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So Mori-Mori has signed for us and while I am not expecting him to start for us against the Mancs, I am sure that this will be a significant morale booster for the players. It also shows Rafa's shrewdness when it comes to dealing in the transfer market and effectively he has done a "Real" on Real after Owen's departure.

The Mancs were hard done by during their League Cup match against the London Moneybags and this will add some fizz into this Lancashire derby. We were pooped by them at Old Trashford when we last met and this will be a good time to put one over them and erase once and for all the bad memories of how we lost to them at Anfield last season.

Dudek will be the man between the sticks. Finnan has done reasonably well at right back recently and looks set to stay there, barring any unfortunate circumstances. I vote Traore for the left back role, with Riise trying to maraude down the United right flank. Carragher should stay in central defence (he is indispensible, in my opinion, and risky clearances aside, he is a useful player to have when you play against the Mancs). The problem I have will be his partner. Hyppia or Pelle? Since I see stability as an important facet of defence and for the fact that the Argie has just signed for us, the safer way is to count on the half-season long partnership between Hyppia and Carragher to weather the storm and only if unfortunate injuries or tactics changes must be effected, then Pelle should come on (bearing in mind his lack of pace).

Hamann must once again make his experience count playing in front of the back four, in Alonso's absence, and this will give a bit more licence for Gerard to exert his influence in the attacking aspect of our midfield. As mentioned, Riise will ply the left for us while Garcia will run down the right (and hopefully give Silvestre some problems).

The front two? I will go for a Mellor-Pongo pairing (risky, I know, but we do not have that many strikers) and only if, then Mori should make his debut when needed.

Going by the lengths of the injury-lists of both clubs, it is not surprising that we start off as the underdogs at home (on paper, that is), but why should we even discount anything special that may happen during the match, i.e., penalty decisions, a repeat of Gerard's magic (as seen in our last Championship match) or Mellor's muller (as some Arsenal fans will surely remember)?

Aside from those, I expect a scoring draw.

Go Rafa!

PS: Any idea who the ref is? It better not be Mike "I'm a closet ManYoo fan" Riley!

For paw's prediction league, click here.
 

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Mellor-Sinama?

Isn't Baros healthy? At least I hope so! Does anyone have the latest on him (he played for the reserves and came on as a sub in the Carling Cup)?

-Scott
 

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Milan fighting fit as far as I know.

Hoping to see Moro on the field for at least a half hour. Will be interesting to see what formation Rafa plays tomorrow.
 

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skamen said:
Mellor-Sinama?

Isn't Baros healthy? At least I hope so! Does anyone have the latest on him (he played for the reserves and came on as a sub in the Carling Cup)?

-Scott
My thoughts exactly. He looked sharp enough when he came on against Watford.. If Baros isn't fit then I'd definately start with Moro! Mellor-Sinama is just too lightweight!
 

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Baros is fit.

I'd start the following team against the scum;

----------------Dudek
Finnan---Carragher--Hyypia--Traore
Garcia----Gerrard---Hamann--Riise
------------Moro--Baros

Unless something goes seriously wrong we should beat them because to be fair without Ruud they can't really hurt us, can only see them scoring from midfield with either Giggs or Scholes, Gerrard and Hamann should take care of Scholes and I'm not sure Giggs will be that match fit. It will be a matter of penetrating their defence, which shouldn't be to hard as Silvestre and Neville are very poor players and their keeper must be one of the worst in the league weather it be Howard or Carroll.

I'm not going to predict a drubbing because I thought we was going to beat them at Old Trafford WITH Cisse, Alonso and Kewell in the side but we all know what happened there :(
 

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Actually it IS very hard to predict..

we're on a good run of results.. but not so good run of form.. we were very unconvincing against Southampton, Norwich and Watford.. but managed to grind results out of those games..

The Mancs will be different.. they won't sit back and watch us attack.. to me a key issue would be Giggs playing.. an ideal Man U would field Ronaldo-Keane-Scholes-Giggs but I don't know if Fergie would be that adventerous.. they have Keane and Rio rested for more than a week too..

For us, I agree with Momo.. Baros looked fit when he came on against Watford.. there wasn't a moment where he held his hamstring.. or showed pain in running and moving.. so I think he'll start.. with all due respect to Sinama and Mellor, if Moro is physically fit.. I want him to be in the starting eleven!! With Mellor and Sinama.. we have players that can pull off a goal or two.. or go on a nifty run.. but they are not the attack I'd want going into the game against Manure.. Having them simply adds more pressure on Gerrard to produce.. while having Baros and Moro brings a totally new ball game..

To me.. a key issue would be the 4th man in our midfield.. I want LG and NOT Nunez.. Heinze would crush him to pieces..

In other words, to me.. we should go in with all our available strengths and try our best.. if things are going our way.. we can adapt in the 2nd half to make sure the 3 points are added to our total.. :fero:
 

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United have solved their defensive problems but the cause for concern from our side is the GK situation. Very often games like these produce keeping errors which prove to be fatal. Apart from that, it was a boost to have Saha back as his pace will cause worries to your backline. Ronaldo, Rooney and Giggs are all fit and raring to go and Fergie will have to keep one of 'em out so it could very well be Ronaldo. That depends ofcourse on the fitness of Giggsy and whether he is fit enough to start. should be an entertaining game with a few moments of controversy fer sure.
 

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Shaf said:
the cause for concern from our side is the GK situation. Very often games like these produce keeping errors which prove to be fatal.
Are you kidding? I think we'd know about goal keeping mistakes more than you in this fixture, don't try to make excuses ;)
 

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Players :
1 Jerzy Dudek
0 M. Pellegrino
23 Jamie Carragher
4 Sami Hyypia
21 Djimi Traoré
10 Luis Garcia
16 Dietmar Hamann
18 Jon Arne Riise
8 Steven Gerrard
19 F. Morientes
5 Milan Baros


vs


Players :
13 Roy Carroll
4 Gabriel Heinze
27 Mikaël Silvestre
3 Philip Neville
6 Wes Brown
18 Paul Scholes
16 Roy Keane
24 Darren Fletcher
7 C. Ronaldo
8 Wayne Rooney
9 Louis Saha
 

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Hala Madrid said:
You guys really have to do something with Dudek :yuck:
Do you remember Doc Rule and his love affair with Dudek? :confused: How he used to come in and say that Dudek was the best keeper and crap like that? I remember telling him that even Bonano was better than Dudek:rolleyes: What he did today was criminal, Rafa should bench him, I am surprised that he hasn't done it already, he has little patience with keepers as is.
 

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Where is Doc_Rule now I thought he was a good poster I've seen him a few times over at talklfc but thats it.

Anyway to the match, tbh the ref was crap and we did have alot of injuries, loosing Finnan prior to the match was a big blow Pelle and Hyypia must be the slowest cb partnership eeeeever.

I thought Morientes did alright for his first match nothing spectacular thought, he showed a nice touch where he controlled it and shot in the first half, I expect he will get better the more he plays.

Apart from Baros, I didn't think any of the team played that good Dudek :yuck: needs replacing IMO I have stood by him so often but this just takes the biscuit to many big mistakes in to many big games, any decent keeper would of saved that.

For their team I thought most of them played well but Heinze and Scholes stood out.

Now to change my avatar cos we lost the bet :(

YNWA
 

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barça said:
Do you remember Doc Rule and his love affair with Dudek? :confused: How he used to come in and say that Dudek was the best keeper and crap like that? I remember telling him that even Bonano was better than Dudek:rolleyes: What he did today was criminal, Rafa should bench him, I am surprised that he hasn't done it already, he has little patience with keepers as is.
I wonder where is doc rule now. I miss some of his hilarious claims like your example barca :D
 

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SM ONLINE said:
Where is Doc_Rule now I thought he was a good poster I've seen him a few times over at talklfc but thats it.

Anyway to the match, tbh the ref was crap and we did have alot of injuries, loosing Finnan prior to the match was a big blow Pelle and Hyypia must be the slowest cb partnership eeeeever.

I thought Morientes did alright for his first match nothing spectacular thought, he showed a nice touch where he controlled it and shot in the first half, I expect he will get better the more he plays.

Apart from Baros, I didn't think any of the team played that good Dudek :yuck: needs replacing IMO I have stood by him so often but this just takes the biscuit to many big mistakes in to many big games, any decent keeper would of saved that.

For their team I thought most of them played well but Heinze and Scholes stood out.

Now to change my avatar cos we lost the bet :(

YNWA
Good post, 100% in agreement, including the Doc Rule part.

Moro did ok and he will get better, the EPL will be good for him. I wish him well. I feel bad for Rafa, but I have a feeling that pool will be a force to reckon with for a time to come, he is putting a nice team together.
 

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barça said:
Do you remember Doc Rule and his love affair with Dudek? :confused: How he used to come in and say that Dudek was the best keeper and crap like that? I remember telling him that even Bonano was better than Dudek:rolleyes: What he did today was criminal, Rafa should bench him, I am surprised that he hasn't done it already, he has little patience with keepers as is.
Yeah i do remember that :D Some funny stuff :dielaugh:

What is it with Dudek especially against Utd? Last year with Forlan and now this crap :wth:

By the way, dont expect to go very far with this Pellegrino-Hyppia duo. Its almost impossible for it to work out.
 
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