First Team

Manchester United in race for top 4 place

Monday 9th March 2015. Old Trafford is the venue for the once quoted ‘Clash of the Titans’. Manchester United vs Arsenal, two teams who have FA Cup history like no other. The two clubs top the list of the most FA Cup wins, with classic clashes down the years really making this occasion a fantastic one, on a thrilling night at the Theatre of Dreams.

The game itself was a controversial one, predictions were hard but Manchester United unfortunately lost to a well disciplined Arsenal side.

But now we are out of all competitions and we can now try and dominate results in the Premier league.

But a tough run of fixtures are in our way. Tottenham Hotspur at home will be a big one, with Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen in remarkable form this season. This will prove a hard test for the back line of United.

Then a trip away at our biggest rivals, possibly the biggest and defining moment of this season, an old classic Premier League game sees United against Liverpool and emotions will be high and tempers flaring and the objective is to beat the scousers and from there carry on to beat them to a vital spot in Europe’s elite. The danger men for this game are certainly an obvious Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson but a frustrating game for Liverpool at home to Blackburn was terrible and leaving out Steven Gerrard was certainly on the humorous side for the United fans. But like every game against Liverpool the game-mentality will only be set on attacking as opposed to cautious- away style of play.

Then a slightly easier break from the big names as United host low-scoring Villa at home, with the FA cup success Villa will be looking to pounce again as they seek avoiding relegation, Tim Sherwood can make his teams play frustrating football in attempt to scrape a result, strikers on both sides will definitely will either side the game, but however a solid defence on Villa’s behalf would see a frustrating game for United.

Then United are back on the hard grafting as we take an always difficult away trip to Stamford Bridge where the league leaders Chelsea are ever-rampant to sniff out any attacks with their stubborn back-line of Gary Cahill, John Terry and the in-form Branislav Ivanovic. But most certainly where the ‘Blues’ are amazing in defence they are just beaten with their attacking unit, where they are heavily stocked in skill, their subs bench could fit in any side in the Premier League.

And then what will close the hard run of games is a fiery Manchester derby where there is a surprise lack of confidence with the two giant clubs, Manchester United are not playing to their potential and City are in and out of form, they just cannot get a run of games going as they win one week and possibly lose or draw the next game, United should find the weaknesses, City’s back line was made a mockery when Barcelona came to town, splitting their defence like a knife through butter, you would of thought our attacking qualities and the home advantage would help us see this game out, but in the last four occasions we have not managed to beat City and therefore are the favourites, it all is down to the first team lineup.

The players need consistency now, Van Gaal needs his lineup and the players he chooses, Juan Mata, Adnan Januzaj, Rafael and Radamel Falcao have not been featured lately, with Di Maria in bad form and Valencia being doubted, the philosophy of Van Gaal has not been shown as tactics change week in week out, is it time for some names to be dropped and others replacing them?

We now have only the Premier League and the top 4 is the obvious priority. No excuses, brace yourselves, the race for top 4 has well and truly begun!

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By Ted Hennessey

Ted Hennessey has been a Manchester United fan for has long has he can remember, he loves United because of how they won the treble and how they have the best fan-base in the world, his favourite player ever is Paul Scholes.

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