Category Archives: Previews

Real Madrid vs Man Utd – UEFA Super Cup Preview

Match: Real Madrid vs Manchester United

Competition: UEFA Super Cup

Stadium: The Phillip II Arena, Skopje (Macedonia)

Date & KO Time: Tues 8th Aug 17 – 1945 BST

Where can you watch it? – BT Sport 2
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The winners of the Champions League is up against the winners of the Europa League to see who will walk away with the prestige of the UEFA Super Cup Trophy. This is a title that Manchester United has only won once before beating Red Star Belgrade 1-0 at Old Trafford in 1991. Liverpool, Aston Villa and even Nottingham Forest have won the Super Cup more times; so let’s notch another one to our history.

Team News

Real Madrid
Real Madrid team news shows that Ronaldo, Benzema and Bale have all travel. This will be Ronaldo’s first piece of pre-season football since he finished playing with Portugal in the Confederations Cup. Bale was a doubt for the match as he picked up a slight ankle injury only 5 days ago, however he has travelled.

Manchester United
Team news is that Bailly is still going to miss out as his suspension was extended for an additional match. Long term absentees through injury are still on the side lines with Rojo, Shaw and Ashley Young. Sergio Romero and Lingard should be in good condition after they were rested and stayed in Manchester for the trip to Ireland against Sampdoria.

Predicted Line Ups

Real Madrid

Lineupbuilder.com
RM Predicted Started XI – LineupBuilder.com

I’ve  predicted that Real Madrid will opt to go with a 4-3-3 formation with Kroos & Modric sharing the Attacking Midfield role. The back four and goalkeeper picks itself, as well as Kroos and Modric. Due to the threat Man Utd pose, I think Zidane will opt for a CDM to cover the back four in the form of Casemiro.

If I was Zidane I would be starting with Ronaldo and Bale on the bench and start with Isco and Vazquez. This is due to Ronaldo’s lack of match fitness, and Bale’s ankle still being potentially weak from the training injury only days before. Benzema completing the line up to still have a quality striking outlet.

It’ll be interesting to see if Zidane has bowed to Mourinho’s mind games and starts Bale against his will. I don’t think Zidane wants to start Bale and I don’t think he will, but he’ll have a lot of questions from the post match media to field after the match.

Manchester United

LineupBuiler.com
MU Predicted Starting XI – LineupBuilder.com

This line up felt a little easier to predict, but we’ll see how far off I am when the team sheets are released.

In goal, I have put Romero in for a few reasons. He didn’t travel to Dublin for the match against Sampdoria and he was the goalkeeper that was used throughout the Europa League to get us into this competition against Real Madrid. Can you imagine the press if Bale & De Gea don’t start in tomorrow’s match?

The back four picks itself with the injuries and bans we have currently. The middle three also picks itself.

Lingard is also fresh from not travelling in the last match, so I feel he will be a starter. Lukaku picks himself, so the only question was the left wing. I couldn’t decide between Rashford and Mkhitaryan, so I’ve gone for Rashford for his pace and crossing ability. He’d give us more width on the left compared to Henrikh, so I’ve opted for Marcus to start over the Armenian.

Score Prediction
I think it’ll be a tight affair, especially in the second half with the introduction of Madrid’s star players. I can honestly see Man Utd pipping this one in a 2-1 win with late goals in both halves for United. Real Madrid have been a little slow in the pre-season, whereas Man Utd have looked a little sharper of late.

HT Score Prediction – Real Madrid 0-1 Man Utd
FT Score Prediction – Real Madrid 1-2 Man Utd

It should be a good game, one last match before the season starts proper. Can’t wait for Kick Off! See you all at the Watchalong!

Manchester United’s Pre-Season Tour – Your Guide

With the pre-season tour looming and being less than a week away, here is the guide of what Man Utd will be up to when they’re in the States.

Sat 8th July 17 – Pre-Season Tour Begins

The Squad will meet up at the AON Complex before travelling to the airport before jetting off to Los Angeles, California. They will spend a week training in Jose’s favourite pre-season training resort in University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) ahead of their flurry of summer matches. They’ll be working largely on fitness as most of the players would have been off relaxing with friends and family for 5-6 weeks.

Sat 15th July 17 – LA Galaxy vs Manchester United (KO 0300 BST)

The first match will be played a week into their pre-season tour against LA Galaxy. The match will be played at SubHub Centre in Carson at 1900 local time, 3am BST. Hopefully we’ll have most of the transfer done before this match to get the maximum value of bedding in the players before the Premier League kicks into action. The last time these two teams met in 2014, Man Utd won 7-0; let’s hope we kick off to a good start again this tour.

Mon 17th July 17 – Real Salt Lake vs Manchester United (KO 0300 BST)

The next match will be played only two days later after a 1hr 40min flight across to the State of Utah to play Real Salt Lake. We’ll be playing in the Rio Tinto Stadium at 2000 local time (3am BST). Expect a mix up of the starting 11 having played again just 48 hours before. Real Salt Lake FC have only been founded 13 years ago and have never played Man Utd before; it’ll be our first time playing in the 20,000 capacity stadium.

Thurs 20th July 17 – Manchester United vs Manchester City (KO 0230 BST)

This is the first big game over in the States and it’s the first match of the International Champions Cup. This unfriendly friendly will take place in the 72,000 capacity stadium NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. The first two games are warm up games and the tour really starts here. The result of this match could hand the winner a minor psychological edge going into the new season and give their fans early bragging rights. I’ll certainly be staying up to watch this one!

Sun 23rd July 17 – Manchester United vs Real Madrid (KO 2200 BST)

The second of three matches in the International Champions Cup will be against Real Madrid in a mock up match of the European Super Cup in August. This match takes us back to the west coast in California, playing in Levi’s Stadium. The match will be played in the heat in a 2pm local time kick off, which is a more forgiving time for UK fans. How many Man Utd players will be playing against their old team? We’ll see!

https://www.sjearthquakes.com/post/2017/03/21/news-real-madrid-face-manchester-united-levi-s-stadium-international-champions-cup
www.sjearthquakes.com

Weds 26th July 17 – Manchester United vs FC Barcelona (KO 0030 BST)

This is the final match in the International Champions Cup. Manchester United will be flying coast to coast to FedEx Field Stadium which is the home of Washington Redskins. The stadium has a huge 82,000 seat capacity, and will almost certainly be a sell out with Manchester United taking on the likes of Messi, Neymar and co. Playing the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona is the first time since 2014 & 2015 respectively and will be a good tester ahead of playing Champions League football this season.

Sun 30th July 17 – Valerenga IF vs Manchester United (KO 1800 BST)

Four days after the match against Barcelona, Man Utd travel back to Europe for their penultimate match in Oslo, Norway. Man Utd have played them before in a pre-season friendly in 2012 where we drew 0-0. At this point we should now be finalising the bedding in process for the new players and sorting out tactics that we will generally deploy in the season. Kick off will be 7pm local time (6pm BST).

Weds 2nd Aug 17 – Manchester United vs Sampdoria (KO 1945 BST)

This is the final non-competitive match of the summer against Serie A’s Sampdoria. This will be the first time the two teams will have met and the final run out before our big show down with Real Madrid. The match will be played in Dublin’s Aviva Stadium and then Man Utd will have the best part of a week to prepare for their European Super Cup showdown against Real Madrid.

Tues 8th Aug 17 – Real Madrid vs Manchester United (KO 1945 BST)

This is the biggest match between now and the start of the Premier League. The European Super Cup final against one of our arch rivals, Real Madrid. The match will be played in Philip II Arena in Skopje, Macedonia. It’ll be interesting to see how far we are off Europe’s best team over the last two seasons. It’ll also be a good bench mark to assess realistic expectations in the best club competition in the world, The Champions League.

After this match, it’s business as usual in the Premier League, kicking off against West Ham the following weekend.
It’s no surprise that Mourinho wants to get his transfers done early doors so he can then focus his attention and energy on winning matches rather than being distracted in the transfer market. Expect movement this week, if not, something has gone wrong. Enjoy the pre-season: A lot of late nights/ early mornings! I’ll still be watching them though, will you?

Mourinho’s Second Season Magic

After his first season, which split the opinion of both Manchester United fans and football fans alike, José Mourinho will look to further add to his squad and push on for greater success both domestically and in Europe. After finishing in a measly 6th place in the league, one position less than Louis Van Gaal achieved in his last season in charge, some were quick to jump on the media bandwagon and begin to ridicule the Portuguese’s season as a complete failure; however, if they were to sit and look at the season they would find the outcome was harsh for the twenty-time champions of England.

Having drew 15 games, 10 of which were at home, the team quickly began to lose touch of the title race as they began to face the result of failing to put the ball into the net. One match in particular was the Burnley game at the end of October when Manchester United had 38 attempts at goal 31 of which were on target but could not get a goal throughout the 90 minutes as they subsequently drew 0-0.

José Mourinho’s side however did go on to lift the EPL Cup and the Europa League (alongside the curtain-raiser the Community Shield).

Mourinho lifts the Europa League (Picture: metro.co.uk)
Mourinho lifts the Europa League (Picture: metro.co.uk)

It is the second season that the United faithful should be looking forward to as ‘The Special One’ usually delivers in abundance in his second season in charge of his club. José Mourinho has won the league title in the second season in charge at every club including: Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and once more at Chelsea.

Although only averaging just over 2 years at each club its clear to see the dedication and commitment José has put into the past 12 months in charge has he projected a very drained and exhausted figure coming the end of the season. Also what is evident is that he, along with the United board, have every intention of him finishing his 3-year-deal and possibly adding more with rumors emerging after his Europa League triumph of a further bumper five-year-deal to be offered. That might be a touch premature with many managers (as you can see with Liverpool’s brilliant business with Jurgen Flopp) but with the Portuguese I don’t see it being a risk. After four seasons of domestic disappointment, despite winning both the FA Cup and EFL Cup the club have still yet to win the Premier League since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson. I believe that the board will give the team and José the time, this summer transfer window is extremely important and once it closes José should have the squad he needs to challenge for the illustrious prize.

FC Porto

First season: Portuguese League, Portuguese Cup, Uefa Cup

Second season: Portuguese League, Champions League

Chelsea

First season: Premier League, League Cup

Second season: Premier League

Internazionale

First season: Italian League

Second season: ltalian League, Italian Cup, Champions League

Real Madrid

First season: Spanish Cup

Second season: Spanish league

Chelsea

First Season:

Second Season: Premier League

Manchester United

First Season: Community Shield, EFL Cup, Europa League

Second Season: …?

It is looking bright for the Red Devils next season and here’s hoping ‘The Special One’ and his squad can deliver on every stage bringing back the trophies the club is used to winning and bringing back the sense of stability has his reign starts to really take shape.

Man Utd Fixture List Confirmed – 17/18

A moment in the summer period that we all look forward to as football fans; the confirmation of the fixture list. Who are we playing and when next season? How essential is it that we need to get our transfer business done early in the summer? Let’s take a look below!

Personal Word Doc

Barring the UEFA Super Cup fixture against Real Madrid, the start of the Premier League season looks very forgiving and most of us would expect to get a strong start from the first seven matches depending how teams do in the transfer market. If Man Utd can start strong it might give them the confidence they need to kick on in the domestic league. Then all Jose has to do is temper their confidence which is a much easier job than trying to inject confidence into a flat team.

In terms of the pressure in the transfer market: As the first major game against one of last season’s top six sides will be played at the start of October against Liverpool, any late signings in the transfer window will have enough time to bed in. Obviously we all want to see signings done early, but it means we don’t need to buy players rashly and can make sure we sign the right players for Man Utd.

Personal Word Doc

The middle of the season looks to be our most difficult section in terms of big fixtures against the other top six teams. We have 10 matches in total against the other top six, half of them feature between 14th October and 9th December (8 weeks). In that period we have 9 Premier League Matches, 5 of which are played against our potential title rivals. If we can get through this period relatively unscathed then we could be in a very strong position entering the Christmas Period and could put us in a very good position for the second half of the season!

Let’s look at the remaining fixtures.

Personal Word Doc

 

Personal Word Doc

For the second half of the season, the big games are much more spread out and compared to last season this run in looks a lot more merciful. From February we are scheduled to have 13 matches in total; four against the top six, nine against the rest. Of the four more difficult matches, three are at home with only Man City to play away. The 9 matches against the rest look very winnable and if we win our home games against the top six we could put some serious pressure on the top of the table by the end of the season, and who knows – we could even win it!

Obviously fixture dates change throughout the season due to Cup competitions and TV Schedules but that’s the beauty of football, it’s so unpredictable. We’re all hoping for a much better performance in the league this season and I’m feeling slightly more optimistic in having an easier start and finish to the season. Would you have preferred a more challenging start/ finish, or are you happy with this outcome?

Have your say below!

First Team Flooded with Youth – Could Gomes Get his Debut?

With it being the final league game of a disappointing Premier League season and top four being mathematically impossible; our most exciting youth players are invited to the first team.

Our final league game is against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Sunday at 15:00. The only thing on Jose Mourinho’s mind is keeping players fit and fresh for Wednesday night’s Europa League final. As a result he has decided to give academy players the opportunity to impress with the first team and inject more drive and passion in the youth system to keep youngsters working hard as they will be rewarded.

The players that have been called up to train with the first team from the U23’s are:

Joel Pereira, Kieran O’Hara, Demetri Mitchell, Josh Harrop, Matty Willock & Scott McTominay.

The players that have been accelerated up from the U18’s are:

Zachary Dearnley & the youngest ever Jimmy Murphy Youth Player award winner, Angel Gomes.

Also involved from the youth set up are house hold names Fosu-Mensah and Tuanzebe.

Although we won’t see all of these young players, there’s one player that most Man Utd fans would love to see make his debut on Sunday. Angel Gomes. He is touted to be a world star in the future and being only 16 years old, he’d be Man Utd’s youngest ever debutant in the Premier League.

There are only three other players who have made their debut under the age of 18. No one (yet) has broken the 17 years old boundary.
Personal Word Document

With there being no pressure on this game as our league position will be unaffected, it does make sense to introduce youth in this match. What I think is surprising is that Jose isn’t using this game as a dress rehearsal for the huge match against Ajax. A match that most would argue is the biggest match in Man Utd’s recent history.

Obviously there’s a balance to be had as players need to be rested and protected from picking up needless injuries. However, confidence plays a big part in football and United have only picked up one win out of six (against Celta Vigo). It begs the question, are the players going to be in the right frame of mind? Therefore, would it be better to go in and blow away Crystal Palace who only have league position to play for?

Like I said before, there’s a balance to be had; and it seems that Mourinho has leaned more towards resting most of the key players that will feature on Wednesday. Pogba will play as he has been on Compassionate Leave and needs match sharpness.

All in all I am very excited at the prospect of witnessing a seemingly rare outing for our youngsters, specifically the possibility of seeing our young star Angel Gomes. I trust Mourinho and know he has excellent experience in the balance and preparation it takes both mentally and physically ahead of an important final.

I can’t wait for Sunday, and really can’t wait for Wednesday! Let’s cap off this season with two wins so we can enjoy the summer of transfer frenzy as we build for an exciting next season!

MAN UTD V ROSTOV PREVIEW VIDEO

It’s our Manchester United v Rostov Match Preview Video.

Rooney & Martial are ruled out as Manchester United look to bounce back.

Check out this week’s amazing The United Stand podcast: http://theunitedstand.com/2017/03/14/stamp-ford-bridge/

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Mourinho’s Tactical Headache… but Rumours that Rashford has travelled?

As most of us are aware from yesterday’s news, United are going through a mini-crisis with the lack of striking options for tonight match at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup.

Ibrahimovic is out through suspension. Martial is out injured, Rooney was injured in a training session and Rashford is reported to be out with a virus. This is a nightmare for Mourinho as this is one game you know he wanted to win, especially after our last trip to Chelsea.

The official team that travels to London:

Gk – De Gea & Romero
Def – Henderson, Valencia, Damian, Fosu Mensah, Jones, Bailly, Smalling, Blind, Rojo & Shaw
Mid – Carrick, Fellaini, Herrera, Pogba, Lingard, Mkhitaryan, Young & Mata.

With no strikers travelling with the team on the coach, how will Man Utd line up? Here are a few potential options.

5-2-3 – Fellaini as Striker

https://www.buildlineup.com/
5-2-3 Formation Vs Chelsea: Image from – https://www.buildlineup.com/

With five at the back, this will be a ‘park the bus’ formation and hit Chelsea on the counter attack. Having three staying at the back soaking up the Chelsea pressure, it will give Valencia and Shaw licence to counter up the wings and help Miki and Mata put in crosses for Fellaini to feed off.
The longer Chelsea don’t score the more and more frustrated Chelsea will become. They would have a lot of possession but if they aren’t able to break through it could upset their rhythm giving United more chance of nicking it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


4-3-3 – Mkhitaryan as a False Nine

https://www.buildlineup.com/
4-3-3 Formation vs Chelsea: Image from https://www.buildlineup.com/

A slightly different option would be to bring Miki in off the wing and utilise him as a False Nine.

He’s a very direct player and enjoys playing the ball forward to team mates, but there will be no-one there!

Having said that, when Miki plays as the number ten with Zlatan as the striker; Zlatan tends to drop deep which means Henrikh has had exposure at being the furthest forward and has done well in that position.
This formation puts Fosu as cover for right back, pushing Valencia further up the pitch, who will provide more pace than Mata. With Miki coming in off the left the only real option as a left winger we have left is Ashley Young. Also with pace and likes to cut in which could benefit Mkhitaryan to stop him becoming isolated.  However, a mixture of the first two formations could also work.

 

4-2-3-1 – Young as Centre Forward

https://www.buildlineup.com/
4-2-3-1 Formation vs Chelsea: Image from https://www.buildlineup.com/

Another potential formation is one we have used most often this season. Most of the players will understand this formation, where to be and how to use it. The three players behind the strikers like to cut inside, so there would be no use in playing Fellaini as the striker as there won’t be many crosses. Young would be a better option as CF in this system as he is slightly more technical.

The potential problem with this formation is it is quite aggressive and we would be quite open at the back.

There are options for us without a striker. None of them fill me with confidence, but hopefully we can pull it off against the current in form team in the League.

 

 

 


Rashford Travels?

None of these formations with the striking options are ideal. However, there could be a slight hope for United fans. It’s been reported from United fans travelling down to London that Rashford has been spotted on a train travelling separate from the rest of the team.

Could this be mind games from Mourinho? Feed Chelsea false information to quickly change their tactics last minute, but then Rashford is actually fit? Or Rashford is actually ill, but the fact he is traveling could make the Chelsea camp double guess, causing confusion and ultimately unsettle their tactics. Even if it affects Chelsea’s mentality only very slightly, games like this are all about percentages and could prove to be the difference! Mourinho does love his mind games. You only need to look back at the EFL cup final when Miki was spotted coming off the coach into the team hotel.

The other possibility is that this is just fake news from fake twitter accounts. Who knows? I guess we’ll find out later. Hopefully we can come out of this match with as little damage as possible; we might even shock ourselves and pull off a memorable win. Either way, United we Stand and we’ll support our team until the end.

What would you do with no strikers against Chelsea? Have your say below!

CHELSEA V MAN UTD – FA CUP MATCH PREVIEW VIDEO

FIRST STREAMED ON YOUTUBE 10/03/17

CHELSEA v MANCHESTER UNITED MATCH PREVIEW

It’s FA Cup time again as Manchester United travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea.

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Join thousands of United fans in the live interactive chat room for the Manchester United vs. Chelsea fan watchalong. Mute those boring commentators and watchalong with passionate diehard fans from around the world. We go live an hour before kick-off with fan opinion and reaction to the line ups. bit.ly/1CmczHm

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Check out the latest article from our associates at THE BOOT ROOM

Is this Manchester United star set to become the highest paid player in MLS history?

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THE UNITED STAND – ROSTOV V MAN UTD PREVIEW VIDEO

MANCHESTER UNITED V ROSTOV MATCH PREVIEW

Manchester United vs. Rostov match preview from The United Stand, with Rooney & Shaw left at home what team would you play?

Join thousands of United fans in the live interactive chat room for the Manchester United vs. Rostov fan watchalong. Mute those boring commentators and watchalong with passionate diehard fans from around the world. We go live an hour before kick-off with fan opinion and reaction to the line ups. bit.ly/1CmczHm

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THE UNITED STAND – MAN UTD V BOURNEMOUTH MATCH PREVIEW

FIRST STREAMED ON YOUTUBE 02/03/17

MANCHESTER UNITED V BOURNEMOUTH MATCH PREVIEW

It’s our Manchester United vs. Bournemouth match preview, who would you play?

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