Man Utd vs Birmingham City
1st January 2008
After a dissapointing result at Upton Park on Saturday, Sir Alex will expect nothing less than 3 points at home to struggling Birmingha City to keep the pressure on league-leaders Arsenal.
Sir Alex has lamented the attitudes of modern day footballers, claming they are more bent on individual praise than team sucess.
'Football has changed but you cannot lose your control.
'We make changes here at Manchester United when we see anyone interfering with that control. When we see this it's time for them to go.'
'But this club is based on everyone together. When anyone starts going off at tangents you have to make changes.'
Birmingham manager Alex McLeish has urged his players to not be over-awed by the occasion.
'I don't want anyone in our dressing room frightened of going and playing against such illustrious teams and names.'
'It will be a tough task for our lads but one they should be relishing and also they should try and enjoy.'
'It is mouth-watering and that's where you want to be.'
(Quotes Courtesy of www.news.bbc.co.uk/sport)
Manchester United Team News:
Man Utd are expected to welcome back Rooney and Carrick from illness which ruled them out of Saturday's shock defeat.
However, doubts still remain among the fitness of Edwin Van Der Sar and Kuszczak is expected to deputise in goal for the fourth consectutive game.
Man Utd (from): Kuszczak, Heaton, Brown, Simpson, Ferdinand, Vidic, Pique, Evra, O'Shea, Fletcher, Ronaldo, Anderson, Carrick, Hargreaves, Nani, Giggs, Park, Rooney, Tevez, Saha.
Player to watch: Anderson
Left out of the Starting XI on Saturday, Anderson is expected to regainhis place in central midfield. He has been shrp all season ,bright when he came on against West Ham, with his movement key in the awarding of a penalty...unfortunataly missed by Ronaldo. His passing has become key to his play, and if o from the offset against albeit weaker opposition such as Birmingham, i expect Anderson to shine, and hopefully nick that goal which has eluded his so-far this season which would cap off a great first term so far.
Birmingham City Team News:
Birmingham's captain Damie ohnson is a major ount following a jaw injury sustained in the 1-1 draw with Fulham on Saturday, with Tunisian Medhi Nafti expected to return in his place. Johnson joins Kapo on the sideline, whilst on-loan Johan Djourou plays his last game of his spell before rejoining the Gunners.
Birmingham City (from):Taylor, Kelly, Jaidi, Ridgewell, Queudrue, Larsson, Muamba, Nafti, Johnson, McSheffrey, Forssell, Jerome, Doyle, Sadler, O'Connor, Djourou, De Ridder.
Player to watch: Larsson
Usually I would mark Kapo as their dangerman, but the Frenchamn has fallen out of favour with the new regime. Former Gunner Seb Larsson certainly hasnt, and followed up his wonder strike against Spurs with nother fantastic goal against Fulham on Saturday to rescue a point and i think Sir Slex will be wary of his long shot ality outside the box.
Match Facts & Stats
- Man Utd have lost a New Year's match only once, a 4-1 loss to Tottenham in 1996.
- A Birimingham win would be ther 50th Premier League win of all time.
- United are aiming for 10 consecuive home wins on the league with a win on Tuesday.
- Birmingham hav failed to win at Old Trafford in 30 attempts, the last being a 2-1 win in January 1978.
- Man Utd have not suffered back-to-back Premier League deeats in 101 matches since April 2005.
- Birmingham have lost all four of their Premier League visits to Old Traffors, scoring 0 goals.
Peter Walton - issued 41 YELLOW cards and 2 RED cards in 12 matches so far this term, at an average of 3.58 PER GAME.
Manchester United 4-0 Birmingham City Birmingham gave us a good game earlier in the season, but Man Utd are the kings of getting a response after a defeat and im sure sir Alex will put out a strong team with nothing less than 3 points acceptable. With the pace, power and accuracy of Ronldo, Rooney and Tevez i expect us to have too much for a relegation-fighting Birmingham side. These types of games wont define Birmingham's season, and im sure they would be happy if they manages to keep the score down to a respectable level, but a United win has to be favourite, especially at home. Expected Line-Up: Kuszczak, Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Ronaldo, Hargreaves, Anderson, Nani, Rooney, Tevez (subs: Heaton, Pique, O'shea, Giggs, Saha)
FA Cup 3rd Round: vs Aston Villa (A) Saturday 5th January 2008 - 17:15
Premier League: vs Newcastle (H) Saturday 12th January 2008 - 17:15
Premier League: vs Reading (A) Saturday 19th January 2008 - 15:00