Manchester United v Liverpool preview

This Sunday the Premier league match with Manchester United and Liverpool at (11:30 am ET in the US) at Old Trafford I believe could turn out to be an exciting game. Its assumed that this match would be an easy game for Liverpool and that they would just destroy us. But this is our fiercest rivals and this is the kind of game that both sides will be strongly motivated for. So I don’t think Liverpool will come to Old Trafford and walk all over us.

The team news looks encouraging for United. Boss Ole Gunnar Solksjaer is hoping to have several injured players return to duty. Paul Pogba (foot), Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard both (thigh), may return against Liverpool. While Luke Shaw recently returned to training after being out since August with a hamstring injury. Phil Jones and Aaron Wan-Bissaka may return to the squad. David De Gea was injured in Spain’s draw with Sweden. An update on Friday will be given regarding his injury.

As for Liverpool, Nathaniel Clyne is a long-term absentee and there is no date set for him to return. Alisson Becker should return after a torn calf. Mohammed Salah may be in the starting line-up after an ankle injury. Joel Matip and Xherdan Shaqiri may be back for the match after missing the game against Leicester City.

We have a decent record against Liverpool. United hasn’t lost in the last six matches at home against the visitors. United played in 27 matches and won 16, drawn 6 and lost 5 in the league. We can’t afford to lose this game because we could be in the relegation zone at the end of the day depending on what results the teams below us get.

If we lose against Liverpool and Norwich City then I believe for sure we’ll be in the relegation zone. There will be serious ramifications for us if we don’t win. This is why I believe we’ll fight hard to win this game. The odds aren’t in our favour to win, but in the past when we weren’t playing well many times we would rise to the occasion and beat Liverpool. Let’s hope that we respond in a powerful way and we can get a big win.

Solskjaer has a seven player wish list that he wants for January

Image: Give me sport

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants Ed Woodward to buy seven players over the next 10 months. United will not obtain most of these players in January, but Ole seems set on getting these players.

Mario Mandzukic who is low down the pecking order regarding the list of strikers at Juventus is available. But United wants him to lower his wage demands if the transfer were to get the greenlight. Then there is Callum Wilson from Bournemouth that is a striker whose stock has increased over the past few seasons.

He has steadily improved and I like his pace and is a good finisher. Although I would rather United sign Lyon striker Moussa Dembele or Mandzukic because they are better quality strikers and has more attributes in their game that makes them more dangerous than Wilson.

There are also four midfielders that Ole would like to sign. This includes Declan Rice of West Ham, Aston Villa’s John McGinn, Leicester City’s James Maddison, and Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic are also being considered. Manchester United is expected to fund part of these signings by selling some players.

I don’t know if Rakitic will be an ideal player for United and in the Premier League. He doesn’t have pace, but he can hold possession of the ball well and can help to maintain an attack or counter-attack with his excellent passing, and creativity. But I think all the positive attributes far outweigh the negatives in his game. So I would like to to see him at Old Trafford.

However, there are reports in Spain that says the midfielder isn’t interested in a move to England because of family reasons. So that’s a move that wouldn’t happen if this alleged report is true. It would be ideal if United can get two strikers into the club namely Mandzukic and Dembele. Or if we don’t get two strikers, hopefully we can get one striker and a midfielder that’s creative and can score a few goals. James Maddison would be the right fit for us because he’s not only young, but has those aforementioned attributes.

Manchester United is at a crossroads right now, and Ed Woodward and the board needs to make the right decisions to help move this club forward. I hope that the right players are brought into the club so that we’ll improve to the point where we can really compete with the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City, Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Laurent Blanc is interested in the Manchester United job

Could Laurent Blanc be Manchester United’s next manager? (Picture:Getty Images).

According to The Metro, former PSG manager Laurent Blanc is closely monitoring Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s situation. It has been rumoured that the Norwegian could be fired because United is just two points away from the relegation zone. The Red Devils are also in 12th place.

Blanc hasn’t worked as a manager since 2016 after leaving PSG and is interested in the United job. Although, Blanc has been linked strongly with the Lyon job he is interested in coaching outside of France and the Premier League is his preferred destination. If Solskjaer is fired then the Frenchman would love to replace him.

The match against Liverpool on Oct. 20 is a very important test to see if Solskjaer can get a positive result that would help him in keeping his job for little while longer. After having a string of bad results this season, many people believe that if United should lose against our eternal rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford, especially if Liverpool wins by a large margin then Ole would be fired.

Laurent Blanc played for United for two years, (2001-03) under Sir Alex Ferguson. He helped United win the 2002-03 Premier League title. So he has history with United and he knows tha club well. Blanc won many titles with PSG and Bordeaux in France as a manager. He was also French Ligue 1 Manager of the Year 3 times, and French Manager of the Year 2 times. I think that he would be a great addition to the club.

We need a new direction, and Laurent Blanc would be the best and only option that we have right now. Obviously we wouldn’t re-hire Jose Mourinho because he has been highly critical of the United hierarchy and his former players. His style of play and the results were disappointing also.

There is also Massimiliano Allegri who is taking a sabbatical for a year and I am not sure that he speaks and understands English well. Communication skills are important when a coach needs to give instructions and explain concepts to players. He would need an interpreter, so I don’t think he would be an ideal choice. There is no other high-profile manager that is available that has a strong enough resume to manage United. So Blanc for me is the best choice right now if Ole were to lose his job.

Manchester United made contact with Dembele over January transfer move

Moussa Dembele is being pursued by United. Image: Getty

Manchester United has made contact with French striker Moussa Dembele about a move to Old Trafford during the January transfer window.

The Lyon man has been repeatedly linked with Manchester United and they have been scouting him in recent months. He would help an ailing forward line for United that has been dealing with injuries this season. The Daily Record claims that United has opened discussions with Dembele over a transfer to the club in January. Lyon seems to be interested in selling their star striker if the £71 million asking price for Dembele is met.

We can expect United to be busy next year January for at least two strikers, because both Martial and Rashford have had injury problems this season. They are our only two recognized strikers at the club at the moment. Mario Mandzukic from Juventus and Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson has also been linked with United in the January transfer window.

We need at least two strikers to fill the void of Martial and Rashford if both are out of form or injured. So two other strikers can replace them and we’ll still have a production of goals.

Tell me your thoughts on this story. Do you think Dembele would be a good fit for United? Or would Mandzukic or Callum Wilson be better choices?

Are United in a relegation battle?

Manchester United are just two points from the relegation zone and are in 12th place. Is it possible that we could end up in the relegation zone? United are tied on 9 points with Sheffield United who are in 13th, also Brighton has 9 points and are in 14th place. Aston Villa is in 15th place on 8 points, and both Newcastle and Southampton is in 16th and 17th places on 8 points and 7 points respectively.

United is in a position where we desperately have to win our next few games if we have to stay outside of the dreaded drop zone. Everton are in 18th and are in drop zone. If Everton and some of the teams above them get wins then we can fall into the relegation zone. I do believe our next few matches if we don’t win at least two of them then we could be in the drop zone soon. We have to play at home against Liverpool, Oct. 20th, then away to Norwich Oct. 27th, and then away to Chelsea on Oct. 30th. The Liverpool and Chelsea games will be the toughest.

However, some of our injured players should be back for all three or two out of the three encounters. Mason Greenwood, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Anthony Martial should be back along with a few others. So if we can get many of our players back it will make us stronger.

If we don’t return to winning ways then we could have trouble getting our way out of the relegation zone. Solksjaer could be sacked sooner than later. I don’t see how the United board and it’s owners can tolerate United being mired in the bottom three for long. I hope for the fan’s sake that we are spared further embarrassment.

Matej Kovar signs new contract with United

Image: Manchester Evening News

Manchester United’s Under-23 goalkeeper Matej Kovar has signed a new contract with Manchester United. The young 19-year-old goalie was rewarded for his excellent performances in both the Premier League 2 and the Leasing.com Trophy win at Lincoln City. He finalised the deal before joining up with the Czech Republic Under-21 squad.

He joined the club during the winter transfer window in 2018 from FC Slovacko. His most notable achievement was when he saved a penalty to earn three points against Fulham’s Under-23s last month. Kovar also received the Man of the Match performance in the Leasing.com trophy win at Lincoln City.

Solksjaer is clueless

Manchester United had another abysmal performance against Newcastle on Sunday where the Magpies pulled off a 1-0 upset. Solksjaer’s inexperience is showing his ineptitude and is part of the reason we are in 12th place at the moment. When you look at the fact that we’re only two points from the relegation zone shows how dire United’s situation is. We haven’t won in 11 straight away games is another startling statistic.

Ole seems to be clueless on what to do to help remedy or improve the sorry state that we’re in. There are a number of instances that reveals his lack of knowledge when it comes to the Premier League level and in Europe. For example in the game against Newcastle he played the 4-2-3-1 system again. Ole has been using this formation now for virtually every game that the team has played so far this season. So why doesn’t he change the system? It hasn’t worked for us this season, so why not use another formation like a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-3 or some other formation?

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. In the Europa league he has started Mason Greenwood and the youngster has scored 2 goals so far in 3 games. But yet still he didn’t start him in the Arsenal and Newcastle games. Marcus Rashford is out of form, and doesn’t look a 100% fit. Anthony Martial is still recuperating from injury. So why not start him as your center forward and have Rashford play alongside him? But no, Solksjaer continues to persist with starting Rashford who looks less than being fully fit and lacks desire and motivation. Greenwood is our most dangerous striker so far and Ole said that he always wants the ball and is willing to shoot as soon as he gets it. But yet still he keeps him on bench and doesn’t bring him on not until late in games.

These decisions that he’s making just baffles me. I don’t understand what is it he’s trying to accomplish with the kind of tactics that he uses and the decisions that he makes. I don’t see where he’s leading this team to. He seems lost and confused just as the players are. If we don’t start winning matches very soon then we’ll be in the relegation zone. No United fan ever thought it would come to this. Looking at our next few games we are at home against Liverpool, then we are away to Partizan, then we’re away to Norwich City in the league, and then we go to Chelsea in the league. I don’t see us winning these games even if we have a few players return from injury after the 2 week break this month. Having Martial and Shaw back should help us with giving us more impetus to attack. Hopefully Martial can start scoring. Shaw loves to bring the ball forward a lot to start or join in attacks. He does also put in some very good crosses and hopefully our strikers would get on the end of them.

Now we understand that we have six starters that out injured, but every other team has to deal with injuries, so our poor play is not an excuse for this. We have players of good enough quality to beat teams like Newcastle. So obviously you can’t totally blame Solksjaer. We also know that Ed Woodward didn’t bring in any new strikers to replace Lukaku and Sanchez. But we can blame Ole for things such as team selection, tactics and any other decisions that influences the team on the field.

I won’t be surprised if the United board fires Solksjaer during the 2 week break. I believe that our situation will continue to get worse if a change in manager doesn’t happen. Let’s hope that Ole gets fired before the international break is up.

Match Report: Newcastle 1 Man Utd 0

Matthew Longstaff the man who scored the winner for Newcastle. Image: All Football

The game started with Ashley Young conceding a corner which United defended. Then Fabian Schar within the first four minutes had an attempt blocked when he took a right-footed shot from outside the box. Allan St. Maximin in the 12th minute had a shot from outside the box that missed the target.

Marcus Rashford was caught offside later on in the match when Juan Mata passed a through ball to Rashford. United looked devoid of ideas as the game progressed. Their porous midfield allowed Newcastle to get through easily without any real resistance. The Red Devils were too slow in attacking Newcastle whenever we had chances to advance the ball quickly.

Then Newcastle through Miguel Almiron and Schar had opportunities to score, but they couldn’t capitalize on them. Andreas Pereira in the 41st minute was able to get United’s first shot on target after an assist by Harry Maguire, but it was saved by Martin Dubravka. Then in the 45 minute, Maguire’s header from a very close range missed the target after a corner kick by Ashley Young. Then halftime came as both sides went into the break 0-0.

In the second-half, nothing really changed for the Red Devils with Almiron for Newcastle missing his shot from outside the box, after an assist by Saint-Maximin within the first few minutes of the second period. Then shortly after that Maguire’s effort was blocked and Daniel James’s shot was saved by the keeper. United couldn’t seem to get the breakthrough and things were starting to look bleaker as they tried to get the opening goal.

Andy Carroll’s hearder went wide after a good build-up by Newcastle. Scott McTominay later in the game had a header in the center of box that went wide of the right post. The home side would break the deadlock in the 72 minute when Jetro Williams through a counter-attack laid the ball on for Matthew Longstaff, and he drilled a low shot past David Gea’s right-hand side. It was Longstaff’s debut goal and it came at critical time for Newcastle with the club mired in 19th position on the table. This was a real hammer blow for us as Newcastle’s performance was average just like us.

With that goal United was now in trouble and Fred wasted his effort that went over the bar. Then you had Mason Greenwood’s header that was saved by the keeper too. It was real late in the match, but yet still United didn’t show the fight back that earlier editions of United teams showed in the past. They still played at a pedestrian pace in advancing the ball. There was a last chance for us in the game with a free-kick that United won, and it was taken by Pereira. But his free-kick sailed harmlessly into Dubravka’s hands, and the match ended with Newcastle getting a vital three points that took them out of the relegation zone and into 16th place.

Newcastle v Man Utd preview

For Sunday’s Premier League clash at Newcastle, as far as injuries for United, the team will be without Jesse Lingard after he limped off in the Europa League clash with AZ Alkmaar on Thursday. Ole said that he won’t play on Sunday. Paul Pogba (ankle), Luke Shaw (hamstring), and Anthony Martial (hamstring) all three most likely wouldn’t be able to play. The match will kick-off at 16:30 BST, and at 11:30 am ET in the US.

Phil Jones will return after the international break, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka is doubtful after two games out with tonsillitis. Eric Bailly is still out long-term, after he underwent knee surgery in July.

Newcastle will have Jono Shelvey back, but will be without Isaac Hayden. Florian Lejeune (knee) and Matt Ritchie (ankle) are all absentees.

This is a team that’s ranked 19th in the league and this is a game that hopefully we will win. Our offensive woes and other issues have been well-documented by me and other United bloggers, but we must go there and get three points, because we’ll slip further down the table. I know that we can more than hold our own defensively, but we need to put pressure on Newcastle from the start and subdue whatever enthusiasm the crowd has.

This is game that we should move the ball quickly, with quick movement and passing on and off the ball. We also need to be very direct so that we’ll give the Newcastle defense less time to settle and get organized. We must take our chances which is the most important thing. Whether its through open play or set-pieces. We should win the game if we can do those things.

Match Report: AZ Alkmaar 0 Man Utd 0

Manchester United could only manage a tepid draw at Dutch club AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League on Thursday. United were uninspiring and lackluster at the Kyocera stadium in the Hague.

The Red Devils never looked like they would score goals in this match. The game was played on an astroturf pitch that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer described as being “the worst pitch that he had ever seen.” United had defended well, but looked unimaginative going forward and that was shown in the statistics. United didn’t have a single shot on goal, and this stretched their run to 10 games without an away win in all competitions.

United have failed to score more than one goal in a game since they began the season with a 4-0 drubbing of Chelsea. Alkmaar was the team that showed attacking intent and were the more likely to score than the visitors. Oussama Idrissi was the player that was the most outstanding player in the game and he and his teammates were good on the night.

Alkmaar striker Myron Boadu first-half goal was ruled offside, and Idrissi took a shot that David De Gea saved. Idrissi also had another chance when he took a cracking shot that De Gea punched away. Even though United tried to show some attacking intent by bringing on Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay they still couldn’t score. Rashford’s penalty shout for a foul against him in the box by Stijn Wuytens was turned down by the referee, and it seemed like a clear penalty.

United’s best effort came courtesy of Lingard with his dipping shot that went just wide. But he went off the pitch limping with an injury. United continues to struggle offensively and I think that Solskjaer should play Mason Greenwood upfront with Anthony Martial when he returns from injury. Let’s hope that Martial can help to solve some of our offensive issues.

When Luke Shaw returns he will also give us that extra attacking impetus that we need right now. The left-back loves to make runs forward into the opposition’s box and take shots at goal or put dangerous crosses into the box. It would be great to see him and Daniel James combine on the left-wing, and if there is any chemistry between them then they would give teams many problems. We need everyone back healthy especially Shaw and Martial.