With 21 points available between now and the end of the season, Sir Alex will be hoping to record a 5th consecutive victory, in all competitions, with a win against United legend, Mark Hughes’ side. Hoping to secure, for certain, their Premier League status next season, the visitors will certainly put up a fight, regardless of our magnificent home form this season (14 wins, 1 draw).
At the back, Van Der Sar will most probably sit out this match, with his small muscular strain, to ensure that he is fit to play against Chelsea on Tuesday. With Anders Lindegaard out for the season, Kuzczak will get another opportunity to stake his claim for the #1 Jersey next year! Following his two month absence, Sir Alex may well decide to rest Rio Ferdinand for the Second Leg of the Quarter Final, by partnering Vidic with Smalling in the middle (with Evans still suspended). If Rafael recovers from the knock he picked up at Stamford Bridge, then Patrice Evra may find himself dropped following his recent poor form, with the exciting Fabio taking his place. Do you think Fabio warrants a chance?
In midfield, Ryan Giggs will most probably be rewarded for his incredible efforts in the last two matches with a place on the bench. If Sir Alex wants him fresh for the second leg then the 27 year-old will be replaced by either the returning Anderson or improving Darron Gibson (with Scholes finishing his suspension). Antonio Valencia will be hoping to retain his place on the right, following his recent displays, with Nani more likely to occupy a place on the left wing. Up front, without Wayne Rooney (who was bad at Upton Park), Dimitar Berbatov will act as the main striker with one of our two ‘impact’ subs up front with him, in Chicharito or Owen. Will Sir Alex decide Saturday’s match is the time to let Michael shine or will he stick with the popular Hernandez – who would you choose?
Arguably the USA’s most talented footballer, the 28 year-old midfielder has successfully transformed himself, like the man in the mirror, into an auxiliary forward and potent goal-threat. As Fulham’s top-scorer, with 10 Premier League goals this season, the combination of a lethal shot and surprising aerial ability (circa Tim Cahill) make him a headache for any goalkeeper (including Rob Green.)
Following a cruel succession of injuries, which ruled him out of the World Cup, the tall and strong Centre Forward scored two goals, against Blackpool, on his return to action last week. Combative in nature, he will most certainly put himself about at Old Trafford, but this may play into the hands of Vidic, who will relish the physical challenge. He comes from Serbia…
Bobby Excelled in the UEFA Cup
My Prediction – Manchester United 2 0 Fulham FC
Considering Fulham’s poor away record this season and the fact United have grit between their teeth makes me optimistic about the match this weekend. Hughes’ side will battle hard and make us work for the three points and most certainly test our Premier League title credentials.
I don’t expect the match to be a thriller, considering our European excursions at SW6, but I think the Stretford End will drive United to victory. What’s your prediction? Come on the Reds!