Trafford but not good enough in my eyes. I want my teams to win.'
Louis Saha and Cristiano Ronaldo have both picked up knocks during the Chelsea game and they are doubtful for tonight. Park Ji-sung and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have resumed full training this week but they are definitely unavailable while Alan Smith has started special sessions to aid his speed so he's unlikely to feature tonight.
Rooney always seems to be desperate to do well against his former club, largely due to his less-than-friendly relations with David Moyes manager who sued him after our young striker accused the Scotsman of forcing him out on the door.
Andy Johnson is a major doubth with a hamstring strain while Tim Cahill is definitely out. Tim Howard's loan contract states he cannot play against United so he'll be in the stands.
I'm sure he'll receive a warm welcome at Old Trafford again but that does not stop him of dying on the pitch for his current club. His battles with Carrick and Scholes are something to look forward to.
Wayne Rooney could score his 50th Premiership goal against his former club. Ryan Giggs celebrates his birthday today - let's hope he'll conjure up something spectacular tonight!
2-0 to United, Rooney to score.
Difficult times ahead. United visit Middlesbrough on Saturday then host Benfica on Wednesday three days before the Manchester derby. Three victories would be welcome but I'd not commit suicide if a draw occurred on Merseyside.
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Date:Wednesday November 29 2006
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